Harold pinter nobel acceptance speech

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harold pinter nobel acceptance speech

Art, Truth & Politics: The Nobel Lecture by Harold Pinter


As we are waiting to see if the world ends over the next couple of weeks, what better way to spend your last few days on earth than reading Pinter on US ‘full spectrum dominance’ and the lies and appeals to nationalism that turns entire nations to ashes.

The horrors detailed here in Pinter’s speech upon receiving the Nobel prize for literature ought to shame us all. We have been constantly lied to, yet we constantly believe these lies, hundreds of thousands die, and, if we truly belong to democracies, then we are responsible. You might think we would one day learn that bombing people hasn’t proven to be the most effective way to make the world a safer place – but for some reason we seem incapable of ever learning that lesson.

This lecture suffers from being written while Bush II was acting-king of the US. Obama promised so much before he pulled the sword out of the stone (or whatever it is the US does to anoint its short-term kings) – he promised to close the US torture site in Cuba, for instance, (yes, it is still open for business and those there still have not had a fair trial) he promised to move toward nuclear disarmament and then delivered an extra trillion dollars upgrading the US nuclear arsenal. That is, he actually made things worse.

Today, with Trump wearing the hollow crown, the US is unquestionable the greatest threat to world peace in human history, in fact, the greatest threat to our continued existence. The world is becoming increasingly terrifying and our only hope, it seems, is that other nations will capitulate and prove more sensible than the lunatics running the world’s most powerful nation. Just because North Korea backed down (and if you really think that was the obvious outcome in that case, you are infinitely more perceptive than I am) doesn’t for a minute mean Russia or China will – and Trump seems determined to play chicken with both.

If you can bring yourself to believe in a god or gods, perhaps now would be a good time to start praying to them or making sacrifices or whatever it is you need to do. Otherwise, contact your local elected official and demand No more wars.
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Harold Pinter (2005) "Art, Truth And Politics" - Nobel Lecture

Harold Pinter The Nobel Prize in Literature Born: 10 October , London , United Kingdom. Died: 24 December , London, United Kingdom.
Harold Pinter

Harold Pinter – Nobel Lecture

English English [pdf]. French French [pdf]. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false. I believe that these assertions still make sense and do still apply to the exploration of reality through art. So as a writer I stand by them but as a citizen I cannot. As a citizen I must ask: What is true?

Here is the video and text of that acceptance speech, introduced by playwright David Hare. How refreshing and sobering to hear the truth told about the terror of US foreign policy since the end of WW2. Pinter was not only a challenging and brilliant writer, he was a champion for the rights and responsibilities of people everywhere to speak truth to power. Writing, language, and media should serve to enlighten and motivate our lives, not pacify us into accepting unconscionable lies. Thank you Harold Pinter for your work and your passionate argument for the necessity of separating the truth from the lie in the arena of global politics. I think his criticism for the world has hit the mark.

There was something oddly Beckettian about Harold Pinter's Nobel lecture, which was broadcast yesterday by More4, and which even now is blazing its way across the world's media. It was Beckettian in that Pinter sat in a wheelchair, with a rug over his knees and framed by an image of his younger self, delivering his sombre message: memories of Hamm in Beckett's Endgame came to mind. But if Pinter's frailty was occasionally visible, there was nothing ailing about his passionate and astonishing speech, which mixed moral vigour with forensic detail. In fact, the speech was all the more powerful because it was delivered in a husky, throaty rasp. The facts are that Pinter, having recovered from cancer of the oesophagus, was earlier this year stricken by a condition in the mouth which affected his vocal chords. Then 10 days ago he was re-admitted to hospital with severe leg pains. But he briefly emerged on Sunday to record his Nobel speech, and the good news is that he should be back home early next week.

Art, Truth and Politics is the Nobel Lecture delivered on video by the Nobel Laureate in Literature Harold Pinter (–), who was at the time.
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The theatre said the performances ‘couldn’t be more timely’.

The minute videotaped lecture was projected on three large screens in front of the audience at the Swedish Academy , in Stockholm, on the evening of 7 December Speaking with obvious difficulty in the lecture while seated in a wheelchair, Pinter distinguishes between the search for truth in art and the avoidance of truth in politics 5— He describes his own artistic process of creating The Homecoming and Old Times , following an initial line or word or image, calling "the author's position" an "odd one" as, experiencing the "strange moment … of creating characters who up to that moment have had no existence," he must "play a never-ending game with them, cat and mouse, blind man's buff, hide and seek" during which "the search for the truth … has to be faced, right there, on the spot. Political language, as used by politicians, does not venture into any of this territory [of the artist] since the majority of politicians, on the evidence available to us, are interested not in truth but in power and in the maintenance of that power. To maintain that power it is essential that people remain in ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of their own lives. What surrounds us therefore is a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed.




  1. Courtland L. says:

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  2. Browedexar says:

    Harold Pinter – Nobel Lecture. English English [pdf] · Swedish · Swedish [pdf] · French · French [pdf] · German · German [pdf].

  3. Proswynpepe says:

    The renowned author of such plays as The Homecoming and The Caretaker , Pinter has spoken out tirelessly and powerfully against the war in Iraq and the depredations of American imperialism in the Balkans, Central America and elsewhere that preceded it.

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