Obszöne Fabeln. Mistero Buffo. Szenische Monologe
Dario Fo; aus dem Italienischem von Peter O. Chotjewitz
. Rotbuch Verlag . Berlin
Language note: German
PQ4866.O2A43 1984 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
Language note: German
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I have had this book for some time and wondered about it. I found an article that helps, mostly by describing Fo's own performance of the three fables in the first half of this book: Joel Schechter, "THEATER IN GUBBIO: Dario Fo's Obscene Fables," Theater, Winter 1982, from Duke University Press online journals. The article is very helpful. Fo is a "cultural historian, political activist, director, scene and costume designer, ballad singer." As Schechter writes, "His narratives of repression and resistance to it are 'obscene' insofar as they would have been declared blasphemous or treasonous by medieval church authorities, nobility and scholars." The "obscene fables" are three scenic monologues published in Italian in 1982. "His first tale ["Der Aufstand von Bologna"] concerns the revolt of a large band of Bolognese citizens in 1324. The revolt is not prominently featured in history books, for reasons that become apparent as the story unfolds. After they suffered huge losses in misguided religious wars, angry Bolognese citizens rebelled against papal legates and the Provencal troops protecting the Vatican’s emissaries. The papal delegation, well-supplied with food and whores inside a fortress, found itself besieged by a people’s army that used the only weapon available to it at the time: its own excrement. After eleven days, during which excrement was constantly thrown over the fortress walls, the refined papal sensibilities could stand no more. The Provencal troops and legates left the region under a shower of human ordure. Fo narrates his story with zest, cheerfully catapulting imaginary buckets of shit over the fortress wall; visibly reacting to the smell of it; explaining how everyone passing the town was asked to donate ammunition; and how children were asked to contribute twice, to equal or outperform adults." In the third fable, "Lucius und der Esel," "the poet accidentally skips part of the recipe; by drinking the potion he turns into a donkey, much to his surprise. Soon after this change, the donkey is forced to carry the lovely daughter of a wealthy household, when she and the animal are kidnapped by bandits. Bearing the mind of a man, the body of a donkey, and the beautiful girl on his back, the poet undergoes another unexpected transformation: he becomes sexually aroused. As if it isn’t enough trouble to walk on four legs, he has to contend with a fifth erect appendage as well. Fo portrays the sexually excited donkey with great wit. His eyes nearly pop as he scans the various new appendages, adjusting with difficulty to the sprouting organs." The back of this paperback book gives the witty last sentences of this story, making the point that the woman preferred an ass that did not talk but was sexually well endowed to just another man who talks the way many men do.