Thursday, December 20, 2007

Onward and Upward with the Arts: Demolition Man: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker:

Over the years, Pinter’s work has inspired a journal (The Pinter Review), added words to the English language (the Oxford English Dictionary lists “Pinteresque,” “Pinterism,” “Pinterian,” and “Pinterishness” as acceptable terms), won dozens of awards, including the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 2005, and made him an object of perpetual public fascination in Britain. (His recent performance in Samuel Beckett’s “Krapp’s Last Tape,” at the Royal Court—he began his career as an actor—sold out its entire run in sixteen minutes.) No other British playwright since Noël Coward has so dominated and defined the theatrical landscape of his time. Even Coward, who hated the New Wave that put him out of fashion, considered Pinter an exception. “Your writing absolutely fascinates me,” he wrote to Pinter in 1965 after seeing his third full-length play, “The Homecoming.” “You cheerfully break every rule of the theatre that I was brought up to believe in, except the cardinal one of never boring for a split-second. I love your choice of words, your resolute refusal to explain anything and the arrogant, but triumphant demands you make on the audience’s imagination. I can well see why some clots hate it, but I belong to the opposite camp—if you will forgive the expression.”

1:16 PM