The Playgoer: Quote of the Day

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quote of the Day

“Davies’ papers are in Sidcup because that’s where they are…Aston fiddles with his plugs because he likes doing it.”

-Harold Pinter, responding to student questions about The Caretaker.  A 1966 letter he wrote to respond to questions from a class of (optimistic) students has just been unearthed.

3 comments:

George Hunka said...

Unremarkable, really; Pinter always denied that there was any kind of underlying symbolism to his plays, and was always impatient of those who tried to impose a symbolic interpretation. Not unlike those two moviegoers at the end of Woody Allen's Stardust Memories, walking out of a film:

Fan #1: What do you think the Rolls Royce represented?

Fan #2: I think that represented his car.

Anonymous said...

Just because a writer claims not to intend a meaning, it doesn't mean there isn't one. If Davies' papers were in Chelsea or Hampstead that would mean something very different. The sound Sidcup is faintly risible and it's in S.E. London which has its own set of cultural meanings. If that car were a Yugo... This faux naivete on the part of people who know better fools no-one.

The Playgoer said...

You picked a fave of mine, George! Another, of course is Beckett's "If I knew who Godot was I would have said so in the play."

I agree with Anon about the coyness of such playwright statements. Yet I don't fault them. Why should they do all the work for the audience! Or to put it more seriously, they have the right to deliberate ambiguity.