Postmodern Files:

Pinter's Nobel Lecture was pre-recorded, and shown on video on 7 December 2005, in Börssalen at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm. [ text ]

... "Son of Sam"

"Homecoming" in Ethiopia ? [ LUL ]

Shows to direct... Not in the Fall 2006 (see Mamet) *
1958: "There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false." "I don't know how music can influence writing, but it has been very important for me, both jazz and classical music. I feel a sense of music continually in writing, which is a different matter from having been influenced by it." (Harold Pinter in Playwrights at Work, ed. by George Plimpton, 2000)

Amazon If "Amadeus" -- the two?

Muller: Hamletmachine




HOMECOMING: "The play is concerned with the return of Teddy, a professor of philosophy at an American college, to the North London house occupied by his father, uncle, and brothers, all of whom seem to operate on the fringes of working-class society, some distance from respectability. Teddy is accompanied by his wife, Ruth, who then finds herself at the centre of a series of Pinteresque power-struggles. The men's attitudes towards women are decidedly ambivalent, as represented by the father, Max's, description of his late wife: “Mind you, she wasn't such a bad woman. Even though it made me sick just to look at her rotten stinking face, she wasn't such a bad bitch”. Max presents his wife in an even more ambivalent light later on when he says: “I've never had a whore under this roof before. Ever since your mother died”. So, the mother is represented as having been both a mother-figure and a prostitute. This madonna/whore binary can be taken as representative of the archetypical models for women that are perpetuated by the conventions of a patriarchal society. One of the primary functions of The Homecoming is arguably to expose the limitations of these archetypes. Jessie, the dead mother, is a figure whose absence is central to the play. Paradoxically, she is almost more of a looming presence in her absence than the figures who actually occupy the stage, an absent presence which is visually symbolized by the “square arch shape” demanded by the initial stage direction." * Harold Pinter wrote The Homecoming in 1964 and Peter Hall directed it at the Aldwych Theatre the following year... [BBC]


1970: 'I can sum up none of my plays. I can describe none of them, except to say: That is what happened. That is what they said. That is what they did.' You can't easily sum Pinter up in a journalistic phrase, though many have tried with tags such as 'Master of the Pause' or 'Comedy of Menace'; but if I had to describe him to someone totally unfamiliar with his work it would be as an instinctively radical poet whose chosen medium is drama.' * Michael Billington 1997

The Homecoming by Harold Pinter Grove Press (June 1, 1966) ISBN: 0802151051
THE HOMECOMING (1965), the story of an estranged son who brings his wife home to meet his family, perhaps the most enigmatic of all his works. It won a Tony Award, the Whitbread Anglo-American Theater Award, and the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award. After teaching philosophy at an American university for six years, Teddy brings his wife Ruth home to London to meet his family: his father Max, a nagging, aggressive ex-butcher, and other member of the all-male household. At the end Teddy returns alone to his university job in America. No one needs him and he needs no one. Ruth stays as a mother or whore to his family. Everyone needs her.

Complete Works One : The Birthday Party/the Room/the Dumb Waiter/a Slight Ache/a Night Out/the Black and White/the Examination

The Birthday Party and the Room: Two Plays Grove Press; Revised edition (April 1, 1971) ISBN: 0802151140

Betrayal Grove Press (May 1, 1979) ISBN: 0802130801

"Pinter's dialogue is as tightly - perhaps more tightly - controlled than verse," Martin Esslin writes in The People Wound (1970). "Every syllable, every inflection, the succession of long and short sounds, words and sentences, is calculated to nicety. And precisely the repetitiousness, the discontinuity, the circularity of ordinary vernacular speech are here used as formal elements with which the poet can compose his linguistic ballet."

Harold Pinter by Mark Batty literary criticism

Harold Pinter and the New British Theatre by D. Keith Peacock literary history and analysis

Pinter at 70: A Caseboook by Lois G. Gordon (Editor) analysis, photography

Pinter, the Playwright by Martin Esslin literary criticism

Sharp Cut: Harold Pinter's Screenplays and the Artistic Process by Steven H. Gale literary analysis

The Cambridge Companion to Harold Pinter by Peter Raby (Editor) guide

The Films of Harold Pinter by Steven H. Gale (Editor) criticism

The Life and Work of Harold Pinter by Michael Billington biography

The Theatrical Critic as Cultural Agent: Constructing Pinter, Orton and Stoppard as Absurdist Playwrights by Yael Zarhy-Levo guide, analysis

"Pinter has won many awards for his work, including the Shakespeare Prize (Hamburg), the European Prize for Literature (Vienna), the Pirandello Prize (Palermo), the David Cohen British Literature Prize, the Laurence Olivier Award and the Moliere D'Honneur for lifetime achievement. In 1999 he was made a Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature, in 2001 he was awarded the S.T. Dupont Golden Pen Award for a Lifetime's Distinguished Service to Literature and in 2002 he was made a Companion of Honour for services to Literature."
BBCi Authors [Find a fact-laiden biography and video clip]

Official Website: Find a wealth of information about Pinter's plays, screenplays, books, poetry, and detailed descriptions of theatrical productions. Also features essays and speeches by the writer on topics including the war in Iraq, Serbia and Kosovo, and the freedom of speech.

"Pinter's plays obviously belong to their era, The Birthday Party is of the late 1950s, The Caretaker and The Homecoming belong to the 1960s and there are references to that world. And yet his plays make total sense when they're revived nearly 50 years later. I don't see any contradiction or paradox in this. I think all plays operate on two levels. They are both expressions of the time in which they are written and they're expressions of eternal truths in human behaviour and that applies any first rate writer. So I don't think Pinter's plays will date.... I think they will be available down the decades because they're dealing with qualities in human life, particularly insecurity, uncertainty, fear and terror that remain permanent."
Pinter at the BBC

Pinter: "If you press me for a definition, I'd say that what goes on in my plays is realistic, but what I'm doing is not realism." Playwrights and Acting: Acting Methodologies for Brecht, Ionesco, Pinter, and Shepard Book by James H. McTeague; Greenwood Press, 1994

nobel lecture 2005 (including video)

Harold Pinter wrote The Homecoming in 1964 and Peter Hall directed it at the Aldwych Theatre the following year. The idea of filming The Homecoming was conceived by the American Film Theatre, whereby a series of productions were commissioned, filmed, screened for a limited run and the prints then destroyed. BBC

... Set in a North London terrace The Homecoming centres on the suffocating relationship of tyrannical father Max (Paul Rogers), his sons Lenny (Ian Holm) and Joey (Terrence Rigby) and his brother Sam (Cyril Cusack). The rancorous family unit is temporarily wrong footed with the arrival of eldest son Teddy (Michael Jayston), visiting from America with his wife Ruth (Vivien Merchant). As smoldering grudges and hostilities violently erupt, the family's past dysfunctions emerge kicking and screaming into the present, heightened by the specter of their dead mother.

pinter timeline

pinter video

homecoming film

dreamdust > homecoming : to what extent is violence the most important tool of power?

The Homecoming (Paperback) 0802151051 $10 Amazon

Harold Pinter wikipedia

The Homecoming is a play by Harold Pinter, first published in 1964. The play has six characters, five of them men. The plot involves the eldest son in the family's wife coming home with him for the first time from the United States and experiencing the working class London background that he grew up with. Much sexual tension is created throughout the play as his wife taunts his brothers.


Script Analysis: Pinter - Homecoming
Theatre UAF * Fall.06

Harold Pinter: The Poetics of Silence by James R. Hollis; Southern Illinois University Press, 1970 - 1: The Room as Metaphor - 2: The Poverty of Self - 3: The Struggle for Possession: The Collection, Tthe Caretaker - 4: The Homecoming - 5: The Rest is Silence

Harold Pinter and the New British Theatre by D. Keith Peacock; Greenwood Press, 1997

The Pinter Ethic: The Erotic Aesthetic by Penelope Prentice; Garland, 2000 - The Pinter Ethic: Overview - Harold Pinter: Biography - Introduction: To the Second Edition: “Fought against Savage and Pitiless Odds” - Part One: The Early Work: Power as a Private Affair - Introduction: Pinter’s Achievement— Form and Innovation - The Dumb Waiter: Paradigmatic Dramatization of Conflict—Toward a Definition of the Pinter Ethic - Notes - The Birthday Party: Choice, Action and Responsibility—The Pinter Ethic Defined - Notes - The Room and the Revue Sketches: the Ethic in the Early Work-Dominance and Destruction - A Slight Ache as Fulcrum: Leveling Dominant and Subservient Roles—The Triumph of Vitality and Truth - A Night Out: Vitality Vitiated - The Hothouse: Madness and Violence - The Caretaker: Dominance and Subservience Equated—The Human Connection - Night School: Possible Justice without Love - The Dwarfs: Dominance as Betrayal - The Servant: Paradigmatic Powerplays - The Collection and the Lover: Identity Gained by Deliberate Pretense - The Pumpkin Eater: Married Love and Justice - The Homecoming: Dominance, Choice, and the Ethic Revised - The Quiller Memorandum: Torture without Threat - Tea Party and the Basement: the Illusive Qualities of Power - Accident: Death, Desire and Birth - Part Two: The Liminal Plays of the Middle Period - Landscape, Silence, and Night: Where Powerplays Vanish - The Go-Between: Freedom Reborn - Old Times: Triple Dominance - Notes - Langrishe, Go Down, À la Recherche Du Temps Perdu: the Proust Screenplay, and Monologue: Remembrances of Things Past - No Man’s Land: Past Dominance Regained - The French Lieutenant’s Woman and the Last Tycoon: Love Gained and Lost - Betrayal the Past Regained - Part Three: This Is the End My Friend: The Lovedeath Apocalyptic Vision Revised: Love, Justice and Power Reclaimed - Precisely and Family Voices: Lovedeath - A Kind of Alaska: Identity Unresolved - Victoria Station: Love and Power Revisited - One for the Road: the End of the Road - Mountain Language: Torture Revisited - Turtle Diary, Victory, the Handmaid’s Tale, Reunion, the Heat of the Day, the Comfort of Strangers, Remains of the Day and the Trial the Screenplays of the 1980s and Early 1990s - The Comfort of Strangers: Love and Justice - Party Time and the New World Order: Love and Justice Revisited - Moonlight: Lovedeath Wedded - Ashes to Ashes, the Dreaming Child, and Celebration: Desire, Destruction, Responsibility and the Complicity of Women - Some Conclusions on Love, Justice and Power in the Pinter Ethic: the Public Consequence of Private Acts

A Kind of Alaska: Women in the Plays of O'Neill, Pinter, and Shepard by Ann C. Hall; Southern Illinois University Press, 1993 [ "A Tick in the Night" Pinter's Whores p.54 ]

Where Laughter Stops: Pinter's Tragicomedy by Bernard Frank Dukore; University of Missouri Press, 1976

Script Analysis: Pinter - Homecoming
THR413 Plyascript Analysis

Pinter Project

Postmodern Marxism [ more @ PM drama

Pinter Quiz


Pinter Page @ vTheatre: Postmodern Project

Also, see kurosawa and pages ("true or/and not" question).

Tempo/rhythm = mirror (Tarkovsky)
The Official Harold Pinter Website




2006 (Fall): Homecoming

Pinter's dialogue is as tightly--perhaps more tightly--controlled than verse. --Martin Esslin, The Peopled Wound (1970).

"The old categories of comedy and tragedy and farce are irrelevant," Harold Pinter ("Writing for Myself," The Twentieth Century 169 ( February 1961): 175.)

Harold Pinter's "The Homecoming": A Study Guide from Gale's "Drama for Students" (Volume 03, Chapter 11) *

The Pinter Project

Pinter: ... The Homecoming is, I believe, a play about family. And about misogyny, certainly, very much so. There's a production at the Comédie-Française. I've already seen a run-through of it. I thought it was pretty good. There's one very interesting piece of staging in the opening of the second act. You know, when they've all had lunch, the whole family, after he's insulted her like nobody's business, and the men come in smoking cigars and then she comes in with the younger brother and coffee and the men sit down and she serves every single man with coffee. It all happens in absolute silence. It's so clear.

Except, I'm happy to say, she turns the tables on all of them. That's my view. The whole damn bunch of them--by the end. Ruth at the end of the play is a really free woman, and nobody knows what to do about her. They're all blown over. I truly believe it's a feminist play.
interview March 2001 [ ]

Biblio (some):
Harold Pinter's "The Homecoming": A Study Guide from Gale's "Drama for Students" (Volume 03, Chapter 11) [DOWNLOAD: PDF] (Digital)

Homecoming/2 Cassettes (Cdl5 361) (Hardcover) by Harold Pinter 9996375374

The Cambridge Companion to Harold Pinter (Cambridge Companions to Literature) (Paperback) 052165842X

Pinter in Play: Critical Strategies and the Plays of Harold Pinter (Paperback) 0822316749

Pinter at 70; A Casebook (Casebooks on Modern Dramatists) (Paperback)

The Pinter Ethic; The Erotic Aesthetic (Studies in Modern Drama) (Library Binding)

Harold Pinter And the Twilight of Modernism (Hardcover)


LENNY: But you're a philosopher. Come on, be frank. What
do you make of all this business about being and non-being?
TEDDY: What do you make of it?
LENNY: Well, for instance, take a table. Philosophically
speaking. What is it?
TEDDY: A table.
LENNY: Ah. You mean it's nothing but a table. Well, some
people would envy your certainty, wouldn't they, Joey?
For instance I've got a couple of friends of mine, we often
sit round the Ritz having a few liqueurs.... 
My notes: On the screen -- the subtext.

They, the characters, have the cameras. Brought from the US?

Old photos, the family album... -- Pinter Society Pinter-Reviews

After studying at the Royal Academy of Drama tic Art and the Central School of Speech and Drama, Harold Pinter worked as an actor, mostly in repertory under the stage name David Baron, supporting himself as a waiter in the National Liberal Club, as a dance-hall doorman, as a dish-washer, and as a door-to-door bookseller. Following his success as a playwright, he continued to act, though far less frequently, on stage and screen. He continues to perform in the theatre and in films.


Interview: ... The last time it was done here, at the National Theater about three years ago, it wasn't an entirely successful production for various reasons. But it did have one wonderful moment at the very end. You remember, she's sitting there with Joey, his head on her lap. And the old man is kneeling beside her, saying, "Kiss me." And Lenny, you know, the brother, is standing at the back. I just say, "Lenny stands watching." And this fellow who played Lenny, he was a very clever actor, very talented. All he did--normally Lenny stands watching--that's how I've always seen it, watching, thinking, "What the hell do we do now with her? We can't control her, period." This Lenny, however, did this. [Pinter stands up and starts to shift from foot to foot, looking back over his shoulder, then forward at an invisible Ruth.] There's a door there. He's going to slip out in a minute, and he just, he just shifted. It was brilliant. You saw immediately that, really, he knew he had no power over her whatsoever.

Whereas, the last French production I saw--not this one, but about four years ago--I went on the stage after and met the actors and director and actually protested, said they'd gotten something totally wrong. And they didn't seem to understand it. Because, what happened in this case, she was sitting here [indicates where Ruth would sit] and this Lenny fellow came behind her and put his hands on her shoulders: a possession. And I said, "That's ridiculous. He doesn't possess her in any sense." They'd really misunderstood that.

Anyway, I still think Ruth is a free, independent woman, and I've always liked her. And I think she is also pretty vulnerable. Of course she is. But she can take them on. And reduce them.

Q: You've talked about having an antagonistic relationship with your audience, as an actor--hating the audience, or "fuck the audience." Does that give you some freedom as an author also?

Pinter: Yeah, it's rather tempting to feel that. One of the greatest theatrical nights of my life was the opening of The Homecoming in New York. There was the audience. This was 1967. I'm not sure they've changed very much, but it really was your mink coats and suits. Money. And when the lights went up on The Homecoming, they hated it immediately: "Jesus Christ, what the hell are we looking at here?" I was there, and the hostility towards the play was palpable. You could see it.

The great thing was, the actors went on and felt it and hated the audience back even more. And they gave it everything they'd got. By the end of the evening, the audience was defeated. All these men in their tuxedos were just horrified and the women, because the actors just went [he makes the sound of an explosion]. I thought it was a great night. And that was a real example of a contest between the play and the audience. There's no question that the play won on that occasion, although that is not always the case.

I don't want to overstate the point. I mean, sometimes, if audiences are intelligent and receptive, then, of course, I like them!



video: mini-interview pinter's politics and art

Next: Oedipus Rex
Pinter has written a number of screenplays, including The Servant (1963), The Accident (1967), The Go-Between (1971), The Last Tycoon (1974, dir. by Elia Kazan), The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981, novel by John Fowles), Betrayal (1982), Turtle Diary (1985), Reunion (1989), The Handmaid's Tale (1990), The Comfort of Strangers (1990), and The Trial by Franz Kafka (1990). In the 1990s Pinter became more active as a director than as a playwright. He oversaw David Mamet's Oleanna and several works by Simon Gray.

[ "Oleanna" -- Spring 2007 Theatre UAF ]

For further reading: Kafka and Pinter by Raymond Armstrong (1999); The Life and Work of Harold Pinter by Michael Billington (1997); Harold Pinter and the New British Theatre by D. Keith Peacock (1997); Harold Pinter: A Question of Timing by Martin S. Regal (1995); The Pinter Ethic by Penelope Prentice (1994); Harold Pinter and the Language of Cultural Power by Marc Silverstein (1993); Harold Pinter by Chittanranjan Misra (1993); Critical Essays on Harold Pinter by Steven H. Gale (1990); Pinter in Play by Susan Hollis Merritt (1990); Harold Pinter by Volker Strunk (1989); Pinter's Female Portraits by Elizabeth Sakellaridou (1988); Harold Pinter, ed. by Stephen H. Gale (1986); Making Pictures by Joanne Klein (1985); Harold Pinter, ed. by Alan Bold (1985); The Dream Structure of Pinter's Plays by Lucina Paquet Gabard (1977); Harold Pinter by R. Hayman (1975); The Dramatic World of Harold Pinter by Jatherine H. Burkman (1971); Harold Pinter by W. Kerr (1968); Harold Pinter by W. Baker and S.E. Tabachnik (1973); Theatre and Anti-Theatre by R. Hayman (1979); The Peopled Wound by Martin Esslin (1970); Anger and After by J.R. Taylor (1969) - see also The Pinter Review, ed. by Francis X. Gillen, Steven H- Gale.

[ images, symbols for the show -- in ]


Small Chekhov: Farces & Love Letters - Fall 2005 UAF Fall 2005: ... In 1989, Chekhov moved to the Crimean warmth of Yalta. That same year, the Seagull was revived by Stanilsavsky and became an immediate success. In 1899, Uncle Vanya was also produced successfully by the Moscow Arts Theatre. Three Sisters was produced in 1901 to poor reviews, however.
In 1904, Chekhov's last play, The Cherry Orchard, was produced in January. In 1904, after two heart attacks, Chekhov died in a hotel bedroom in the German spa of Badenweiler.
The Brute: And Other Farces (1958) * A collection of stories by Anton Chekhov

-- The Harmfulness Of Tobacco
-- Swan Song
-- A Marriage
-- Proposal
-- The Celebration
-- A Wedding
-- Summer In The Country
-- The Brute

[ Chekhov and Pinter. ] Pinter

Apr. 2006: I do not want to create a new directory for "Homecoming"...

I hope that the webpages in THR413 Playscript Analysis will take care of thoughts on Pinter. [ The Bedford intro to drama, 5th ed. Lee A. Jacobus has The Betrayal, p. 1368 with comentary on Pinter. ]

"Homecoming" will be ordered for actors from Anazom (on this page).

[ more later ]

[ ... ]

sound -- (?)


A KIND OF ALASKA (1982), inspired by the case histories in Oliver Sack's Awakenings (1973). [ ? ]

Pinter: I think what I try to do in my plays is to get this recognizable reality of the absurdity of what we do and how we behave and how we speak. I do not deal with inability to communicate, but rather with the deliberate evasion of communication. Communication itself between people is so frightening that rather than do that there is continual cross-talk, a continual talking about other things, rather than what is at the root of their relationships.


No to Pinter, yes -- to Stoppard? 2007-2008 ...

No Pinter. Amybe in some other life.