English playwright who achieved international success as one of the most complex post-World War II dramatists. Harold Pinter's plays are noted for their use of silence to increase tension, understatement, and cryptic small talk. Equally recognizable are the 'Pinteresque' themes — nameless menace, erotic fantasy, obsession and jealousy, family hatred and mental disturbance.
Various Voices: Prose, Poetry, Politics - Harold Pinter - Google книги
In , Pinter was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. Harold Pinter was born in Hackney, a working-class neighborhood in London's East End, the son of a tailor. Both of his parents were Jewish, born in England. On the outbreak of World War II, Pinter was evacuated from the city to Cornwall; to be wrenched from his parents was a traumatic event for Pinter.
He lived with 26 other boys in a castle on the coast. At the age of 14, he returned to London. Pinter was educated at Hackney Downs Grammar School, where he acted in school productions.
Various Voices: Prose, Poetry, Politics
At school one of Pinter's main intellectual interests was English literature, particularly poetry. He also read works of Franz Kafka and Ernest Hemingway. In he was fined by magistrates for having, as a conscientious objector, refused to do his national service. Pinter had two trials.
Perhaps I'll be called up again in the next war, but I won't go. Following studies at the Central School of Speech and Drama he toured Ireland from to with a Shakespearean troupe. When Pinter was once asked what influence his acting had on his plays he replied, "I had a pretty good notion in my earlier plays of what would shut an audience up; not so much what would make them laugh; that I had no idea about.
After four more years in provincial repertory theatre under the pseudonym David Baron, Pinter began to write for the stage. The Room , originally assigned for Bristol University's drama department, was finished in four days.
His first full-length play, The Birthday Party , was first performed by Bristol University's drama department in and produced in in the West End. The play, which closed with disastrous reviews after one week, dealt in a Kafkaesque manner with an apparently ordinary man who is threatened by strangers for an unknown reason. He tries to run away but is tracked down.
Although most reviewers were hostile, Pinter produced in rapid succession the body of work which made him the master of the comedy of menace. Pinter's major plays originate often from a single, powerful visual image.
They are usually set in a single room, whose occupants are threatened by forces or people whose precise intentions neither the characters nor the audience can define. The struggle for survival or identity dominates the action of his characters. Language is not only used as a means of communication but as a weapon. Beneth the words, there is a silence of fear, rage and domination, fear of intimacy.
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And precisely the repetitiousness, the discontinuity, the circularity of ordinary vernacular speech are here used as formal elements with which the poet can compose his linguistic ballet. By making the spectators uncomfortable, Pinter also secured that they remain glued to what happens next. In the story an estranged son, Teddy, brings his wife Ruth home to London to meet his family, his father Max, a nagging, aggressive ex-butcher, and other tough members of the all-male household. At the end Teddy returns alone to his university job in America. Ruth stays as a mother or whore to his family.
Everyone needs her. Similar motifs — the battle for domination in a sexual context — recur in Landscape and Silence both , and in Old Times , in which the key line is "Normal, what's normal?
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Several of Pinter's plays were originally written for British radio or TV. In the s he also directed several of his dramas. After Betrayal Pinter wrote no new full-length plays until Moonlight From the beginning of the s, Pinter directed a number of stage plays and the American Film Theatre production of Butler Closely associated with the director Peter Hall, he became an associate director of the National Theatre after Hall was nominated as the successor of Sir Lawrence Olivier.
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- Harold Pinter bibliography.
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- Quotations by Harold Pinter - Tanvir's Blog.
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