View Full Version : Pinter Rant

09-12-2005, 11:49 AM
“Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn't happening. It didn't matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.”

I thought he rather over-stated the case, but i guess he feels it's his duty to speak out, especially as his health is poor, and i guess it's somehow an appropriate platform as Nobel himself set up the prize to atone for inventing TNT....

More quotes here (http://mathaba.net/0_index.shtml?x=484946) ... What do we reckon?

09-12-2005, 12:19 PM
i suppose it came as no major surprise.

Billlington writing in the Guardian yesterday dwelt on his 'performance' as much as what was said - reminding us that pinter is a master of the theatrical and used this to his advantage when accepting the award via satellite - he stage managed the affair and i suppose good luck to him

09-12-2005, 12:35 PM
stayed up to watch it despite having to get up at 5 the next morning... felt it was important somehow... really enjoyed his initial discussion of the creative process & the way a line or an image can give rise to a whole world... he drew a line between literary morality & that in reality... in literature any contradictions can & should coexist, but in the real world the same is impossible... this led to his verbal assault...

while it was an intensely rhetorical display it was brilliantly done... pretty powerful bit of theatre really & rather moving... when stated in such bald terms it is clear that he does have quite a big point & a good one... his delivery (with some lines being classic pinter... i.e. the bush speech section with the whole 'my god is good. bin laden's god is bad. saddam's god is bad, except he has no god. he is a barbarian. we are not barbarians.') was certainly actorly, but how powerful, with his blanket, his wheelchair, his spectacles & his husky voice... always thought he was a bit of a wanker, still do, but you have to hand him a large measure of respect for having a lot of damn gall... was away yesterday & expected dissensus to be awash with pinter...

speech text is here (http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,6109,1661516,00.html)

well worth reading

09-12-2005, 12:49 PM
Video is here:


10-12-2005, 10:34 AM
Johann Hari has an interesting anti-Pinter article here (http://www.johannhari.com/archive/article.php?id=741) ...

Pinter's politics seem to be all over the place... but I disagree with Hari about his plays, I think they are marvellous...

10-12-2005, 01:15 PM
Johann Hari has an interesting anti-Pinter article here (http://www.johannhari.com/archive/article.php?id=741) ...

Pinter's politics seem to be all over the place... but I disagree with Hari about his plays, I think they are marvellous...

i was shocked reading that article about some of his views about the balkans.

nonetheless, i thought his nobel speech was powerful, scathing and well directed. he referred to a lot of things i knew about anyway, but i found the speech left me feeling very pessimistic about the state of the world.

to my shame, i haven't read any of his work before now, but i think on the strength of this i might well do. any recommendations, mark?

10-12-2005, 09:14 PM
yeh... No Man's Land is my favourite I think.. if you can see the televised version with Ralph Richardson and Gielgud all the better....Gnomic, icily, bleakly lyrical, disturbingly funny... The film of the Caretaker with Donald Pleasance and Alan Bates is also brilliant... Also Old Times, about the fragility of memory and people's attempts to control the past... A Kind of Alaska, about someone waking from a twenty-odd year coma, is perhaps his most haunting... One for the Road his most harrowing... the television version with Alan Bates outstanding...

10-12-2005, 09:50 PM
agree with kpunk above

would also add the birthday party from his early days and mountain language from more recently

and, of course The Homecoming

he also has a sideline as a screenwriter - adapting such notables as French Lieutenant's Woman.

His bbc screenplay for Tender Is The Night in 1985 (i think) was perfect

haroldpinter.org has all the details

11-12-2005, 04:47 PM
am a massive fan of The Room and most of the other early things- don't know any of the later stuff tho. recommendations?

on the Yugoslavia issue I heard him speak at a demo against the Kosovo War. the speech was excellent if I remember but the whole thing was a little dispiriting- marching alongside people with 'KOSOVO IS SERBIAN!' T-shirts left a nasty taste in the mouth

polystyle desu
11-12-2005, 05:08 PM
Late to this , just finished reading Pinter's speech over morning coffee here ...
Thanks for the speech , vid and Hari Article links
What do we reckon ?

Glad he said what he did - there should always be someone (or a multitude) who just up and speaks his / her mind and let's rip .
The silence he mentions is a horrible thing and we all have prolly experienced it in various ways , times and places.
I believe his mention of a growing , seething anger among many Americans against the Bush Admin is accurate and that sentient beings have to realize how burned by Gov's and Corp's we all have been.
For centuries ....
Glad to see him point out Bush's speechwriter's use of 'The American people' , because that's the BS slogans runs these types have used for ages , reminds me of the 'how can you be against the war but support the troops' battle that is going on in almost every community across the country these days.
Same time we have the US Gov. spliting hairs in a battle over the definition of 'Torture' with Cheney loudly 'for' and McCain 'against' while Condi delivered some poor double speak herself on her last star turn through Europe.

Then the Hari article was good to read and illuminating too

11-12-2005, 06:49 PM
am a massive fan of The Room and most of the other early things- don't know any of the later stuff tho. recommendations?

Since all of the stuff that I mentioned above comes after The Room, then .... see above :)