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Thursday, October 13, 2005
From Damian Penny comes the news that this year's Nobel Laureate in literature is none other than: Harold Pinter. Damian reproduces a Pinter poem, and links to another. Pinter's poetry inspires comments like "awesomely bad", which I think is being over-kind.
'Course, Pinter's prize is for his plays, not his poetry. Actually, it was probably more for his politics than his plays; the BBC article talks as much about his political posturing as it does about his work. (That last clause saved me from a dangerous alliterative meltdown. Hmmm: Political Poseur Pinter Procures Prize for Plays, Not Poems. There, got that out of my system.) And Ginny, in the comments to her post at Chicagoboyz, notes that Pinter's heyday as a playwright was from 1957 to 1965, suggesting that his politics was the deciding factor in today's award.
Perhaps I'm wrong, though. The Nobel committee's timing could be a desperate attempt to hand Pinter the trinket before he disgraces himself completely. According to this Guardian article, Pinter has given up writing plays, but "I haven't stopped writing poems," he said ominously, as in the streets the children screamed, the lovers cried, and the poets dreamed of fresh starts in new, nobler careers, like telemarketing.
People have been given multiple scientific Nobels when they've been in on more than one important discovery, and two organizations have multiple Peace prizes, but I don't know if they would award multiple Literature prizes. I gather those are given out for a lifetime's work.
Well, perhaps if Pinter manages to hang on another decade or so, he can win a Peace prize. Surely his poetry will advance the cause of peace! Here's a popular portion of Pinter's peace-provoking poetry: