Oh for the days when playwrights drank too much. “Tom Stoppard’s archives arrived in champagne boxes,” Jamie Andres of the British Library told a panel at the Modern Language Association (MLA) 2013 meeting. “[Noted English playwright Harold] Pinter’s arrived in regular boxes.”
“However, ‘drink at regular intervals’ could be an exhortation from the great man himself.” Instead, it was the title of Andrews’ presentation at the MLA. In London, one can find, as Andrews did:
• The Harold Pinter Theater;
• The Harold Pinter Wine List; and
• The Harold Pinter Happy Hour.
Andrews suggests this is a legacy Pinter would have approved.
Indeed, Pinter’s widow has written of “the difficulties of disease-induced abstinence,” during Pinter’s final, cancer-stricken years, Ann C. Hall pointed out in the MLA panel on Pinter. Pinter’s widow, Hall pointed out, considered it a “blessing when the doctor allowed it because the cancer had advanced so far that it couldn’t hurt.”
Hall teaches English at Ohio Dominican University. Pinter’s plays include The Birthday Party, Celebration, The Dumbwaiter and Through a Whiskey Glass Darkly.
In them, ”the men may move but they don’t go anywhere,” Hall avers. “They are not neat.”
“They are on the rocks.”
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
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