[Marxism] pinter

Sudhir Devadas sudhirdin at gmail.com
Fri Oct 14 03:59:28 MDT 2005


let us salute a true artist of our times, vocally compassionate
towards the human victims of inhuman injustice perpetrated by a
war-crazed cabal. the following sentiments expressed both by and on
pinter from the independent & the guardian, even that carping
criticism, reveal the full measure of the man:
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Pinter: Torture and misery in name of freedom
By Harold Pinter who yesterday won the Nobel Prize for Literature
14 October 2005
The Independent

The great poet Wilfred Owen articulated the tragedy, the horror - and
indeed the pity - of war in a way no other poet has. Yet we have
learnt nothing. Nearly 100 years after his death the world has become
more savage, more brutal, more pitiless.

But the "free world" we are told, as embodied in the United States and
Great Britain, is different to the rest of the world since our actions
are dictated and sanctioned by a moral authority and a moral passion
condoned by someone called God. Some people may find this difficult to
comprehend but Osama Bin Laden finds it easy.

What would Wilfred Owen make of the invasion of Iraq? A bandit act, an
act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for
the concept of International Law. An arbitrary military action
inspired by a series of lies upon lies and gross manipulation of the
media and therefore of the public. An act intended to consolidate
American military and economic control of the Middle East masquerading
- as a last resort (all other justifications having failed to justify
themselves) - as liberation. A formidable assertion of military force
responsible for the death and mutilation of thousands upon thousands
of innocent people.

An independent and totally objective account of the Iraqi civilian
dead in the medical magazine The Lancet estimates that the figure
approaches 100,000. But neither the US or the UK bother to count the
Iraqi dead. As General Tommy Franks of US Central Command memorably
said: "We don't do body counts".

We have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable
acts of random murder, misery and degradation to the Iraqi people and
call it " bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East". But, as
we all know, we have not been welcomed with the predicted flowers.
What we have unleashed is a ferocious and unremitting resistance,
mayhem and chaos.

You may say at this point: what about the Iraqi elections? Well,
President Bush himself answered this question when he said: "We cannot
accept that there can be free democratic elections in a country under
foreign military occupation". I had to read that statement twice
before I realised that he was talking about Lebanon and Syria.

What do Bush and Blair actually see when they look at themselves in the mirror?

I believe Wilfred Owen would share our contempt, our revulsion, our
nausea and our shame at both the language and the actions of the
American and British governments.

Adapted by Harold Pinter from a speech he delivered on winning the
Wilfred Owen Award earlier this year
'A colossal figure'

"You have no idea how I happy I am that you have won the Nobel Prize
for Literature. I think you absolutely deserve it."

Vaclav Havel, PLAYWRIGHT AND FORMER CZECH PRESIDENT (BY TELEGRAM TO PINTER)

"As a writer, Harold has been unswerving for 50 years. With his
earliest work he stood alone in British theatre up against the
bewilderment and incomprehension of critics, the audience and writers
too."

Sir Tom Stoppard, PLAYWRIGHT

"It couldn't have happened to a nicer person and it's a most fitting award."

Sir Alan Ayckbourn, ACTOR, WRITER AND DIRECTOR

"He has blown fresh air into the musty attic of conventional English
literature by insisting that everything he does has a public and
political dimension."

David Hare, PLAYWRIGHT

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Harold Pinter's surprise 75th birthday present
Harold Pinter was yesterday awarded the Nobel prize for literature,
which carries a cheque for $1.3m (£741,500). The Swedish academy
hailed Pinter as 'the foremost representative of British drama in the
second half of the 20th-century'. Though feted in the UK, the award
has angered the political right in America.
October 14, 2005
The Guardian

Tom Stoppard
The prize has gone to a writer who not only does his own thing so
well, but who has changed the way that many writers who followed him
write for the stage. In all plays information flows from the stage to
the audience, and Harold shows, as nobody else has shown, that the
flow is not straightforward - you can't always believe everything
people say, and Harold has shown how what is true in life should be
true in art which reflects life. Everybody found him difficult in
1958, the year of The Birthday Party, two years later the same people
were laughing loudly at The Caretaker in the West End. He took the
theatre to a place where it hadn't really been and then he took the
audience to that place.

Christopher Hitchens
The award to someone who gave up literature for politics decades ago,
and whose politics are primitive and hysterically anti-American and
pro-dictatorial, is part of the almost complete degradation of the
Nobel racket.

Corin Redgrave
I can't think of a better candidate and I can't think of a better
winner. It is truly a great day for the prize and for all the values
that Harold stands for. He stands for justice. He stands against
exploitation and the impoverishment of people for the sake of quick
and dubious profits.

Roger Kimball, editor of the American magazine The New Criterion
The Nobel committee has for some time demonstrated that its prizes are
ridiculous but the award going to Harold Pinter is not only ridiculous
but repellent. His anti-American rantings have been saved from being
merely outrageous by their insanity. He can't take any public platform
without a mad raving about the evils of the American empire - although
he can't make up his mind if George Bush is a moron or a mad genius.
The essence of Pinter's drama is adolescent Samuel Beckett - it's
warmed-over and second-hand.

Michael Colgan, artistic director, the Gate Theatre, Dublin
There's a feeling among some of us in the theatre who think that he's
an extraordinary man that he's not always valued. We think he's
unjustifiably neglected. Pinter doesn't write things with an ulterior
motive. When Pinter wrote short plays he was vilified. He's a writer
of absolute rare integrity. That type of courage means that he has
gone unrewarded. Now the Nobel prize comes and gives it to Harold
Pinter. The Swedes got it right.

Michael Frayn
I am delighted. He is a courageous man with a generous heart, who has
repeatedly stood up for the persecuted. I particularly admired his
going to Turkey and speaking out in the country for writers who have
been imprisoned there, and he has been consistent and resolute in
criticism of US imperialism. I've also been touched by the generosity
of his response to the work of fellow dramatists.
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sudhir




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