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The Nobel Prize in Literature 2005
Harold Pinter

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English
English [pdf]
Swedish
Swedish [pdf]
French
French [pdf]
German
German [pdf]

 

Biobibliographical Notes

Harold Pinter was born on 10 October 1930 in the London borough of Hackney, son of a Jewish dressmaker. Growing up, Pinter was met with the expressions of anti-Semitism, and has indicated its importance for his becoming a dramatist. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was evacuated from London at the age of nine, returning when twelve. He has said that the experience of wartime bombing has never lost its hold on him. Back in London, he attended Hackney Grammar School where he played Macbeth and Romeo among other characters in productions directed by Joseph Brearley. This prompted him to choose a career in acting. In 1948 he was accepted at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. In 1950, he published his first poems. In 1951 he was accepted at the Central School of Speech and Drama. That same year, he won a place in Anew McMaster's famous Irish repertory company, renowned for its performances of Shakespeare. Pinter toured again between 1954 and 1957, using the stage name of David Baron. Between 1956 and 1980 he was married to actor Vivien Merchant. In 1980 he married the author and historian Lady Antonia Fraser.

Pinter made his playwriting debut in 1957 with The Room, presented in Bristol. Other early plays were The Birthday Party (1957), at first a fiasco of legendary dimensions but later one of his most performed plays, and The Dumb Waiter (1957). His conclusive breakthrough came with The Caretaker (1959), followed by The Homecoming (1964) and other plays.

Harold Pinter is generally seen as the foremost representative of British drama in the second half of the 20th century. That he occupies a position as a modern classic is illustrated by his name entering the language as an adjective used to describe a particular atmosphere and environment in drama: "Pinteresque".

Pinter restored theatre to its basic elements: an enclosed space and unpredictable dialogue, where people are at the mercy of each other and pretence crumbles. With a minimum of plot, drama emerges from the power struggle and hide-and-seek of interlocution. Pinter's drama was first perceived as a variation of absurd theatre, but has later more aptly been characterised as "comedy of menace", a genre where the writer allows us to eavesdrop on the play of domination and submission hidden in the most mundane of conversations. In a typical Pinter play, we meet people defending themselves against intrusion or their own impulses by entrenching themselves in a reduced and controlled existence. Another principal theme is the volatility and elusiveness of the past.

It is said of Harold Pinter that following an initial period of psychological realism he proceeded to a second, more lyrical phase with plays such as Landscape (1967) and Silence (1968) and finally to a third, political phase with One for the Road (1984), Mountain Language (1988), The New World Order (1991) and other plays. But this division into periods seems oversimplified and ignores some of his strongest writing, such as No Man's Land (1974) and Ashes to Ashes (1996). In fact, the continuity in his work is remarkable, and his political themes can be seen as a development of the early Pinter's analysing of threat and injustice.

Since 1973, Pinter has won recognition as a fighter for human rights, alongside his writing. He has often taken stands seen as controversial. Pinter has also written radio plays and screenplays for film and television. Among his best-known screenplays are those for The Servant (1963), The Accident (1967), The Go-Between (1971) and The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981, based on the John Fowles novel). Pinter has also made a pioneering contribution as a director.

 

This bibliography includes published works only.

Works in English
1. Plays (year of writing; year of publication; year of first performance)
The Room (1957). – in The Birthday Party, and Other Plays. – London : Methuen, 1960. – (Bristol, 1957)
The Birthday Party (1957). – in The Birthday Party, and Other Plays. – London : Methuen, 1960. – (Arts Theatre, Cambridge, 28 April 1958)
The Dumb Waiter (1957). – in The Birthday Party, and Other Plays. – London : Methuen, 1960. – (Kleines Haus, Frankfurt, February 1959)
A Slight Ache (1958). – in A Slight Ache and Other Plays. – London : Methuen, 1961. – (Broadcast 1959)
The Hothouse (1958). – in The Hothouse. – London : Eyre Methuen, 1980. – (Hampstead Theatre, London, 24 April 1980)
The Caretaker (1959). – in The Caretaker. – London : Methuen, 1960. – (Arts Theatre, London, 27 April 1960)
A Night Out (1959). – in Slight Ache and Other Plays. – London : Methuen, 1961. – (Broadcast on the BBC Third Programme, 1 March 1960)
Night School (1960). – in Tea Party and Other Plays. – London : Methuen, 1967. – (Broadcast on Associated Rediffusion Television, 21 July 1960)
The Dwarfs (1960). – in Slight Ache and Other Plays. – London : Methuen, 1961. – (Broadcast 1960; New Arts Theatre, London, 18 September 1963)
The Collection (1961). – in The Collection. – London : French, 1963 (1962?) ; in The Collection, and The Lover. – London : Methuen, 1963. – (Televised 1961)
The Lover (1962). – in The Collection, and The Lover. – London : Methuen, 1963. – (Televised 1961)
Tea Party (1964). – in Tea Party and Other Plays. – London : Methuen, 1967. – (Eastside Playhouse, New York, October 1968)
The Homecoming (1964). – in The Homecoming. – London : Methuen, 1965. – (Aldwych Theatre, London, 3 June 1965)
The Basement (1966). – in Tea Party and Other Plays. – London : Methuen, 1967. – (Televised 1967)
Landscape (1967). – in Landscape. – London : Pendragon Press, 1968 ; in Landscape, and Silence. – London : Methuen, 1969. – (Broadcast 1968)
Silence (1968). – in Landscape, and Silence. – London : Methuen, 1969. – (Aldwych Theatre, London, 2 July 1969)
Old Times (1970). – in Old Times. – London : Methuen, 1971. – (Aldwych Theatre, London, 1 June 1971)
Monologue (1972). – in Monologue. – London : Covent Garden Press, 1973. – (Televised on the BBC Television, 13 April 1973)
No Man's Land (1974). – in No Man's Land. – London : Methuen, 1975. – (Old Vic, London 23 April, 1975)
Betrayal (1978). – in Betrayal. – London : Eyre Methuen, 1978. – (National Theatre, London, November 1978)
Family Voices (1980). – in Family Voices. – London : Next Editions, 1981. – (Broadcast on Radio 3, 22 January 1981)
Other Places (1982). – in Other Places : Three Plays. – London : Methuen, 1982. – (Cottesloe Theatre, London, October 1982)
A Kind of Alaska (1982). – in A Kind of Alaska. – London : French, 1982 ; in Other Places : Three Plays. – London : Methuen, 1982. – (Cottesloe Theatre, London, October 1982)
Victoria Station (1982). – in Victoria Station. – London : French, 1982 ; in Other Places : Three Plays. – London : Methuen, 1982. – (Cottesloe Theatre, London, October 1982)
One for the Road (1984). – in One for the Road. – London : Methuen, 1984. – (Lyric Theatre Studio, Hammersmith, March 1984)
Mountain Language (1988). – in Mountain Language. – London : French, 1988 ; in Mountain Language. – London : Faber, 1988. – (National Theatre, London, 20 October 1988)
The New World Order (1991). – in Granta (no 37), Autumn 1991. – (Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, London, 19 July 1991)
Party Time (1991). – in Party Time. – London : Faber, 1991. – (Almeida Theatre, London, 31 October 1991)
Moonlight (1993). – in Moonlight. – London : Faber, 1993. – (Almeida Theatre, London, 7 September 1993)
Ashes to Ashes (1996). – in Ashes to Ashes. – London : Faber, 1996. – (Royal Court at the Ambassadors Theatre, London, 12 September 1996)
Celebration (1999). – in Celebration. – London : Faber, 2000. – (Almeida Theatre, London, 16 March 2000)
Remembrance of Things Past (2000). – in Remembrance of Things Past. – London : Faber, 2000. – (Cottesloe Theatre, London, 23 November, 2000)
 
2. Additional
The Proust Screenplay : À la recherche du temps perdu / by Harold Pinter, with the collaboration of Joseph Losey and Barbara Bray. – New York : Grove Press, 1977
Poems and Prose 19491977. – London : Methuen, 1978
The Dwarfs : a novel. – London : Faber, 1990
Various Voices : Poetry, Prose, Politics, 19481998. – London : Faber, 1998
Collected Screenplays. 1. – London : Faber, 2000. – Content : The Servant, The Pumpkin Eater, The Quiller Memorandum, The Accident, The Last Tycoon, Langrishe Go Down
Collected Screenplays. 2. – London : Faber, 2000. – Content : The Go-Between ; The Proust Screenplay ; Victory ; Turtle Diary ; Reunion
Collected Screenplays. 3. – London : Faber, 2000. – Content : The French Lieutenant's Woman ; The Heat of the Day ; The Comfort of Strangers ; The Trial ; The Dreaming Child
The Disappeared and Other Poems. – London : Enitharmon, 2002
Press Conference. – London : Faber, 2002
War : [Eight Poems and One Speech]. – London : Faber, 2003
 
Works in French
C'était hier / traduit de l'anglais par Éric Kahane. – Paris: Gallimard, 1971. – Traduction de: Old Times
No man's land ; suivi de Le monte plat ; Une petite douleur ; Paysage ; et de Dix sketches / adaptation française d'Éric Kahane. – Paris: Gallimard, 1979
La collection ; suivi de L'amant ; et de Le gardien / trad. de l'anglais par Éric Kahane. – Paris: Gallimard, 1984. – Traduction de: The Collection ; The Lover ; The Caretaker
L'anniversaire / trad. de l'anglais par Éric Kahane. – Paris: Gallimard, 1985. – Traduction de: The Birthday Party
Le retour / trad. de l'anglais par Éric Kahane. – Paris: Gallimard, 1985. – Traduction de: The Homecoming
Trahisons ; suivi de Hothouse ; Un pour la route: et autres pièces / adapt. française d'Éric Kahane. – Paris: Gallimard, 1987
La lune se couche ; suivi de Ashes to Ashes ; Langue de la montagne ; Une soirée entre amis: et autres textes / trad. de l'anglais par Éric Kahane. – Paris: Gallimard, 1998
Les nains : roman / trad. de l'anglais par Alain Delahaye. – Paris: Gallimard, 2000. – Traduction de: The Dwarfs
Autres voix : prose, poésie, politique, 19481998 / trad. de l'anglais par Jean Pavans, Isabelle D. Philippe et Natalie Zimmermann. – Montricher: Éd. Noir sur blanc, 2001. – Traduction de: Various Voices
La guerre / trad. de l'anglais par Jean Pavans. – Paris: Gallimard, 2003. – Traduction de: War
Célébration ; La chambre / trad. de l'anglais par Jean Pavans. – Paris: Gallimard, 2003
Le scénario Proust : À la recherche du temps perdu / by Harold Pinter avec la collaboration de Joseph Losey et Barbara Bray ; trad. de l'anglais par Jean Pavans. - Paris : Gallimard, 2003. - Traduction de: The Proust Screenplay : À la recherche du temps perdu
 
Works in Swedish
Apart from anthologies no work by Harold Pinter has yet been published in book form in Swedish.
 
Works in German
Tiefparterre / Neu durchges. Fassung nach d. Übers. von Willy H. Thiem. – Reinbek bei Hamburg : Rowohlt, 1967. – Originaltitel : The Basement
Teegesellschaft / nach d. Übers. von Willy H. Thiem, d. Bühnen gegenüber Ms. – Reinbek bei Hamburg : Rowohlt, 1968. – Originaltitel: Tea Party
Dramen / Neu durchges. Fassung nach d. Übers. von Willy H. Thiem u.a. – Reinbek bei Hamburg : Rowohlt, 1970
Alte Zeiten ; Landschaft ; Schweigen : 3 Theaterstücke / Dt. von Renate u. Martin Esslin. – Reinbek bei Hamburg : Rowohlt, 1972
Betrogen / Dt. von H. M. Ledig-Rowohlt. – Reinbek bei Hamburg : Rowohlt, 1978. – Originaltitel : Betrayal
Das Treibhaus / Dt. von Heinrich Maria Ledig-Rowohlt. – Reinbek bei Hamburg : Rowohlt, 1980. – Originaltitel: The Hothouse
Der stumme Diener : ausgew. Dramen / Übers. aus d. Engl. von Willy H. Thiem ... Ausw. u. Nachw. von Klaus Köhler. – Leipzig : Insel-Verlag, 1981
Familienstimmen / Dt. von Heinrich Maria Ledig-Rowohlt. – Reinbek bei Hamburg : Rowohlt-Theater-Verlag, 1981. – Originaltitel: Family Voices
Einen für unterwegs / Dt. von Heinrich Maria Ledig-Rowohlt. – Reinbek bei Hamburg : Rowohlt-Theater-Verlag, 1984. – Originaltitel: One For the Road
Genau / Dt. von Heinrich Maria Ledig-Rowohlt. – Reinbek bei Hamburg : Rowohlt, Theater-Verlag, 1986. – Originaltitel: Precisely
An anderen Orten : 5 neue Kurzdramen / Dt. von Heinrich Maria Ledig-Rowohlt. – Reinbek bei Hamburg : Rowohlt, 1988
Die Geburtstagsfeier ; Der Hausmeister ; Die Heimkehr ; Betrogen. – Nach den Übers. von Willy H. Thiem. – Reinbek bei Hamburg : Rowohlt, 1990
Die Zwerge : Roman / Dt. von Johanna Walser und Martin Walser. – Reinbek bei Hamburg : Rowohlt, 1994. – Originaltitel : The Dwarfs
Mondlicht und andere Stücke. – Reinbek bei Hamburg : Rowohlt-Taschenbuch-Verl., 2000
Krieg / Aus dem Engl. von Elisabeth Plessen und Peter Zadek. – Hamburg : Rogner und Bernhard bei Zweitausendeins, 2003. – Originaltitel : War
 
Literature (a selection)
Hayman, Ronald, Harold Pinter. – London : Heinemann, 1968
Esslin, Martin, The Peopled Wound : the Plays of Harold Pinter – London : Methuen, 1970
Hollis, James Russell, Harold Pinter : the Poetics of Silence. – Carbondale, Ill. : Southern Ill. U.P., 1970
Hinchliffe, Arnold P., Harold Pinter. – Boston : Twayne, 1981
Dukore, Bernard Frank, Harold Pinter. – London : Macmillan, 1982
Harold Pinter : You Never Heard Such Silence / edited by Alan Bold. – London : Vision, 1985
Harold Pinter : Critical Approaches / edited by Steven H. Gale. – Rutherford : Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Press, 1986
Harold Pinter / edited and with an introduction by Harold Bloom. – New York : Chelsea House Publishers, 1987
The Pinter Review : Annual Essays / edited by Francis Gillen and Steven H. Gale. – Tampa, Fla : University of Tampa, 1987 –
Merritt, Susan Hollis, Pinter in Play : Critical Strategies and the Plays of Harold Pinter. – Durham : Duke University Press, 1990
Esslin, Martin, Pinter the Playwright. – London : Methuen, 1992
Gussow, Mel, Conversations with Pinter. – New York : Limelight Editions, 1994
Knowles, Ronald, Understanding Harold Pinter. – Columbia, S.C. : University of South Carolina Press, 1995
Regal, Martin S., Harold Pinter : a Question of Timing. – London : Macmillan, 1995
Billington, Michael, The Life and Work of Harold Pinter. – London : Faber, 1996
Jalote, Shri Ranjan, The Plays of Harold Pinter : a Study in Neurotic Anxiety. – New Delhi : Harman, 1996
Peacock, D. Keith, Harold Pinter and the New British Theatre. – Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1997
Harold Pinter : a Celebration / introduced by Richard Eyre. – London : Faber, 2000
Prentice, Penelope, The Pinter Ethic : the Erotic Aesthetic. – New York : Garland, 2000
Pinter at 70 : a Caseboook / edited by Lois Gordon. – New York : Routledge, 2001
Gale, Steven H., Sharp Cut : Harold Pinter's Screenplays and the Artistic Process. – Lexington : University Press of Kentucky, cop. 2003
The Art of Crime : the Plays and Films of Harold Pinter and David Mamet / edited by Leslie Kane. – New York : Routledge, 2004
Smith, Ian, Pinter in the Theatre. – London : Nick Hern, 2005. – New York : Routledge, 2004
Baker, William, & Ross, John C., Harold Pinter : a Bibliographical History. – London : The British Library ; New Castle, DE : Oak Knoll Press, 2005
Batty, Mark, About Pinter : the Playwright and the Work. – London : Faber, 2005
 

The Swedish Academy

 

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