Arrrrgh – who sent me this? I am not good at organizing this stuff!! This is why I have infinite lists of things to remember – I do not have a mind like a steel trap.


Illustration for Inferno - good basis for a video game? perhaps.

Anywho – They’re turning Dante’s Inferno into a video game! And actually trying to be respectful of the work. Not sure that’s really possible (I mean, how much of the rich multi-layered meaning can really be conveyed when you’ve made the whole thing into a reason to shoot demons) but it’s nice that someone’s at least trying.

From The HuffPo:

I’m not surprised that EA would see Inferno (the first section of The Divine Comedy), with its elaborate mapping and description of Hell, as a lucrative launch point for a game about killing demons. I am surprised though, at how determined the studio is to not just make the game about killing demons–to remain, in fact, as faithful as possible to Dante’s masterpiece. Jonathan Knight, the executive producer and creative director for the game, is making a point in interviews to point out all of the game’s connections to the epic poem. According to Knight, the main plot line is still Dante’s quest to reach Beatrice, and the Roman poet Virgil still plays his part, as do more minor characters like King Minos (the judge of the damned) and Cerberus.

I’d love to revisit Dante’s Inferno (the real one) – I read the Pinsky translation in a great seminar in high school themed “Strange Journeys” – we started with the Inferno and ended with Alice in Wonderland. It was rad!

And in another stroke for literature appreciation (that will probably make more headway, and get more people reading than the Inferno game) there’s the Changing Lives Through Literature program, helping folks stay out of jail by giving them the sentencing alternative of joining a book club! I firmly believe literature can change lives. I have no idea what mine would be without it. I feel that so many of my experiences are enriched by being able to examine life through the thousands of lenses of different authors and their creations. Enough gushing though, from the article:

Led by literature professors, the program has brought thousands of convicts to college campuses even as the withdrawal of Pell grants from prisoners (who were ruled ineligible for federal college financing in 1994) drove a wedge between the two state-funded institutions where young adults do time. Meanwhile, rehabilitative reading has spread from Waxler’s original all-male seminar to similar women-only and mixed-sex groups, to one-time experiments like the seminar on “The Road Not Taken” to which a Vermont judge last year sentenced 28 young partyers who broke into Robert Frost’s old house, leaving a trail of booze and vomit. Picture “Remembrance of Things Past” as a literary ankle bracelet that keeps you chained to the desk for months.

This may not be a solution for everyone, but it’s certainly something to encourage – prison has always seemed like such a waste of life and minds – better to put them to some use, some thinking.