Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Harold Pinter

The master of the meaningful pause dies on Silent Night, the artist of primal Jewish dread expires on Christmas eve--a Pinteresque moment in a time of turmoil.

For generations, starting with mine, Harold Pinter made art out of what was unsaid and unseen. His work took us out of the clatter and confusion of our daily lives into bare places where we could sense what might be going on below the noisy surface of our consciousness.

Watching a Pinter play was never pleasure in the traditional sense of being entertained to distraction. It could leave us bored, puzzled, sometimes annoyed, but always moved in ways that prompted thought, discussion and, most of all, feeling.

Unmentioned in most obituaries will be his screenplay for "The Last Tycoon," Scott Fitzgerald's unfinished novel, directed by Elia Kazan, a confluence of 20th century talents that told more about the romantic longings and power struggles behind the making of movies than dozens of Sunset Boulevards.

Pinter was often grouped with the Theater of the Absurd, but reality was what he was after.

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