Metamorphosing DanteAppropriations, Manipulations, and Rewritings in the Twentieth and Twenty-First CenturiesVienna: Turia + Kant, 2010
Copy to Clipboard
Add italics as necessary
Cite as: Ronald de Rooy, ‘A Cardboard Dante: Hell’s Metropolis Revisited’, in Metamorphosing Dante: Appropriations, Manipulations, and Rewritings in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries, ed. by Manuele Gragnolati, Fabio Camilletti, and Fabian Lampart, Cultural Inquiry, 2 (Vienna: Turia + Kant, 2010), pp. 355–65 <https://doi.org/10.25620/ci-02_21>

A Cardboard DanteHell’s Metropolis RevisitedRonald de Rooy

Keywords: Alighieri, Dante – Divina Commedia – Inferno; productive reception; film adaptations; parody; puppet films; Meredith, Sean – Inferno

The subject of this paper is a recent comic movie version of Dante’s Comedy: a 2007 puppet and toy theatre adaptation of the Inferno directed by Sean Meredith. It is certainly not the first time that Dante and his theatre of hell appear in this kind of environment. Mickey Mouse has followed Dante’s footsteps and very recently a weird bunch of prehistoric animals went a similar path: in part three of the blockbuster Ice Age (2009), a new, lippy guide character named Buck uses several Dante quotes and the whole strange voyage can be described as a Dantesque descent into dinosaur hell. In the following pages I will argue that Meredith’s version of Dante’s Inferno is not only funny and entertaining, but that it is also surprisingly innovative if we compare it to other literature and movies which project Dante’s hell or parts of it onto the modern metropolis.

[…]

The full text can be downloaded above and here as pdf.

References

  1. Baranski, Zygmunt, ‘The Power of Influence: Aspects of Dante’s Presence in Twentieth-Century Italian Culture’, Strumenti Critici, 1.3 (1986), pp. 343–76
  2. Birk, Sandow, and Marcus Sanders, Dante’s Inferno, illustrated by Sandow Birk, text adapted by Sandow Birk and Marcus Sanders (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2004)
  3. Dante’s Paradiso, illustrated by Sandow Birk, text adapted by Sandow Birk and Marcus Sanders (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2005)
  4. Dante’s Purgatorio, illustrated by Sandow Birk, text adapted by Sandow Birk and Marcus Sanders (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2005)
  5. Braida, Antonella, ‘Dante’s Inferno in the 1900s: From Drama to Film’, in Dante on View: The Reception of Dante in the Visual and Performing Arts, ed. by Antonella Braida and Luisa Calè (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), pp. 39–51
  6. Havely, Nick, Dante (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007)
  7. Hawkins, Peter S., Dante: A Brief History (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006)
  8. ‘Moderno Uso’, in Dante’s Paradiso, illustrated by Sandow Birk, text adapted by Sandow Birk and Marcus Sanders (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2005), pp. vi–xiv
  9. Hawkins, Peter S., and Rachel Jacoff, eds., The Poets’ Dante: Twentieth Century Reflections (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001)
  10. Heaney, Seamus, ‘Envies and Identifications: Dante and the Modern Poet’, Irish University Review: A Journal of Irish Studies, 15.1 (1985), pp. 5–19
  11. Iannucci, Amilcare, ‘Dante and Hollywood’, in Dante, Cinema, and Television, ed. by Amilcare Iannucci (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004), pp. 3–20
  12. Mandelstam, Osip, Conversation About Dante, in The Poets’ Dante, ed. by Peter S. Hawkins and Peter and Rachel Jacoff (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001), pp. 40–93
  13. Martina, Guido, and Angelo Bioletto, Topolino, 2.7 (October 1949), L’inferno di Topolino; English version as ‘Mickey’s Inferno’, Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories, no. 666 (March 2006)
  14. Meredith, Sean (director), Dante’s Inferno, film produced by Paul Zaloom and Sandow Birk, art directed by Elyse Pignolet, 2007
  15. Pasolini, Pier Paolo, Romanzi e racconti, ed. by Walter Siti and Silvia De Laude, 2 vols (Milan: Mondadori, 1998)
  16. Pasolini, Pier Paolo, Saggi sulla politica e sulla società, ed. by Walter Siti and Silvia De Laude (Milan: Mondadori, 1999)
  17. Solnit, Rebecca, ‘Check out the Parking Lot’, London Review of Books, 8 July 2004, available online at <http://www.lrb.co.uk/v26/n13/soln01_.html> [accessed 23 May 2010]
  18. Squarotti, Giorgio Bàrberi, ‘L’ultimo trentennio’, in Dante nella letteratura italiana del Novecento, ed. by Silvio Zennaro (Rome: Bonacci, 1979), pp. 245–77
  19. Taylor, Andrew, ‘Television, Translation, and Vulgarization: Reflections on Phillips’ and Greenaway’s A TV Dante’, in Dante, Cinema and Television, ed. by Amilcare Iannucci (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 2004), pp. 145–52
  20. Vickers, Nancy J., ‘Dante in the Video Decade’, in Dante Now: Current Trends in Dante Studies, ed. by J. Cachey Theodore (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1995), pp. 263–76
  21. Welle, John P., ‘Early Cinema, Dante’s Inferno of 1911, and the Origins of Italian Film Culture’, in Dante, Cinema and Television, ed. by Amilcare Iannucci (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 2004), pp. 21–50
  22. Woolf, Virginia, Collected Essays, 2 vols (London: Hogarth Press, 1966)
  23. The Crowded Dance of Modern Life, 2 vols (London: Penguin, 1993)
  24. The Diary, ed. by Anne Olivier Bell and Andrew McNeillie, 5 vols (London: Hogarth Press, 1980)
  25. Granite and Rainbow (London: Hogarth Press, 1960)
  26. Moments of Being: Unpublished Autobiographical Writings, ed. by Jeanne Schulkind (New York: Harcourt, 1985)
  27. Mrs. Dalloway (London: Penguin, 1996)
  28. To the Lighthouse (London: Penguin, 1993)
  29. The Waves (London: Penguin, 1992)