Understanding Harold Pinter
In Understanding Harold Pinter, Ronald Knowles presents a comprehensive, accessible introduction to the writing of the heralded British dramatist whose works for stage, screen, television, and radio have been performed throughout the world.
Describing the playwright's rejection of early-twentieth-century sentimentalism and his departure from the 1950s "kitchen sink" realism associated with Arnold Wesker and John Osborne, Knowles explains why audiences at large have had difficulty understanding and sympathizing with Pinter's work.
In a chronological survey, Knowles analyzes Pinter's plays - from The Room (1957) to Moonlight (1993) - as well as his films - from The Servant (1963) to The Trial (1993). Knowles divides the writer's voluminous output into two categories, "comedies of menace" and "memory plays." Identifying the fundamental structure of these works, he discusses their anti-sentimentalism, and comments on the themes - including menace, verification, identity, and power struggle - that have dominated Pinter criticism.
In addition to reviewing past critiques, Knowles offers fresh appraisals of Pinter's plays and screenplays. He touches on Freudian and absurdist criticism but devotes his primary efforts to original applications of more recent theoretical methods, including new historicism, audience reception, structuralism, feminism, gender studies, and postmodernism.
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The Room The Dumb Waiter
The Caretaker the Revue
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Andy Anna Aston audience Basement becomes betrayal Birthday Party bongo drum Bridget camera CAREER AND OVERVIEW Caretaker characters close comedy Comedy of Menace Comfort of Strangers comic contrast critics Davies death Deeley dialogue Disson dramatic dramatist Dumb Waiter Dwarfs Faber fascism father figure film final French Lieutenant's Woman friendship going Goldberg Heyst Hirst Homecoming Hothouse Jerry Joey Joseph Losey Kate Kind of Alaska Lenny London Losey lover Man's Land match seller McCann memory ment metafilmic Mick Monologue Moonlight Mountain Language never Night Noel Coward novel onstage Pause Petey Pinter's plays PLAYS AND SCREENPLAYS political postwar Proust Screenplay psychological Pumpkin Eater Quiller realism reality revue sketches Robert Ruth Sarah says scene seemingly seems sentimental sexual Silence Slight Ache social speech Spooner stage Stanley Stella story structure symbolic takes place Teddy TELEVISION PLAYS theater tion UNDERSTANDING HAROLD PINTER visual woman writing