Well, as you'll all have noticed, over the Christmas break Harold Pinter finally, sadly, kicked the bucket. You can google countless obits of the Big Man yourself, but I enjoyed this piece by John Peter from yesterday's Sunday Times:

Harold could be difficult, oh yes. Like so many of his characters, he deployed attack as a means of self-defence and investigation. No other dramatist has understood, let alone dramatised with such frank and shocking understanding, the needs and perils of human relations. Much has been written about his plays as examples of territorial invasion and menacing invaders; but the fact is that in most of the plays the invader is invited in by the occupant in an act of defensive hospitality (more...)

Update: also a nice piece, The Eloquent Silence of Harold Pinter, over at Obit Magazine.

Further update: I note that the Literary Saloon yesterday linked to an idiotic article in the Sunday Times entitled Pinter and the odd literary law of geniuses with crazy politics. Worth saying, I think, that one of the most admirable things about Pinter was his "crazy politics" -- hating war and the nation states that cause them, madness!

Readers Comments

  1. On the Further Update: what upset me was less the shameful Times article but that it was linked to by The Literary Saloon without comment. Do people really think this isn't anything other than small-minded London journalists doing what they've always done to great minds?

    "It is simply silly to compare American foreign policy with Nazi imperialism". We should remember that Murdoch's empire compared Milosevic and Saddam to Hitler in order to facilitate aggression. After a million dead in Iraq and Afghanistan, what else would Ms Marrin compare it to?

    It might also be pointed out that Pinter was not a literary genius for nothing. Many people of course could not see it and wondered why he didn't produce plays, for instance, like that nice Alan Ayckbourn. No doubt they'd call his plays crazy. As you say, all the better for it. His political speeches were a breath of bracing air in an otherwise fetid arena.

  2. William Patrick Wend Monday 29 December 2008

    Thank you for commenting about that stupid Sunday Times article. My first thought was the same as yours: that Pinter's "crazy" politics was one of his best traits.

  3. I've never been terribly impressed by the Saloon's politics anyway ("free traders all the way", I seem to recall being the basic thrust; plus they love Samantha Power).

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