Affirming the Absurd in Harold Pinter

Overview

While the Absurd is frequently used to analyze Harold Pinter's work, some aspects have been long overlooked in Pinter criticism - contemplation and affirmation. Many scholars note the menacing, dark, and sinister qualities of Pinter's works, however there is a lack of alternative interpretations and very little attention has been paid to the affirmative aspects of his plays. This work remedies the lack by examining these aspects, in particular the characters' focus on overcoming trying circumstances, their ...

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Affirming the Absurd in Harold Pinter

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Overview

While the Absurd is frequently used to analyze Harold Pinter's work, some aspects have been long overlooked in Pinter criticism - contemplation and affirmation. Many scholars note the menacing, dark, and sinister qualities of Pinter's works, however there is a lack of alternative interpretations and very little attention has been paid to the affirmative aspects of his plays. This work remedies the lack by examining these aspects, in particular the characters' focus on overcoming trying circumstances, their persistence in the pursuit of freedom, and their stoic but courageous attitudes toward a fate they cannot avoid. Using Martin Esslin's "invention" - the Theatre of the Absurd - to examine Pinter's works, Jane Wong Yeang Chui brings the complexities and intricacies of the plays to the forefront, provoking readers and audiences to reconsider and problematize more conventional studies of his plays.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"By drawing out multidimensional implications, [Chui] foregrounds positive elements often neglected in Pinter studies and helps widen perception of Pinter's work. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty." - CHOICE
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781137345349
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 5/21/2013
  • Pages: 122
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Wong Yeang Chui is Instructor of English in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta, Canada. She has published articles and reviews on modern drama and her current research interests include Renaissance representations of Ireland, early modern historiography, and English political and administrative practices in this period.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Intruders as Liberators in The Birthday Party
3. Estrangement and Reconnection in The Caretaker
4. Implied Silence: Anatomizing Friendship and Betrayal in The Dwarfs
5. Conceptualizing Structure, Freedom, and Desire in The French Lieutenant's Woman
6. Epilogue

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