Thursday, December 25, 2008

So long Harold Pinter

Sad to wake up and read of the death of Harold Pinter, one of my favorite playwrights. I have fond memories of working on scenes from The Birthday Party way back in undergrad days. And then, just a few years back, seeing a brilliant production of The Caretaker with Patrick Stewart on B'way.

Pinter was profoundly influenced by Sam Beckett, the greatest playwright of the 20th century and continued exploring the existential themes of all the great absurdists.

Diagnosed with cancer in the early part of the new millennium, he gave up theatre to focus on political writing. I admired his courage for using his 2005 Nobel prize opportunity to deliver a speech from his wheelchair denouncing US policy involving decades of oppression and bullying in Iraq and around the world.

The Guardian has the definitive obit and the NYT posts this obit. You can view Pinter's Nobel prize lecture here.

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