Monday, January 5, 2009

Pinter of the pregnant pause

Just a short note to end the festive season's blog-fasting. In my previous entry I humbly confessed that I, like millions of other enthusiastic readers, don't know the work or even the names of many of the Nobel Prize for Literature laureates of the last century. Harold Pinter, who passed away on Christmas Eve, was one of those I did know and admire, for his political passion as much as for his powerful plays.

I saw some of these plays on stage or as screen adaptations, and as a drama student I actually read some of them too, which is more than many people can say about the work of well-known modern playwrights. In many of the tributes after his death, he was praised as 'one of the most influential' and imitated playwrights of his age'. After having seen plays like the brilliant Betrayal I can only agree. No one else could use the pregnant pause on stage in quite the same devastating way. In Pinter's work, what was not said always sounded more important than what was actually said.

Therefore the most apt -and witty - tribute I came across, was a letter published in the International Herald Tribune last week. A reader suggested that Harold Pinter's death should be commemorated by a minute of silence - followed by a pause.