Christian Blauvelt at BBC.com offers a piece on Dante’s The Divine Comedy.
“All hope abandon ye who enter here.”
That’s the inscription on the gate to Hell in one of the first English translations of The Divine Comedy, by Henry Francis Cary, in 1814. You probably know it as the less tongue-twisting “Abandon hope all ye who enter here,” which is the epigraph for Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho, hangs as a warning above the entrance to the Disney theme park ride Pirates of the Caribbean, appears in the videogame World of Warcraft, and has been repurposed as a lyric by The Gaslight Anthem.
You may have never read a single line of The Divine Comedy, and yet you’ve been influenced by it.
But it’s just one line of the 14,233 that make up The Divine Comedy, the three-part epic poem published in 1320 by Florentine bureaucrat turned visionary storyteller Dante Alighieri.
…The Divine Comedy inspired: a literary work endlessly adapted, pinched from, referenced and remixed, inspiring painters and sculptors for centuries. More than the authors of the Bible itself, Dante provided us with the vision of Hell that remains with us and has been painted by Botticelli and Blake, Delacroix and Dalí, turned into sculpture by Rodin – whose The Kiss depicts Dante’s damned lovers Paolo and Francesca – and illustrated in the pages of X-Men comics by John Romita. Jorge Luis Borges said The Divine Comedy is “the best book literature has ever achieved”, while TS Eliot summed up its influence thus: “Dante and Shakespeare divide the world between them. There is no third.” Perhaps the epigraph to The Divine Comedy itself should be “Gather inspiration all ye who enter here.”
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: