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Dante Alighieri, a comic trilogy for the seventh centenary of his death

Last autumn the editorial staff of Kleiner Flug, a publishing house specialized in graphic novels centered on biographies of illustrious artists, historical characters and literary adaptations, was a guest of the Italian Cultural Institute in Montréal to tell the story of the publishing house, within the XX Week of the Italian Language in the World entitled “Italian between words and images: graffiti, illustrations, comics”.

From that meeting the seeds of an ambitious and exciting project were born. The project, conceived, supported and promoted by the Italian Cultural Institute of Montreal and by the publisher Kleiner Flug, is to tell about three of the great themes of the Supreme Poet: friendship, politics and exile, after having treated the subject of love in “Dante Alighieri, Amor mi mosse”.

The third and last volume, “La selva oscura“, will be written by Marco Rastrelli (in collaboration with Elia Munaò), former screenwriter for Kleiner Flug of the comic biography “Giovanni dalle Bande Nere” and “Horatio Nelson” and drawn by Astrid Lucchesi, author of “Dante Alighieri, Amor mi mosse”.

Dante Alighieri’s exile is certainly the most famous episode in his life as well as the most painful one, and it was probably the impulse that led him to draft the Divine Comedy.

The “official” date of the exile is March 10th, 1302 and the sentence takes place with this now memorable sentence:

“Alighieri Dante is convicted of bartering, fraud, falsehood, willful misconduct, malice, unfair extortion practices, illicit proceeds, pederasty, and is sentenced to 5,000 florins fine, perpetual interdiction from public office, perpetual exile (in absentia), and should you capture him, to the stake, so that he dies.”

(Libro del chiodo – Archivio di Stato di Firenze – March 10th 1302)

From that moment, long years of travel and peregrinations began for the poet. However, in a first phase from 1302 to 1307, Dante tried in every way to return to Florence with the other White Guelph exiles, even reaching a military agreement with his usual enemies, the Ghibellines.

Years of bloody battles, betrayals and twists, of which we know very little: Dante himself does not tell us much, if not the information that is deduced from the Divine Comedy.

In particular, this volume will start from “Canto X” of Hell, where the memorable meeting with Farinata degli Uberti, Florentine, leader of the Ghibellines and, also, an exile, takes place.

In these pages, we can see the beginning of Dante’s exile: in the summer of 1302, shortly after being expelled from Florence, the poet met with the other exiles of the White Guelphs to organize the armed return to the city. Reluctantly, they decide to enter into an unnatural alliance with their usual enemies, the Ghibellines and to involve one of them accustomed to wars and conflicts.

The choice falls on Scarpetta degli Ordelaffi, whose family currently leads Forlì. Dante and Vieri de ‘Cerchi are going to Forlì, at the head of the soldiers’ column, to formalize the agreement with Scarpetta and the other allies.

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  • Organized by: Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Montréal - Kleine
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