The Noble prize winning British playwright Harold Pinter, acclaimed for his dark menacing stories of bleak lives, passed away at 78 after a prolonged battle with cancer. He won the Noble Prize for literature in 2005 and his acceptance speech at the time was most profound. Just this past season, Pinter was represented on Broadway with a star studded revival of his classic The Homecoming.
His works, which often expose the dark underbelly of seemingly ordinary occurrences, have been popular of late. But Pinter influenced an entire generation of playwrights and the word “Pinteresque” has been introduced to the English language to describe certain nuances in his works. The word is used to describe his style referring to the hidden meanings in the numerous taut silences or pauses found in his dialogue, which requires layering and intense scrutiny by the actors and director interpreting his plays.
Pinter also made his mark as a screenwriter, most notably for “The French Lieutenant’s Woman.” And he was in recent years an ardent opponent to the Iraq war and President Bush, comparing his administration to the Nazis.