For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Harold Pinter (1930-2008)

Harold Pinter, the finest English dramatist of his generation, died on Christmas Eve. He was a tireless fighter against injustice and political oppression, and penned many angry, campaigning articles for and letters to the Guardian newspaper. One of his bêtes noires was American foreign policy. He wrote this in an open letter to the Prime Minister after Tony Blair's election in 1997:

We have been reminded often over the last few weeks of Saddam Hussein's appalling record in the field of human rights. It is indeed appalling: brutal, pathological. But I thought you might be interested to scrutinise the record of your ally, the US, in a somewhat wider context. I am not at all certain that your advisors will have kept you fully informed.

The US has supported, subsidised and, in a number of cases, engendered every right-wing military dictatorship in the world since 1945...

... Oh, by the way, meant to mention, forgot to tell you, we were all chuffed to bollocks when Labour won the election.

3 comments:

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes, Robert, a sad passing but he has been very ill for some years and had been getting much more frail. Agree the greatest playwright of his generation.

am said...

From the Wikipedia article -- "Late in 2001, Pinter was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer, for which he underwent a successful operation and chemotherapy in 2002. During the course of his treatment, he . . . was seen on television in America in the role of Vivian Bearing's father in the HBO film version of Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Wit". . .


Have you seen "Wit"? I'm deeply moved to realize just now that Harold Pinter appeared in that extraordinary movie.

The Solitary Walker said...

I haven't seen 'Wit', am, but it looks to be a film well worth seeing. Mike Nichols has done some memorable stuff.