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haroldpinter

Are you supposed to be normal?
In 1967, shortly after his play, The Birthday Party, opened on Broadway, the great Harold Pinter received a letter from a confused lady who, having recently watched the production, had some questions. Her missive, and Pinter's reply, can be seen below.

(Source: About Pinter; Image: Harold Pinter, via Intelligent Life.)

Dear Sir,

I would be obliged if you would kindly explain to me the meaning of your play, The Birthday Party. These are the points which I do not understand:

1. Who are the two men?
2. Where did Stanley come from?
3. Were they all supposed to be normal?

You will appreciate that without the answers to my questions, I cannot fully understand your play.

Yours faithfully,

[Redacted]

----------------------

Dear Madam,

I would be obliged if you would kindly explain to me the meaning of your letter. These are the points which I do not understand:

1. Who are you?
2. Where do you come from?
3. Are you supposed to be normal?

You will appreciate that without the answers to my questions, I cannot fully understand your letter.

Yours faithfully,

Harold Pinter

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letter  humour  complaint  haroldpinter  1960s  theatre  playwright  from google
june 2012 by trmdttr
92Y Podcast: Remembering Harold Pinter, British Playwright - 92nd Street Y - New York, NY
You can listen above to the full program of his first on November 12, 1964 which includes a reading of short stories and poems—followed by a Q&A where he talks about literary influences, point of view, his opinion of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and the classic Beatles vs. Rolling Stones debate.
HaroldPinter  playwrights  podcast  audio  interview 
september 2009 by UnclePilot
Harold Pinter talks to Michael Billington | Stage | The Guardian
MB: Coming on to the content of the [Nobel] lecture itself, it seemed to me to say that, while there is no definitive truth in art, we have an obligation to examine the truth of our lives and our society. In that sense, is Iraq a watershed? Because of all the documentary evidence, because of Guantanamo, because of Abu Ghraib, people around the world have woken up to reality?

HP: There does seem more public awareness now of what we're actually responsible for, what actions our countries have taken: what it means, what destruction actually is, what torture actually is. It so happens that I've been very preoccupied with this for many years. Things like Abu Ghraib and even Guantanamo are not new things: there are many precedents. As I pointed out in my lecture, American foreign policy has adhered rigidly over the last 50 years or more to one concern and one concern only: "What is in our interests?" ... There are many, many Americans who are as disgusted and ashamed and angry about this
Interviews  HaroldPinter  UK  Politics  Art  Literature  Writers  Death  Nobel 
december 2008 by n_m
The most provocative, poetic and influential playwright of his generation | Culture | guardian.co.uk
Power and sex: these were always two of Pinter's classic themes. But in the sixties he explored them in cinema as much as theatre. Indeed, his greatness as a playwright has obscured his mastery of screenwriting; and just as in the theatre he had found the perfect interpreter in Peter Hall, so in the cinema he found a kindred spirit in director Joseph Losey who shared his appetite for economy and precision as well as a horrified fascination with the English class system.
HaroldPinter  2008  Obituaries  Literature  Film  UK  Writers 
december 2008 by n_m
The New Yorker - Demolition Man: Harold Pinter and THE HOMECOMING
for liz's theater reading needs, also because I think the old photo of Pinter is kinda foxy.
haroldpinter  playwriting  playwrights  thehomecoming  broadway  johnlahr  newyorker 
january 2008 by meghanagain

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