Thursday 13 March 2014

Fo, Dario "My first seven years (plus a few more)"

Fo, Dario "My first seven years (plus a few more)" (Italian: Il Paese dei Mezaràt: I miei primi sette anni (e qualcuno in più)) - 2004

I know this is not one of the books for which Dario Fo received his Nobel Prize because he wrote it seven years later.

However, you can see from this book how the writer Dario Fo developed from a small child into a Nobel Laureate. And he is not just a famous writer, he is also an actor and comedian. And just listening to his stories makes you believe that he is a very good one. He is the little boy who always makes everyone laugh, especially during the hard times of the war.

The title and the story of the book come from a quote by Bruno Bettelheim: "All I ask is that you give me the first seven years of the life of a man. It’s all there; you can keep the rest." Luckily for us, Dario Fo carries on a little longer for this, so we can also look into the Italian Resistance against Fascism.

Some of the stories are quite funny and the whole book is quite easy to read. I am interested in reading more of this author.

One quote that I really liked:
"When a farmer dies who knows the land and the story of the people working it, when a wise man dies, who knows how to read the moon and the sun, the wind and the flight of the birds, ... not just one man dies. It's a whole library that dies."

From the back cover:

"An extraordinary coming-of-age memoir by the Nobel-Prize-winning playwright.

My First Seven Years is Dario Fo's fantastic, enchanting memoir of his youth spent in Northern Italy on the shores of Lago Maggiore. As a child, Fo grew up in a picturesque village teeming with glass-blowers, smugglers and storytellers. Of his teenage years, Fo recounts the struggles of the Fascists and Partisans, the years of World War II, and his own tragicomic experience trying to desert the Fascist army.

In a series of colorful vignettes, Fo draws us into a remarkable early life filled with characters and anecdotes that would become the inspiration for his own creative genius."

Dario Fo "who emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden" received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1997.

I contribute to this page: Read the Nobels and you can find all my blogs about Nobel Prize winning authors and their books here.

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