On October 9, the Swedish Academy awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature to Dario Fo, the Italian playwright who is most known for his attacks on the Roman Catholic Church. His most famous work, “Mistero Buffo” (“Comic Mystery”), was branded by the Vatican in 1977 as the “most blasphemous show in the history of television”; it is not surprising, then, that the Vatican expressed astonishment when it learned that Fo had been given the Nobel Prize.
William Donohue released the following statement on Fo’s selection:
“I am well aware of the extent to which literature has become thoroughly politicized and debased in the West. Giving the Nobel Prize in Literature to an anti-Catholic bigot, and to a man who describes his own scatological work as ‘grotesque,’ settles the issue: the deans of literature enjoy celebrating what the common folk regard as trash.
“It is not accurate to maintain, as one Italian critic did, that this prize means that ‘everything changes, even literature changes.’ No, for that would suggest that the vector of change in the humanities has been on a course other than decline. Even more unbelievable is the comment by the Swedish Academy that Fo ‘has opened our eyes to abuses and injustices.’ That this can be said about a man whose defense of Stalinism is as well known as his hatred of Catholicism proves that the ladies and gentlemen who chose Fo have been blinded from reality for decades.”