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Dante's Inferno by Sandow Birk

Dante's Inferno

By Sandow Birk
1 Contributor

A fiercely original modern adaptation - in word and image-of Dante's Inferno. This modern adaptation is for fans of the traditional translations and a new generation alike. Artist Sandow Birk and writer Marcus Sanders offer a modern interpretation of Dante's Inferno, with a literary adaptation incorporating contemporary urban slang and references to contemporary events and people, and unsettlingly vivid illustrations based on Gustave Dore's well-known engravings. (Dore was a popular French illustrator of the nineteenth century who illustrated over 200 books, some with more than 400 plates, though he is primarily known for his illustrations to The Divine Comedy, Don Quixote, Milton's Paradise Lost, and Poe's The Raven.) Here, the vision of Hell is full of the familiar scenes of contemporary Los Angeles (with some San Francisco mixed in). The ever watchful police helicopters search the Stygian skies, familiar images of the mythic are assaulted by corporate logos and mass-consumption detritus. The Minotaur guards the shawerma stand of the damned, while Greyon, the Beast of Fraud, is transformed into a pollution-belching SUV. This edition of the Inferno is a mixture of the original poem and a new hellish urban context, lending a uniquely postmodern edge to this classic.

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