was Britain's foremost living dramatist
until his death announced on Christmas Day 2008 after
suffering from liver cancer.
His plays are at once stylized and naturalistic. The terms
Pinter pause and Pinteresque
have entered the language.
Most theatre that we think of as naturalistic is in fact a highly artificial thing,
but it is argued that if real dialogue were portrayed, it would be disjointed,
slow, inconclusive and boring. Pinter characters talk in a disjointed,
pause ridden, inconclusive manner, but are never boring. We always
feel that there is a lot going on under the surface of the characters that we
want to know about. What is more, the dialogue is more often than not very funny.
Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin awarded Harold Pinter
the French Legion d'honneur during a visit to London in
January 2007. M Villepin reflected on Pinter's
influence on himself, saying: "Your words express the
anguish and the torrent that is human life." "Dear
Harold Pinter, your words are actions. Your words are a
shout. They are rough, engaged in violent hand-to-hand
combat that makes them talk, that makes them speak out," Villepin said.
In April 2007
Harold Pinter received an honorary degree from Leeds
University for his contribution to English
literature. The BBC News website reported it
a 2005 interview by the BBC Pinter said that he would
probably not write any more plays, but concentrate on his
poetry. He felt that 29 plays were enough.
In October 2005
Pinter was awarded the Nobel Prize for
Literature. The Swedish Academy, nominated the
playwright "who, in his plays, uncovers the precipice under
everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed
2002 Her Majesty the Queen made Pinter a Companion of Honour
for his services to literature.
play Celebration was premiered in April
2000 in a double bill with his first play
The Room, at London's Almeida Theatre.
a screenplay in 1972 based upon Proust's
A La Recherche du Temps Perdu. The film was never made but in 2000 The Royal
National Theatre in London presented a play called
Remembrance of Things Past which Pinter had adapted from his own screenplay.