Bibliotheca Dantesca: Journal of Dante Studies: Volume 4, Issue 1

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    Empty Flags and Fallen 'Angeli': Dante and the Imagery of the Capitol Riot
    (2021-12-12) Olson, Kristina
    After the mob attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, which disrupted the certification of the 2020 presidential election, several photographs of the insurrectionists have begun to emerge. Jacob Chansley, known as Jake Angeli, was one of the many insurrectionists photographed on the Senate dais after the chamber had been evacuated of all elected officials, who were escorted into safety. Angeli wore a horned, double raccoon-tail helmet, painted his face the colors of the US flag, and carried a spear with the American flag. While the appearance of the Confederate flag born into its halls by the same mob is un-doubtedly more disturbing, Angeli’s eccentric ensemble evokes the language of violence and treason from Dante’s Inferno. From the horns of the Mino-taur, guardian of the violent in the Seventh Circle, to the tripartite-facial colors of Lucifer, the emperor of the despondent kingdom whose three mouths eter-nally masticate traitors to country, homeland and God, Angeli’s insurrectionist garb should be considered for its unintended symbolism with Dante’s poetic imagination. As I explain in this contribute, though insurrectionists and neofas-cists have often coopted medieval iconography, and Dante’s own name has recently become appropriated by Italian nationalist rhetoric in disturbing ways, a closer look at his Inferno, evoked by these and other symbols of this mob, show these domestic terrorists to be participants in sins of political violence and treason, as many other fallen “angeli.”
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    From the "Allora" to the "Non Ancora:" Luzi's Essays on Dante
    (2021-12-12) Peterson, Thomas E
    In five critical essays on Dante extending from 1945 to 1999 Mario Luzi presents his view of the Divina Commedia as a living work that requires its readers to enter into its internal creative process in order to comprehend its moral and teleological meanings. At the center of the essays is the figure of Dante, identical to the poem’s protagonist, whose absolute identification with the objects of his thought gives rise to a poetry of prophecy, proclamation and testimony rooted in the experience of exile. Dante sees exile as the universal condition of humanity, which presupposes a spiritual struggle and itinerary on the part of the individual: from the “allora” of sin and perdition to the “non ancora” of penitence and expiation, and hence to the prospect of salvation. In closing, the essay considers the relation between Luzi’s critical Dantism and the impact of Dante on his poetry.
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    Dante as Orpheus: Georgics 4 and Inferno 5
    (2021-12-12) West, Kevin R.
    Critics have long struggled to explain the apparent contradiction between Inferno 5.31, where the violent winds of the second circle of hell are said never to rest, and Inferno 5.96, where the wind is calm while Dante speaks with Francesca da Rimini. I argue that the winds calm specifically because they also calm when Orpheus visits the underworld in search of Eurydice in Georgics 4. With this briefest of allusions Dante fashions himself as another Orpheus, a poet whose art can soothe hell itself, into which he has dared (as a character) to descend.
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  • Publication
    BD 4 2021 Complete
    (2021-12-12) Bibliotheca Dantesca, Editor