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From Dante to Today

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dante Alighieri's poem, The Divine Comedy, remains influential in contemporary culture. The political corruption, conflict between church and state, tests of morality, and frought love in the nine circles of the Inferno—which Dante began to write some seven hundred years ago—echo profoundly in our world today. His depiction of hell, sin, and punishment has also impacted artists from Sandro Botticelli to Robert Rauschenberg and Jake and Dinos Chapman. Caroline Bergvall, poet, and Co-Chair, Writing MFA, Milton Avery School for the Arts, Bard College; Rachel Jacoff, Margaret E. Deffenbaugh and LeRoy T. Carlson Professor in Comparative Literature and Professor of Italian, Wellesley College; and Robert Pinsky, poet, conjure these themes through readings of their own works as well as those by Dante, William Butler Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Juan Goytisolo, and others. A reception follows the reading. This program is a collaboration between The Museum of Modern Art and the Italian Cultural Institute of New York.

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