Birthday Pinter Awarded Nobel Prize for LiteratureDate: 13 October 2005
Harold Pinter (pictured), one of the UKís leading living playwrights, has two major reasons to celebrate this week: on Monday, he marked his 75th birthday; today he has been awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature.
Pinterís most famous works include The Room (1957), The Birthday Party (1958), The Dumb Waiter (1959), The Caretaker (1960), The Lover (1962), The Homecoming (1965), No Man's Land (1975), Mountain Language (1988), Moonlight (1993), Ashes to Ashes (1996) and Celebration (2000).
He has also adapted many of his stage plays for radio and television, and has written the screenplays to a number of films including The Servant (1963), The Quiller Memorandum (1965), The Go-Between (1970), The Last Tycoon (1974) and The Comfort of Strangers (1989), which was adapted from the novel by Ian McEwan.
More recently, Pinter has concentrated increasingly on poetry, much of it expressing his anti-war sentiments. Earlier this year, he caused headlines by stating on BBC Radio 4 that he wouldnít write any more plays. He later clarified: ďI said something casually. It was not a declaration of policy or intent, it was just a very practical matter. I havenít written a play for six years, and I think itís unlikely that Iíll write another one. My writing, such as it is, is going into other things, mainly poetry. Thatís all there is to it.Ē
As well as writing, Pinter has directed many productions, both of his own plays and those of other writers, including James Joyce, Noel Coward, Tennessee Williams, David Mamet and Simon Gray. He has also acted on stage, film, television and radio. Next year, heíll participate in the Royal Courtís 50th anniversary celebrations by performing Samuel Beckettís one-man play Krappís Last Tape (See News, 11 Oct 2005).
Pinterís many other accolades include a CBE, which he was awarded in 1966, the Wilfred Owen prize for poetry and the ST Dupont Golden PEN Award from the English Centre of International PEN. He holds honorary degrees from the Universities of Reading, Glasgow, East Anglia and Bristol. He is married to the writer Lady Antonia Fraser.
On being awarded the Nobel Prize, which includes a cash sum of £723,000, Pinter was described as a writer "who, in his plays, uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed roomsĒ.
- by Caroline Ansdell