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Harold Pinter and what it takes to win a Nobel Prize

Includes elements of a March 4, 2004 entry in my old blog.

OK, I guess I'm some sort of barbarian. I had never heard of Harold Pinter. Apparently he's some sort of great writer or something.

Back in March 2004, he announced that he was quitting:

There will be no more plays from the pen of Harold Pinter, Britain's most distinguished living playwright.

In a career spanning more than 40 years, Pinter has produced such masterpieces as The Homecoming, Betrayal, The Birthday Party and The Caretaker. And, although recent work has failed to match in brilliance the glittering gems of the past, he is still the acknowledged grandee of the British stage.

I guess I'm more in Spongebob Squarepants right now. But people seem to like Pinter's stuff. And he hasn't disappeared altogether:

But now it is all over, the 74-year-old told BBC Radio 4's Front Row last night. "I think I've stopped writing plays now, but I haven't stopped writing poems," he said.

"I think I've written 29 plays. Isn't that enough? I think it's enough for me. I've found other forms now."

So let's visit his website and check out some of his poems:

There once was a man from Venus,
Whose head was shaped like a...

Stop! That's one of my favourites. Back to Pinter:


There's no escape.
The big pricks are out.
They'll fuck everything in sight.
Watch your back.

Harold Pinter Februrary 2003

OK, is that poetry or rap music? And more:

American Football
(A Reflection upon the Gulf War)

It works.
We blew the shit out of them.

We blew the shit right back up their own ass
And out their fucking ears.

It works.
We blew the shit out of them.
They suffocated in their own shit!

Praise the Lord for all good things.

We blew them into fucking shit.
They are eating it.

Praise the Lord for all good things.

We blew their balls into shards of dust,
Into shards of fucking dust.

We did it.

Now I want you to come over here and kiss me on the mouth.

Now that I have read poetry, I feel oh-so sophisticated. Very posh. Not like the gutter language you'd hear in some alley.

Well, it impressed the Nobel Committee:

British playwright Harold Pinter, who juxtaposed the brutal and the banal in such works as "The Caretaker" and "The Birthday Party" and made an art form out of spare language and unbearable silence, won the 2005 Nobel Prize in literature Thursday.

Pinter "in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms," the Swedish Academy said. The chilling, understated style of his work even inspired an adjective all his own: Pinteresque.

I think he should continue to refine his "unbearable silence".

So why does he deserve the prize?

"Pinter restored theater to its basic elements: an enclosed space and unpredictable dialogue where people are at the mercy of each other and pretense crumbles," the academy said.


The bad news? He's going to be working on more of that poetry, the stuff I quoted above:

"My energies are going in different directions, certainly into poetry," he said.

In 2003, Pinter published a volume of anti-war poetry about the Iraq conflict, and in 2004 he joined a group of celebrity campaigners calling for Blair to be impeached.

"I'm using a lot of energy more specifically about political states of affairs, which I think are very, very worrying as things stand," he said.

Not the poetry, Harold. Do more of that silence thing. Just a thought.

Actually, maybe the Nobel committee could do more of the silence thing. They've devolved into another West-hating America-bashing transnational progressive elitist institution like the United Nations.

And the Nobel Prize for being the best West-hating America-bashing transnational progressive elitist institution goes to...


Welcome Michelle Malkin readers! Normally I don't make a point of putting this sort of welcome mat out, but in Canada we're running the "Small Dead Blog Awards". There is a link to the main nominations page at the top just under this blog's main tag line, and the panels to the left show the categories in which I've been nominated. We don't have a category for "Most Gutter Language Posing as Literary Blogging", or else Harold Pinter would have been a shoe-in. I'm pointing out the awards because if you follow the links from those panels, you'll see a cross-section of some of the best that Canada has to offer in blogging. If you haven't spent much time reading blogs from north of the 49th, this might be a good time to try them out. If you like what you see, then go ahead and register a vote. They are all worthy nominees. Cheers, eh!

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