Dario Fo

Dario Fo : Framing, Festival, and the Folkloric Imagination

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This study of the Italian Nobel playwright and master performer, Dario Fo, will be of interest to scholars and students of popular performance and contemporary European theatre. Dario Fo: Framing, Festival, and the Folkloric Imagination is an interdisciplinary study of Fo's use of framing techniques, based on popular performance and informed by popular culture.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 156 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 17.78mm | 453.59g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739151118
  • 9780739151112

Review quote

The awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Dario Fo in 1997 has not yet dispelled skepticism among critics about even his best work's capacity to endure. The Swedish Academy itself, after all, lauded Fo for "scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden" rather than for any more specifically literary merit. But this thorough, intelligent analysis of the uniqueness of Fo's achievement convincingly shows how beside the point such caviling may be. Scuderi (Truman State Univ.) studies Fo's work through a folkloristic and anthropological lens, beginning from the insight that his "way of creating a play rejects the supremacy of the written text." He examines how the influence of concepts derived from folk culture, Bakhtinian carnival theory, Gramscian Marxism, and the moral and spiritual exemplarity of Saint Francis of Assisi (central to Lu santu jullare Francesco, 1999, which Scuderi studies in detail) has been formative in the development of Fo's theatrical praxis. The list of English-language studies of Dario Fo is not yet long; Scuderi's relatively brief but well-informed and theoretically savvy contribution goes straight to the top of that list. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty. CHOICE Antonio Scuderi's Dario Fo: Framing, Festival, and the Folkloric Imagination is a fascinating contribution to the ever-growing body of scholarship on the Italian giullare. The author takes an interdisciplinary approach, centred on the crossroads of theatre, performance, folk, and Italian studies. Pragmatically tapping into the fields of sociology and anthropology, Scuderi provides insights into the web of theatrical and literary techniques that constitute the creative scaffolding supporting post-1966 Foian satires and giullarate. Modern Drama Once, Dario Fo was celebrated as author of militant works whose themes were taken from that day's headlines. If his work is to be staged and enjoyed in the future, it will be due to perceptive criticism like that provided by Antonio Scuderi, who probes deep under the surface to locate a Fo rooted in theatrical and folkloric tradition, but willing to challenge and innovate inside that tradition. This is a genuinely original, new look at Dario Fo's theatre. -- Joseph Farrell, University of Strathclyde This learned, complex, and deeply humane study of Dario Fo shows us, in thick description, why this modern-day giullare is an international as well as a national treasure. Scuderi casts new light on several dimensions of Fo's serious play: his 'epic theater' melding of narrative and drama; his informed and plastic re-presentation of history; his transmission of medieval/Renaissance performance traditions; and his imaginative deployment of carnival motifs and the zoomorphic mask. -- Robert Henke, Washington University Dario Fo's deep immersion in folk and popular culture poses a special challenge for the critic. In order to understand Fo's creative oeuvre, one must be versed not only in the history of modern drama, but also the culture and scholarship of storytelling, festival, and popular entertainments in Italy and the wider world that inspired him. Antonio Scuderi, whose previous work has opened to us the energizing force of Fo's popular vision, is more than equal to the task. He moves adroitly from buffo to Bateson, the grotesque to Gramsci, tale-telling to Turner in illuminating the dynamics of Fo's plays and, equally importantly, of his performance. Dario Fo: Framing, Festival, and the Folkloric Imagination is a masterful and illuminating work, an indispensable key to Fo's creative and critical achievement. -- Richard Bauman, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Indiana University-Bloomingtonshow more

About Antonio Scuderi

Antonio Scuderi is professor of Italian at Truman State University.show more

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Introduction, Scope, and Methodology Chapter 2: Metacommunication and the Interpretive Frame Chapter 3: Ennobling Folk Culture and Re-Presenting History Chapter 4: The European Carnival from Liminal to Liminoid Chapter 5: The Carnival Frame and Zoomorphic Symbolism Chapter 6: Dario Fo and The Holy Jester Francisshow more

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