Harold Pinter


A scene from The Homecoming with Vivian Merchant and Ian Holm

On this date in 2008 Harold Pinter died (born 1930).

Frye cites Pinter to make a point about about genre and cultural priorites in The Modern Century:

Some arts, like music and drama, are ensemble  performances for audiences; others, like the novel and the easel painting, are individualized.  In an intensely individualized era like the Victorian age, the novel goes up and the drama goes down.  Up until quite recently, the creative person, say in literature, was typically one who “wanted to write,” and what he wanted to write was usually poetry or fiction.  He might dream of rivalling Shakespeare, but he would be unlikely to want Shakespeare’s job as a busy actor-manager in a profit-sharing corporation.  It looks as though creative interests were shifting again to the dramatic: it is Pinter and Albee and Beckett on the stage, Bergman and Fellini and others in film, who seem to be making cultural history today, as the novelists were making it a century ago.  (CW 11, 56)

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