Friday, December 26, 2008

Harold Pinter, 78

Goldberg and McCann finally got Stanley -- at least if Meg's pro-non-conformity line at the end of *The Birthday Party* was, as Harold Pinter himself claimed, the most important he ever wrote. ("Stan, don't let them tell you what to do!") Pinter died on Christmas Eve.

The plaudits flowed in, along with the Nobel three years ago. The *New York Times* obit is here.

Johann Hari at *The Huffington Post* has a contrary view. He criticizes Pinter's plays for being reductible to cliches (which is silly, like asserting that *Othello* says that jealousy is bad, and nothing more)-- but he also points out Pinter's anti-Americanism.

I deeply respected and admired Pinter's work, but he's not the sort of playwright you can cuddle up with, you know?

Bobo saw Pinter himself in *Old Times* in L.A. in the mid-'80s, with Ursula Andress; considered stopping by the stage door; chickened out.
Wouldn't have known what to say. Wouldn't have been sure where to put the pauses.

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