‘An insistence in my mind’: Pinter’s Writing Ethic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter is a playwright’s attempt to identify the specific power and singularity of Harold Pinter’s achievement, by means of looking closely at the scattered yet telling accounts of his writing process he offers. In so doing, I challenge Michael Billington’s endeavour in his seminal The Life and Work of Harold Pinter (1996) to unify Pinter’s plays under a legible, humanist rubric. Instead, in order to account for the extraordinary power of his work up until A Kind of Alaska (1982) , I take him at his word, acknowledging his refusal to explain the mysteries behind his work and his wider repudiation of ideologies beyond it. To that end I track how his aesthetic runs counter to the main currents of British new writing from the 1950s to the 1970s and treat Old Times (1971) and No Man’s Land (1975) as emblematic of this writing ethic, as allegories...
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHarold Pinter
Subtitle of host publicationStages, Networks, Collaborations
EditorsCatriona Fallow, Enoch Brater
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)978-1-3501-3362-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020

Publication series

NameMethuen Drama

Cite this