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Dante in London

Dantemag brings to your attention a meeting with Dante’s poetry taking place in London.

If William Shakespeare is the genius of English literature, then Dante is the genius of Italy. Primo Levi wrote in his book, If This is a Man, that the lyrics from Dante’s Divine Comedy  were of comfort to him during his imprisonment in a concentration camp. Every Italian teenager is asked to read Dante at school; Roberto Benigni recently toured Italy reciting and commenting on Dante’s Divine Comedy, not only in many theatres, but also in public squares and for TV audiences.

If you have easy access to London, and you want to hear its musical poetry in the original language; or if you have always wanted to know more about Dante’s Divine Comedy, but you have not yet had the time to read it … this is your chance!  Starting from early October, the Warburg Institute, in association with University College London and the Italian Cultural Institute, is running regular lunch-time public readings that will introduce the beauty and complexity of Dante’s Divine Comedy.

The event will include a combination of reading and commentary alongside visual displays that will offer the mainly English–speaking audience a simultaneous translation of the text. The text will be read in the original and illustrated by colourful medieval illuminations. The commentaries will show how Dante’s medieval vision may be relevant to contemporary existential concerns and offer the audience the experience of an actual journey from Hell, through Purgatory, to Paradise.
This event, entitled From Devilry to Divinity: Readings in the Divina Commedia, will run regularly on Tuesdays at lunch-time (1:00 to  2:15 pm), from October 2015 to March 2016. It will be led by Alessandro Scafi, John Took, and Tabitha Tuckett at the Warburg Institute  (Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB) and is meant to attract a general public.  After reading Dante in Italian, with English translation, visual and verbal commentary, there will be time for informal and informed discussion inspired by the text, with the opportunity to view rare and early editions from the Dante Collection of UCL Library Special Collections.

Further information are available following this link


In addition to the weekly lunch-time readings on Tuesdays at the Warburg, evening events will be held at the Italian Cultural Institute (38 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8NX) and in the church of St Giles in the Fields over a long weekend in mid November to celebrate the 750th anniversary of Dante’s birth.


Dantemag celebrates and is inspired by the great poet with its very name; we believe you will be inspired too.



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