1997 Nobel Prize in Literature – Wikipedia




The 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature was once awarded to the Italian playwright and actor Dario Fo (1926–2016) “who emulates the jesters of the Center Ages in scourging authority and upholding the honour of the downtrodden.”[1] Fo was the 6th Italian to be decided on for the award since Eugenio Montale in 1975 and the primary Italian playwright to be selected since Luigi Pirandello in 1934.[2]


Dario Fo is one in every of fashionable political theater’s main figures whose works are in line with medieval farce and the buffoonery of commedia dell’arte, and that have been carried out now not most effective within the theater, but additionally in parks, prisons and faculties. Fo was once embroiled in lots of controversies in his local Italy – with the federal government, the police and the Catholic Church. His maximum carried out performs come with Morte accidentale di un anarchico (“Unintended Demise of an Anarchist”, 1970), Non Si Paga! Non Si Paga! (“Can not Pay? Would possibly not Pay!”, 1974), Coppia aperta (“The Open Couple”, 1983), and Il Papa e los angeles strega (“The Pope and the Witch”, 1989).[3][4]


On 9 October 1997, Fo, using alongside the Rome-Milan highway on the time of the announcement, was once alerted to the inside track when a automobile drew up along his with a huge placard within the window exclaiming “Dario, you have got received the Nobel prize!”[2] 20-year-old TV big name Ambra Angiolini was once along him within the automobile recording an interview, so Fo’s preliminary response was once captured on movie.[5]

The announcement got here as a surprise to Italians and non-Italians alike. Umberto Eco expressed pleasure that the award were given to somebody who “does now not belong to the normal instructional global.”[6] Alternatively, 86-year-old Italian literary critic Carlo Bo was once mystified: “I will have to be too previous to know. What does this imply? That the whole thing adjustments, even literature has modified.”[2] Fo’s fellow Italian laureate Rita Levi-Montalcini expressed bewilderment when requested for her ideas and puzzled if Fo have been Italian.[7]Mario Luzi, a poet thought to be a most likely subsequent Italian recipient on the time, slammed the telephone down on one reporter: “I’m going to say most effective this. I have with regards to had it as much as right here!”[2]

Response from the English-speaking global was once additionally specifically fierce, with representatives from many English-speaking nations relating to Fo’s paintings as retro and out of date, belonging to the Seventies and Nineteen Eighties.[8] U.S. playwright Tony Kushner, then again, expressed his approval, writing: “[Fo] has devoted his genius to creating the whole thing he touches controversial. [It] is courageous and maybe even reckless as it topics Literature, and prizes, and Newspapers of File, to the Fo impact”.[9] The Roman Catholic Church, having up to now censured Fo’s performs that are described to begin with by means of some critics as “reasonably light-weight”, additionally criticized the Academy’s resolution to bestow him the prize.[10]Salman Rushdie and Arthur Miller were favoured to obtain the prize, however a committee member was once later quoted as pronouncing that they’d were “too predictable, too widespread.”[11]

When he authorised the award, Fo offered a specifically devised piece referred to as Contra jogulatores obloquentes (In opposition to Jesters of Irreverent Speech) along some artwork, with this later being described as “without a doubt probably the most flamboyantly theatrical and comical acceptance speech ever noticed on the Swedish Academy.”[12]


  1. ^ The Nobel Prize in Literature 1997 nobelprize.org
  2. ^ a b c d Gumbel, Andrew (10 October 1997). “Nobel Prize: Dario Fo, the showman, wins Nobel literature prize”. The Unbiased. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  3. ^ Dario Fo – Details nobelprize.org
  4. ^ Dario Fo britannica.com
  5. ^ Mitchell, Tony. Dario Fo: Folks’s Court docket Jester (1999), p. 229
  6. ^ Mitchell 1999, pp. 230–231
  7. ^ Mitchell 1999, p. 231
  8. ^ Mitchell 1999, p. xiii
  9. ^ Mitchell 1999, pp. 231–232
  10. ^ Julie Carroll, ” ‘Pope and Witch’ Attracts Catholic Protests” Archived 14 February 2009 on the Wayback Device, The Catholic Spirit, 27 February 2007. Retrieved 13 October 2007.
  11. ^ “Nobel Stuns Italy’s Left-wing Jester”, The Occasions, 10 October 1997, rpt. in Archives of a listing at hartford-hwp.com. Retrieved 17 October 2007.
  12. ^ Mitchell 1999, p. xiv

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