British Playright Pinter Earns Nobel Prize for Literature

October 15, 2005
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October 15-31, 2005 Edition

British Playright

Pinter Earns Nobel

Prize for Literature

STOCKHOLM, Sweden/October 13, 2005—The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2005 has been awarded to British playwright Harold Pinter. The announcement was made October 13 by Permanent Secretary, Horace Engdahl, at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm. Pinter will receive a cash prize of $1.3 million.

When asked how he felt about winning by an interviewer at the Academy, Pinter said, “Well, I’ve. . .I’ve been absolutely speechless. I am. . .I’m overwhelmed by the news, very deeply moved by the news. But I can’t really articulate what I feel.”

In making the announcement, Engdahl said the seventy-five-year-old Pinter’s plays “uncover the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression’s closed rooms.” He is seen as “the foremost representative of British drama in the second half of the 20th century.”

He published his first produced play, The Room, in 1957, but he is best known for his 1959 production, The Caretaker. Among his most recent works is Remembrance of Things Past, published in 2000.

The author is also known for his political themes. 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.

He will receive the Nobel Prize on December 10 in ceremonies in Stockholm.

The Nobel Prize in Literature has recognized the whole spectrum of literary works including poetry, novels, short stories, plays, essays and speeches. Starting off with the first prize in 1901 to the poet and philosopher Sully Prudhomme, author of Stances et Poèmes (1865), the Prize has distinguished the works of authors from different languages and cultural backgrounds. It has been awarded to unknown masters as well as authors acclaimed worldwide.

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