The Playgoer: Harold Pinter, 1930-2008

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Harold Pinter, 1930-2008

Sad Christmas tidings this year: Harold Pinter finally succumbed to cancer last night.

And in yet another NY Times phenomenon, the obit is written, in part, by another dead man, Mel Gussow. Guess they've been saving this one in store for a while.

(I believe the last time this happened was when Bob Hope's was written by the previously deceased Vincent Canby.)

Various other interesting takes from around the web:

Michael Billington, The Guardian

Pinter was an all-round man of the theatre of a kind we're unlikely to see again: a practical graduate of weekly rep and touring theatre who all the time nursed his own private vision of the universe. And that, in the end, was his great achievement. Like all truly first-rate writers, he mapped out his own country with its own distinctive topography. It was a place haunted by the shifting ambivalence of memory, flecked by uncertainty, reeking of sex and echoing with strange, mordant laughter. It was, in short, Pinterland and it will induce recognition in audiences for as long as plays are still put on in theatres.

(Terrific Guardian slideshow here, btw)

Newsday's Linda Weiner.

And two views of Pinter's politics from the London Independent: pro and con.

Plus, one of the most entertaining Pinter sites in general: The Harold Pinter Archive Blog! ("British Library Curators on Cataloguing the Pinter Archive")

And, of course,

Update 12/26: Another cool slideshow now on

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