Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, unleashed his new novel Inferno upon readers today and, as you have probably guessed from its title (if not from the massive publicity campaign that has accompanied the run-up to its release), the story is based on the first canticle of Dante’s Commedia. As the fourth book in Brown’s hugely popular Robert Langdon series, Inferno has a lot to live up to, not least because of its resonances with one of the most famous texts of all time. Dante-scholar, A.N. Wilson, reviewing the book for the Daily Mail, claims Brown’s new novel is ‘twaddle, but at least it’s entertaining twaddle’. However Professor Stephen Milner (Manchester University) took to the airwaves today to discuss the latest Dante-inspired work of fiction, and spoke rather less disparagingly of the American author’s latest offering.
Whatever your thoughts on Dan Brown’s Inferno, it has certainly sparked a renewed interest in Dante. Hopefully we’ll have a massive influx of new medievalists in the not-so-distant future, inspired by Professor Robert Langdon’s investigations.
Listen again to the Radio 5 Live interview with Professor Milner here (scroll to 1:46:00)