ADVISORY / MEDIA AVAILABILITY
Topic: Dan Brown’s new bestseller “Inferno” – does it accurately explain Dante, “The Divine Comedy,” and Renaissance Italy, and what should readers keep in mind if they try reading Dante afterwards?
Expert: Michael Papio, associate professor of Italian Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst -- www.umass.edu/italian/people/profiles/papio.html Available: Via phone or email at your convenience; also available via satellite for TV segments from on-campus studio in Amherst, Mass.
Contact: Jared Sharpe – 413-545-3809 / jsharpe[at]admin.umass.edu
Michael Papio, associate professor of Italian Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is available to discuss the new hit bestseller “Inferno” by “The Da Vinci Code” author Dan Brown. Brown’s latest Robert Langdon thriller uses Dante’s Divine Comedy as its backdrop, as Langdon finds himself immersed in a deadly mystery from which his only escape is by using his knowledge of Renaissance art and a medieval poem to find the clues that will save not only his life, but the lives of billions around the world.
Papio is an expert on Dante and medieval & Renaissance Italy, and has taught courses and authored many works about these topics. He is available to discuss:
-- Why “The Divine Comedy” is still such a strong basis for modern fiction 700 years after it was first written
-- Why Dante wrote “The Divine Comedy” in the first place, and the allegories of his depictions of Hell in “The Inferno”
-- The mistakes and oversimplifications of Dante’s work that Brown makes in his new book
-- The religious impact “The Divine Comedy” had when it was first written, and why Brown may have downplayed the religious angles in his new book after the firestorm he created with his breakout hit “The Da Vinci Code”
-- The generally positive influence Brown has on medieval studies, and why readers of Brown’s “Inferno” should tackle “The Divine Comedy” next
-- Some things readers should keep in mind if they choose to read Dante after completing Brown’s book this summer
Papio’s CV can be found at his website, www.umass.edu/italian/people/profiles/papio.html.
To speak with him, or to request his thoughts on Dan Brown’s “Inferno” and Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” please contact:
Jared SharpeNews and Media Relations -- University of Massachusetts AmherstPhone: 413-545-3809Email: jsharpe[at]admin.umass.eduwww.umass.edu/newsoffice