Thursday, December 25, 2008

harold pinter r.i.p.

news came today that the playwright harold pinter had lost his battle with cancer and died yesterday at the age of 78. i met him once, when he and his wife came to dinner at my parents' flat. he was very emphatic about what he had to say, gesturing strongly with his hands ... so much so that one of my mother's best crystal wineglasses went flying and smashed. the following week at the dinner table, my mother was describing what had happened to our guests that evening, and sent one of her best crystal wineglasses flying into smithereens.

i also remember persuading my mother to come with me to the haymarket theatre (i bought the tickets - 3rd row centre stalls) to see "old times" i think it was. i wanted to go because liv ullmann was in it and i had a majestic crush upon her. we watched and listened - to the words and the pauses - but found it hard to make sense of what was going on. afterwards, as we left the theatre, we noticed many people turning to the right and crowding around something on the wall. as we drew closer, we saw it was a review of the play, including some explanation. we heard "o, now i get it!" and variations on that theme as people walked away. never mind, liv ullmann in the flesh was a sight worth seeing for me :-)

meanwhile, here are the serious retrospectives of the literary world:

bbc online obituary here.
the independent.
the times.
photos from the guardian.
obituary from the guardian.
the telegraph.
the new york times.

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