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Complete Hell at Bristol

George Ferzoco with some of the student readers Jamie Carstairs

7 May 2015

Bristol students took part this week in a marathon reading of Dante’s epic poem, The Inferno.

The reading, which took place in the Institute for Advanced Studies, was organised by George Ferzoco from the Department of Religion and Theology and featured 34 students – from seven different departments as well as two foreign universities – enrolled in the department’s ‘The Religious World of Dante’ unit.

Each student read aloud one of the Inferno’s 34 parts, or cantos. ‘They tell me that the act of reading the poem aloud makes them note many new aspects of the work,’ said Mr Ferzoco. ‘It worked perfectly that there was one student matched to each canto.’

The reading took place during the month of Dante’s birth in 1265, 750 years ago. This week marks the beginning of seven years of festivities in Italy, leading up to the 700th anniversary in 2021 of Dante’s death.

Following the success of this event, Mr Ferzoco has been asked by students and staff members to organise a ‘super-marathon’ reading of the entire Divine Comedy, comprising the Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso.


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