Sunday, October 16, 2011

Harold Pinter | Superfluities Redux:

Pinter’s style has been far more influential than his substance — a misfortune if ever there was one. There are few American or British dramatists who have not been affected by Pinter’s heightened, staccato dialogue; but what his acolytes like David Mamet have lacked has been a broader concern with the ways that power is disseminated, domestically and politically, among the strong and the weak, and how this power emerges through the most intimate as well as the most public of relationships. The cool Martin Crimp is one of the few working dramatists who seems to have most interestingly absorbed both of Pinter’s different formal and political legacies. Still, for many writers, what Pinter wrote about Samuel Beckett stands as a meaningful comment on Pinter’s own plays:

The farther he goes the more good it does me. I don’t want philosophies, tracts, dogmas, creeds, way outs, truths, answers, nothing from the bargain basement. He is the most courageous, remorseless writer going and the more he grinds my nose in the shit the more I am grateful to him. He’s not fucking me about, he’s not leading me up any garden, he’s not slipping me any wink, he’s not flogging me a remedy or a path or a revelation or a basinful of breadcrumbs, he’s not selling me anything I don’t want to buy, he doesn’t give a bollock whether I buy or not, he hasn’t got his hand over his heart. Well, I’ll buy his goods, hook, line and sinker, because he leaves no stone unturned and no maggot lonely. He brings forth a body of beauty. His work is beautiful.