Atlanta Podcasters Go To Hell With ‘The Divined Comedy’

Myke Johns / WABE


It seems like there is a podcast for everything now. If you can identify some niche interest, it’s likely that there are super-fans out there gleefully picking it apart. One notable recent example is “The West Wing Weekly,” which is examining the entire series of the television show “The West Wing” one episode at a time. So with that format in mind, why not a 14th century Italian poem about hell?

“The Divined Comedy” is a podcast which is devoted to talking about Dante Alighieri’s “The Inferno” one canto at a time, taking plenty of detours into pop culture along the way.

Hosts Paul Cantrell and David Fountain began “midway in their life’s journey” in July and plan on covering the entirety of Alighieri’s fantasy about traveling through the nine levels of Hell before moving on to “Purgatorio” and finally “Paradiso.” That’s one hundred cantos in all.

Billing themselves as “The Only Dante Podcast You’ll Ever Need, Ostensibly,” Cantrell plays the role of a sort of cheerleader for Dante, encouraging Fountain through his first reading of the book.

“For a poem that is seven hundred years old,” Fountain said, “you can find a remarkable amount of modern lessons in it, and it withstands a lot of poking and prodding.”

In interjecting references and asides to Peter Gabriel, Huey Lewis and “The Road Warrior” to name just a few of their many tangents, their hope is to get people reading along.

“Our goal is really to get people into this poem who wouldn’t necessarily get into it otherwise,” Cantrell explained, “and we’re trying to have little fun along the way.”

“The Divined Comedy” podcast can be found on iTunes.