On NBC's Today Show the correspondent from Rome mentions that this is first resignation of a Pope since Celestine V in 1294, who Dante may have been indicating when he referred to the sinner among the Undecided (Inferno 3) who made the "great refusal."
Many other reporters and commentators discussing Benedict XVI's resignation are also mentioning Dante's supposed (but debated among scholars) placement of Celestine V in Hell. See, for example, Carol Zaleski's piece in the New York Times, February 11, 2013.
Contributed by Julie Heyman
"A COLLEGE education aims to guide students through unfamiliar territory -- Arabic, Dante, organic chemistry -- so what was once alien comes to feel a lot less so. But sometimes an issue starts so close to home that the educational goal is the inverse: to take what students think of as familiar and place it in a new and surprising light." [...]
Ethan Bronner, "Asian-Americans in the Argument," The New York Times, November 1, 2012
Gaby Dunn, Thought Catalog, October 23, 2012
Contributed by Steve Bartus (Bowdoin, '07)
"There are two ways to read Sutton, by J. R. Moehringer: as a third-rate novel with a deep and crippling cornball streak, or as a loose and journalistic speculative biography of a famous bank robber. Either way, you lose. But you lose less if you decide to read it as semi-true biography. You can at least enjoy the ragtime shuffle of the author's better sentences.
"The bank robber is Willie Sutton, the man famous for supposedly saying, when asked why he held up banks, "That's where the money is." Sutton robbed dozens of them during his four-decade-long career. He also escaped from three maximum-security prisons, prompting frantic manhunts, and became a folk hero in the process. His dapper Irish good looks didn't hurt. When young, he somewhat resembled Jack Kerouac." [...]
"Sutton's famous quotation has always made him seem like a lovable dunce, Yogi Berra with a gun moll and a getaway car. In Sutton Mr. Moehringer reminds us that he was a shrewd fellow and a committed reader, with copies of Dante and Tennyson tucked into his prison cell. Sutton wrote two memoirs (they contradicted each other) and an unpublished novel." [...]
Dwight Garner's review of J.R. Moehringer's Sutton (Hyperion, 2012), New York Times, October 9, 2012
[...] "Governments can err, Presidents do make mistakes, but the immortal Dante tells us that divine justice weighs the sins of the cold-blooded and the sins of the warm-hearted in different scales." [...]
Contributed by Patrick Molloy
"Here's a series of play sets that won't be debuting in the toy aisle anytime soon. Sculptor Mihai Mihu has built this fantastic and creepy nine-part collection of LEGO dioramas based on Dante Alighieri's Inferno. Witness the Divine Comedy depicted in tiny plastic bricks, from the River Styx to the frozen head of Satan."
Cyriaque Lamar, io9.com
Contributed Carol Chiodo
"Here are photographs of my model of the Italian dreadnought battleship Dante Alighieri. It is built in 1:550 scale. Dante Alighieri is the only battleship that I know of that is named after a poet. Dante Alighieri was the first battleship designed with triple turrets and was allegedly the fastest battleship in the world upon entering into service. As with the other Italian battleships, her career during World War I was uneventful, being limited to the bombardment of Durazzo in October 1918. Unfortunately, her main armament arrangement did not permit accommodation for modernization due to space limitations, so she was scrapped in 1928. The model represents the ship as built and before her 1923 modernization when her forward funnels were raised and she was given a tripod foremast. With her four funnels, she is a very interesting ship."
Gregory Shoda, SteelNavy.com
Contributed by Bernard Barryte
"Two years ago, I quoted Dante in warning Met fans to expect nothing. ("Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.") That still works in 2012. But Mets fans need to take stock of the hope and humor that course underground, like a long-forgotten creek under a municipal dump."
George Vecsey, The New York Times, March 31, 2012
Contributed by Patrick Molloy
Contributed by Aisha Woodward (Bowdoin, '08)
Contributed by Lisa Flannagan
Background Image: Domenico di Michelino, Dante and His Comedy, 1465