Yet even Victoria Station, as this is called, could have been written by absolutely nobody else. For the first time in his stage career, Pinter has acknowledged a source, and it turns out to be a curious one, a series of case-reports on patients struck down by Encephalitis Lethargica in the early decades of this century and re-activated in the late sixties by the drug L-DOPA. Anyone would be interested, and perhaps especially Pinter, who has always concentrated at least as much on the submerged nine-tenths of the human personality as on the one-tenths that breaks the surface, and since Landscape and Silence in has made a special study of those areas of the mind in which memory has its sometimes blurred, sometimes surprisingly sharp existence. So he stages an awakening, by a doctor Paul Rogers as caring as sacks of a patient Judi Dench whose disappearance into limbo appears to have been more instant and absolute than any in Awakenings itself.
But recent revivals of The Birthday Party and The Hothouse have shown that Pinter was always exercised by political oppression.
And, as he himself says, he is not the kind of writer who starts out with an explicit programme or artistic grid-map. The creative process is the same whatever he is writing. And I stumble upon things in the act of writing.
In Party Time, for instance, you have this exclusive party and something happening outside on the streets. I suddenly found myself looking at this door, the other characters were still, and through this door came a man who was obviously dead.
But, if I tackle a political theme, I have to do it in my own way. It happens for me.
And then, with luck, it happens on stage. But, if his dramatic method is speculative, his private opinions are unequivocal. And when I ask whether global torture is as prevalent today as when he wrote One For the Road, he becomes fiercely articulate. I regard that as torture. I believe one can legitimately call the American penal system these days a series of gulags.
Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Indonesia. One should also remember that the US is the biggest exporter of torture-weapons in the world, though the UK is not far behind in the league table.
He also talks eloquently about our scant reporting of abuse of human rights. He cites a particularly chilling story - which he saw only in the Herald Tribune - about 15 women who attended a conference in Istanbul where they recounted their experiences in Turkish prisons.
These included being raped and given electric shocks - and as a result they were re-arrested and charged with insulting the state. Pinter was horrified by the story. About the way civil liberties and foreign policy were kept off the election agenda.
About the way Henry Kissinger, who persistently supported the Pinochet regime and who, along with Gerald Ford, gave the nod to Indonesia to invade East Timordeadis still feted at dinner-parties.
Are they, as some claim, minor works by a major dramatist? Or are they products of a unified sensibility that detests any form of cruelty or exploitation?Nov 23, · What a joy to find actors so at ease with the uneasiness of Harold Pinter. In Karen Kohlhaas’s first-rate productions of Pinter’s “Collection” and “A Kind of Alaska” for the Atlantic Location: E.
13th St, Flatiron/U.
Sq. Elizabeth Daryush, the English poetess, was the daughter of British poet laureate Robert Bridges. She was a product of the sophisticated Victorian and Edwardian England.
This article comments on the literary work of playwright Harold Pinter. Many critical commentators have observed that time, is central to Pinter's work. The book "Hurry Up Please Its Time," suggests the politics of Pinter. The Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to Harold Pinter "who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms".
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