Friday, December 26, 2008

Harold Pinter

I was going to post on this subject, but it is pretty hard to top Roger Simon's reflections so I will simply link to and quote from them.
But overwhelming much of this were his (to me) increasingly bizarre political views. Nevertheless, there was never a question in my mind that his Nobel Prize for Literature was deserved, although I cringed when he received it because I knew he would seize the opportunity to make ugly and propagandistic statements. Of course, I was right about that - you didn’t have to be Nostradamus.
His politics, I think, was mostly governed by chic, veering as he did to the left in the 1980s to be part of the typical London theater crowd (cf. Vanessa Redgrave). It’s not surprising really that his work was already declining at that point. I would imagine that he was tremendously frustrated by that decline. Pinter was a minimalist and it’s hard for minimalists to evolve without eradicating what they do. So he became something of a crotchety old political man, attacking Thatcher, Blair or whoever else he could blame. But does that invalidate his previous work? Not for me. Art is a larger tent than that.


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