•  HOME 
  •  BOOKS 
  •  WWP 
  •  DONATE 
  • Loading

Follow workers.org on
Twitter Facebook iGoogle

Harold Pinter unraveled the ‘Tapestry of Lies’

Published Jan 11, 2009 5:20 PM

Harold Pinter, Nobel-prize-winning British playwright, died of cancer on Dec. 24 at the age of 78.

Pinter was regarded as the foremost representative of British drama in the second half of the 20th century, but his 29 plays, numerous screenplays, prose and poetry made the British bourgeoisie uncomfortable.

Pinter’s plays and poetry exposed hypocrisy, corruption and viciousness. As one of his characters said, “The present is truly unscrupulous.” [“No Man’s Land,” 1975]

An outspoken critic of imperialism, Pinter spoke against the Gulf War, the invasion and breakup of Yugoslavia and the war on Iraq. At a conference on the Balkans in 2000, one year after NATO’s “humanitarian bombing” of Yugoslavia, Pinter said, “The United States has opened up the way for ... more ‘humanitarian intervention’, more demonstrations of its total indifference to the fate of thousands upon thousands of people.” (haroldpinter.org)

When he received the Nobel Prize for literature in 2005 Pinter said, “The United States supported and in many cases engendered every right-wing military dictatorship in the world. ... [It has] brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery, degradation and death to the Iraqi people and calls it ‘bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East.’ ...

“Language is actually employed to keep thought at bay ... suffocating your intelligence and your critical faculties.”

He saw that the U.S. was openly creating what it called “full spectrum dominance”—control of land, sea, air and space. In his Nobel lecture, he called the U.S. “brutal, indifferent, scornful and ruthless,” exercising a “clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good.” (nobelprize.org)

He won’t be buried at Westminster Abbey. The British establishment won’t allow it. (Telegraph, Jan. 3).