Harold Pinter

Literary Birthday – 10 October – Harold Pinter

Harold Pinter was born 10 October 1930, and died 24 December 2008.


  1. Language in art remains a highly ambiguous transaction, a quicksand, a trampoline, a frozen pool which might give way under you … at any time.
  2. The crimes of the U.S. throughout the world have been systematic, constant, clinical, remorseless, and fully documented but nobody talks about them. …All that happens is that the destruction of human beings – unless they’re Americans – is called collateral damage.
  3. One way of looking at speech is to say that it is a constant stratagem to cover nakedness.
  4. Good writing excites me, and makes life worth living.
  5. There are some things one remembers even though they may never have happened.
  6. I never think of myself as wise. I think of myself as possessing a critical intelligence which I intend to allow to operate.
  7. I’m not committed as a writer, in the usual sense of the term, either religiously or politically. And I’m not conscious of any particular social function. I write because I want to write. I don’t see any placards on myself, and I don’t carry any banners.
  8. It’s very difficult to feel contempt for others when you see yourself in the mirror.
  9. I don’t give a damn what other people think. It’s entirely their own business. I’m not writing for other people.
  10. I think we communicate only too well, in our silence, in what is unsaid, and that what takes place is a continual evasion, desperate rearguard attempts to keep ourselves to ourselves. Communication is too alarming. To enter into someone else’s life is too frightening. To disclose to others the poverty within us is too fearsome a possibility.

Harold Pinter was a Nobel Prize-winning English playwright, screenwriter, director and actor. His best-known plays include The Birthday Party (1957), The Homecoming (1964), and Betrayal (1978), each of which he adapted for the screen. His screenplay adaptations of others’ works include The Go-Between(1970), The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981), and The Trial (1993).

Source for Image


Illuminations Films, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 10th October 2013