Research Article


DOI :10.26650/LITERA2019-0045   IUP :10.26650/LITERA2019-0045    Full Text (PDF)

Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas and the Problem of Other/Otherness In Fo

Bülent Ayyıldız

Dario Fo is one of the most interesting writers of Italian literature. His play, Johan Padan a la descoverta de le americhe (Johan Padan and The Discovery of the Americas) is welcomed with a grand interest in all Italy. This play criticizes the west-centered historic narration of the story, and mirrors also XVIth century European society and the history of Europe and of the European colonization of the Americas. This article firstly examines the work of Dario Fo, entitled “European colonization of the Americas” as a mirror of social history and of the problem of the other or otherness, considering the fact that literature repeats life. Fo’s work perfectly reflects the perception of the European culture, not only in XVI. Century, but also the understanding of the other, with its general aspects in the whole middle-ages, and during the colonization of the Americas. By studying this important work by Fo, we will observe the colonization of the Americas with the psychological effects on human beings and the concept of the other or otherness. The aim of this study is to examine the drama “Johan Padan” through the ideas presented by Todorov and Eco on the other and the otherness. Examining the reflections of the other by Fo in the light of the historical events about the European colonization of the Americas, presented in an ironic and funny approach in this play entitled “Johan Padan”. Therefore, it can be said that the story of Johan Padan created by Dario Fo is one of the most important examples of counter-history in Italian literature. Dario Fo’s narrative is very precious for us in order to better understand the other or otherness.

DOI :10.26650/LITERA2019-0045   IUP :10.26650/LITERA2019-0045    Full Text (PDF)

Johan Padan A La Descoverta De Le Americhe E Il Problema Dell’Altro In Fo

Bülent Ayyıldız

L’opera teatrale di Dario Fo, Johan Padan a la descoverta de le Americhe, scritta per il cinquecentesimo anniversario delle grandi scoperte geografiche, rappresenta l’esperienza di una vita come attore, regista, scrittore, pittore e comico. Johan Padan è un carattere fittizio in cui si riflettono le avventure di Cristoforo Colombo in un modo comico. Dario Fo, essendo un gran comico che racconta le storie universali e i difetti dell’umanità, nell’opera “Johan Padan” narra la storia e le vicende della gente civilizzata e moderna dell’Europa che scopre il nuovo continente, le Americhe. Fo utilizza però uno stile assai ironico per descrivere gli avvenimenti durante le grandi scoperte e si focalizza, infatti, sulla superficiale superiorità dell’Europa. In realtà, l’opera di Fo è un monologo in cui l’io e l’altro si incontrano. Questo, tuttavia, non è un racconto storico molto famoso, ha un carattere innovativo e in un certo senso assomiglia alle storie di fantascienza, è cioè storia alternativa oppure antistoria. Lo scopo di questo articolo è analizzare l’opera teatrale “Johan Padan”, soffermandosi sul concetto dell’altro così come è stato elaborato da Todorov e da Eco, e di esaminare la riflessione del problema dell’altro in Fo alla luce delle vicende storiche narrate in chiave comica. Il presente saggio si propone di dare un modesto contribuito all’analisi dell’opera teatrale “Johan Padan” di Dario Fo.


EXTENDED ABSTRACT


Dario Fo is one of the most interesting writers of the XXth century Italian literature. His one-man play, Johan Padan a la descoverta de le americhe (Johan Padan and The Discovery of the Americas) is welcomed with a grand interest in all Italy. This one-man play is a kind of critical response of the Italian play writer to the 1992 quincentennial celebrations of the voyage made by Christopher Columbus to the Americas, in other words to the New World. The main theme of the play is based on the story of Johan Padan, who is a fugitive from the Spanish Inquisition. Johan Padan, an unlucky adventurer, accompanies Christopher Columbus on his fourth voyage to the New World. This play criticizes the west-centred historic narration of the story, and mirrors also XVIth century European society and the history of Europe and of the European colonization of the Americas. Dario Fo chooses the colonization period as background to the play. In addition to being a theatrical work, Johan Padan a la descoverta de le americhe (Johan Padan and The Discovery of the Americas) is crucial because of it reflects and deals with the social structure and history of the European colonization of the Americas. This article firstly examines the theatrical work of Dario Fo, entitled “Johan Padan and The Discovery of the Americas” as a mirror of social history and of the problem of the other or otherness, considering the fact that true literature repeats life. Fo’s work perfectly reflects the perception of the European culture, not only in XVIth Century, but also the understanding of the other, with its general aspects, in the whole middle-ages and during the colonization of the Americas. And it should be added that, throughout history, the other (and the otherness) has always been discussed and analysed by many. This attractive but dangerous topic has also found a place in literature, which is a reflection of social and psychological patterns of literature itself. In literary works, the roles of being the other, which are constructed by society and history, are the roots of the otherness. In this epic play, Johan Padan and The Discovery of the Americas, the Christians and colonists encounter the other, not always only as enemies, but sometimes, as a kind of lover, friend or persons who share the same destiny. As mentioned in the play, when Johan Padan arrives in the Americas, the protagonist encounters the natives: but he is horrified by the violence committed against the natives by his fellow Europeans, since he accepts the people of Americas as others. Therefore, by studying this important work by Fo, we will observe the colonization of the Americas with the psychological/spiritual effects on human beings and the concept of the other or otherness. In fact, the work of Dario Fo is a monologue between me and the other (and the otherness). The story of Fo is quite different from the common and usual historical narratives: it is quite innovative; in a sense, it is a seductive history of a kind of science fiction, an alternative history or anti-historical story. In other words key to understanding Fo’s theatrical work, the main argument depends on the ideas presented by T. Todorov and Umberto Eco on the other and the otherness. These two intellectuals, Todorov and Eco, delineate the concept of the other or otherness, not only as a notion but also, as a human behaviour which determines the relations amongst all human beings. As a result, it could be said that examining the reflections of the other by Fo, in the light of the historical events of the European colonization of the Americas, presented in an ironic and funny approach in this play entitled “Johan Padan”, will help the modern reader to understand the concept of otherness. Therefore, it can be said that the story of Johan Padan, created by Dario Fo, is one of the most important examples of counter-history, not only in Italian literature, but also in world literature. Thence, Dario Fo’s narrative is very precious to us in order to better understand the other or otherness.


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References

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APA

Ayyıldız, B. (2019). Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas and the Problem of Other/Otherness In Fo. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, 29(2), 143-158. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2019-0045


AMA

Ayyıldız B. Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas and the Problem of Other/Otherness In Fo. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies. 2019;29(2):143-158. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2019-0045


ABNT

Ayyıldız, B. Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas and the Problem of Other/Otherness In Fo. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, [Publisher Location], v. 29, n. 2, p. 143-158, 2019.


Chicago: Author-Date Style

Ayyıldız, Bülent,. 2019. “Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas and the Problem of Other/Otherness In Fo.” Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies 29, no. 2: 143-158. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2019-0045


Chicago: Humanities Style

Ayyıldız, Bülent,. Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas and the Problem of Other/Otherness In Fo.” Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies 29, no. 2 (Feb. 2023): 143-158. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2019-0045


Harvard: Australian Style

Ayyıldız, B 2019, 'Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas and the Problem of Other/Otherness In Fo', Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 143-158, viewed 4 Feb. 2023, https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2019-0045


Harvard: Author-Date Style

Ayyıldız, B. (2019) ‘Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas and the Problem of Other/Otherness In Fo’, Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, 29(2), pp. 143-158. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2019-0045 (4 Feb. 2023).


MLA

Ayyıldız, Bülent,. Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas and the Problem of Other/Otherness In Fo.” Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, vol. 29, no. 2, 2019, pp. 143-158. [Database Container], https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2019-0045


Vancouver

Ayyıldız B. Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas and the Problem of Other/Otherness In Fo. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies [Internet]. 4 Feb. 2023 [cited 4 Feb. 2023];29(2):143-158. Available from: https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2019-0045 doi: 10.26650/LITERA2019-0045


ISNAD

Ayyıldız, Bülent. Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas and the Problem of Other/Otherness In Fo”. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies 29/2 (Feb. 2023): 143-158. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2019-0045



TIMELINE


Submitted09.09.2019
First Revision08.10.2019
Last Revision09.10.2019
Accepted14.10.2019
Published Online01.12.2019

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