Dante Archive

Don Draper Descends Through Dante’s Inferno

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Mad Men was known for its liberal usage of literary allusions, most of which were exactly what you’d expect. But only one allusion lasted the entirety of a season: Dante’s Inferno.

Writing Trauma: Notes of Transcendence, #2–The Book as Companion

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Examining painful truths, I left behind the stories. I developed an aversion to reading. When I picked up a book, it was as if my brain closed a door. How could I, a writer and an English professor, no longer have a desire to read?

Divine Inspiration: Letting Dante Lead Me

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When I arrived in Florence for an extended trip, I was determined not to look like a tourist. I wanted to carry a leather-bound notebook and sit at sidewalk cafes drinking cappuccinos and looking thoughtful. Mostly, I wanted to read The Decameron and the last two books of The

“It’s A Bit Mysterious, and I Like That”: An Interview with Frank X. Gaspar

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Frank X. Gaspar writes poems that are lyrical, powered by swift associations, and full of surprising images and leaps in thought that in retrospect make perfect sense. He is the author of five collections of poems, including Late Rapturous and The Holyoke, as well as two novels, most recently

No Poetry Aloud…?

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July, 2007. The Piazza Santa Croce in Florence, Italy. The Italian comedian Roberto Benigni takes the stage and begins to recite poetry. Pausing between cantos of Dante’s Divine Comedy, he offers observations about the poem and anecdotes from his own life. Maybe this type of event sounds simple, or

Literary Lines that Make a Mark

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Recently I enjoyed a wondrous weekend in Austin during which I added a third tattoo to my collection. It so happens this is my second literary tattoo. The first, inked roughly a year ago, was a celebration of a number of triumphs, among them my first paid publication and