The city and landscapes beyond Harold Pinter's rooms
Inan, Dilek (2000) The city and landscapes beyond Harold Pinter's rooms. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1369194~S15
Pinter's dramas have been labelled as 'absurd', 'mysterious', 'enigmatic', 'taciturn'.
There has been a constant tendency to reduce the idea of the 'Pinteresque' to language
when Pinter is preoccupied with the tensions between reality and the world of the
imagination. He has, actually and accurately, used theatre as a 'critical act' to denote
the abstracted realities, and he has applied his language to embody his world-view - his
concerns in the contemporary capitalist world.
Pinter has journeyed from the room to the outside world, from the private to the public
social space, and has identified an inescapable sense of pessimism and alienation, and
investigated an alarming world of atrocities. There are cities and landscapes beyond
Pinter's rooms, cities peopled by wandering, displaced figures surveying the self-estranged city that is modern consciousness, and landscapes where his people retreat
into the private realms of memory and fantasy.
This thesis explores the virtual geographies beyond Pinter's rooms through the
vocabulary of some modernist theoreticians and social scientists, as there are significant
parallels between their analytical observations and the poetic perceptions of Pinter, a
practising artist, and the phantom images of his characters.
Pinter's plays and film adaptations tend to portray the city as a colonial present, and the
country as a mythological past. The 1970s' plays portray a community of isolation,
urban decay, dispossession and suffering, through the figure of the 'flâneur' - his
characters' subjective experiences, memories and fantasies in the metropolis. In these
memory plays, men and women have different mental landscapes and desires. To some
extent the city is both a male-constructed world and an image of the twentieth century;
in both senses it is anti-human and in decline.
In his 1980s mature plays, Pinter's lyrical interiors and serene landscapes are colonised
by the metropolis. Here Pinter investigates a universally oppressive space filled with
misery and social dislocation. The city destroys humanity in a decaying modem world.
These plays identify the global city as the locus of existential alienation and as the
centre of political power and oppression - a world of brute masculine power.
The last two plays, in this study explore other wastelands of human isolation and
suffering, and criticise the British suspicion of the 'intelligentsia'. Using scenes that are
ingrained in the contemporary audience's physical memory, Pinter makes the
distinction between being an active participant and being a witness, a 'spectator' in this
alarming world. And thus, he criticises the tradition of mockery of the artistic and the
intellectually curious in Britain, and urges a need for a 'politically curious', at politically questioning theatre-going society.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||P Language and Literature > PR English literature|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Pinter, Harold, 1930-2008 -- Criticism and interpretation, Cities and towns in literature, Landscapes in literature|
|Official Date:||August 2000|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Howard, Tony, 1947-|
|Extent:||, 285 leaves|
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