Iconoclastic Italian playwright Dario Fo accepted the 1997 Nobel Prize for literature Dec. 7, but introduced the august Swedish Academy to some of his personal brand of anarchic fun in a speech to the Academy in Stockholm. According to various news reports, Fo, author of The Accidental Death of an Anarchist, We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay! and many other political comedies, passed out pages of cartoons making fun of those who decried the award to him. The New York Times reported that Fo gave a short speech congratulating the Academy, saying "Yours is an act of courage that borders on provocation."
Fo, a lifelong communist who has included pointed criticism of business, government and the church in his plays, thanked the academy for encouraging him, through the award, to "continue doing what we set out to do from the start: to attack, with laughter and reason, in song and in mime, every form of oppression and injustice."
-- By Robert Viagas