Sunday, October 16, 2005

We can't wait for the acceptance speech

British playwright Harold Pinter, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature on Oct. 13, is known for his precise use of language.

The New York Times says: "So precise and pared down is his prose, so artful his use of pauses and omissions to invoke discomfort, foreboding and miscommunication that he has his own adjective, Pinteresque, signifying a peculiar kind of atmospheric unease. ... Mr. Pinter dispenses with the easy comforts of fluent speech and has his characters speak in non sequiturs and sentence fragments, interrupt one another, fail to listen, fail to understand. He uses language to convey miscommunication and lack of understanding rather than share comprehension."

I've only seen one Pinter production live, a lesser 1976 work called "No Man's Land" almost 20 years later at the Criterion Center Stage Right in NYC. It involved Jason Robards, Christopher Plummer and a lot of drinking. (On stage, not in the audience.) But it was, indeed, Pinteresque.

For a local spin on Pinter, check out UT professor Francis Gillen's Pinter Review here.

-Michael K

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