Dasein, Red Elephant.

Pinter: Ambivalent Dramatist


I've been taking a break from blogging to try to work on several college essays. One in particular, focuses on the use of language in Harold Pinter's plays. I'm not particularly interested in Pinter's work but hopefully I'll get to learn something new about how language is used in the theatrical platform.

In his Nobel Lecture, Pinter elaborates on the disconnection of meaning behind drama:

Truth in drama is forever elusive. You never quite find it but the search for it is compulsive. The search is clearly what drives the endeavour. The search is your task. More often than not you stumble upon the truth in the dark, colliding with it or just glimpsing an image or a shape which seems to correspond to the truth, often without realising that you have done so. But the real truth is that there never is any such thing as one truth to be found in dramatic art. There are many. These truths challenge each other, recoil from each other, reflect each other, ignore each other, tease each other, are blind to each other. Sometimes you feel you have the truth of a moment in your hand, then it slips through your fingers and is lost.

Pinter is not difficult to read as he doesn't seem to enjoy demonstrating his erudite knowledge, unlike the pompous but entertaining Tom Stoppard. However, when one reads his plays, one encounters an irresistable urge to understand the purpose of each individual's conversation. It's somehow reassuring to know that every sentence goes somewhere, refers to something and is not just ambigious chatter that fills the silence inbetween.
More to come on Pinter.

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