The Pinter Ethic: The Erotic Aesthetic

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The only comprehensive guide to the plays of one of the world's greatest yet most puzzling contemporary dramatists, The Pinter Ethic penetrates the mystery of Harold Pinter's work with compelling and authoritative insights that locate and disclose the primal power of his drama in his characters' powerplay for dominance. With remarkable clarity, Penelope Prentice's close reading of Pinter's work untangles the multiple ambiguities, complex conflicts and contradictory actions which continue to baffle, bewilder, and ...
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Overview

The only comprehensive guide to the plays of one of the world's greatest yet most puzzling contemporary dramatists, The Pinter Ethic penetrates the mystery of Harold Pinter's work with compelling and authoritative insights that locate and disclose the primal power of his drama in his characters' powerplay for dominance. With remarkable clarity, Penelope Prentice's close reading of Pinter's work untangles the multiple ambiguities, complex conflicts and contradictory actions which continue to baffle, bewilder, and confound critics and audiences. She reveals that Pinter's plays reflect not a vision of postmodern hopelessness in a world threatening to self-destruct, but provoke unguessed choice and action that enlarge the concept of love and link it to justice. Offering a definitive analysis of Pinter's work--from his early poetry, fiction, interviews, essays and novel The Dwarfs to his most recent play Celebration--Prentice demonstrates why Pinter's work can only be communicated through drama where attitude and intention may count for little, but where action is all.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A comprehensive analysis of Pinter's plays and screenplays that covers not only his earliest work but also his recent play, Moonlight, showing how Pinter's vision illuminates the methods by which drama engages an audience and by which he redefines love and justice. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815313854
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/28/1993
  • Series: Studies in Modern Drama
  • Pages: 372
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 8.68 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Penelope Prentice is Professor of English at D'Youville College. She is an award-winning poet and playwright whose works include Thriller, Michael Tyro, and How to Seduce Your Husband.

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Table of Contents

General Editor's Note
Preface
The Pinter Ethic: Overview
Harold Pinter: Biography
Introduction to the Second Edition: "Fought Against Savage and Pitiless Odds"
Introduction: Pinter's Achievement - Form and Innovation 3
The Dumb Waiter: Toward A Definition of the Pinter Ethic - Paradigmatic Dramatization of Conflict 11
The Birthday Party: Choice, Action and Responsibility - The Pinter Ethic Defined 23
The Room and The Revue Sketches: The Ethic in the Early Work - Dominance and Destruction 47
A Slight Ache as Fulcrum: Leveling Dominant and Subservient Roles - The Triumph of Vitality And Truth 63
A Night Out: Vitality Vitiated 75
The Hothouse: Madness and Violence 81
The Caretaker: Dominance and Subservience Equated - The Human Connection 85
Night School: Possible Justice Without Love 97
The Dwarfs: Dominance as Betrayal 103
The Servant: Paradigmatic Powerplays 111
The Collection and The Lover: Identity Gained by Deliberate Pretense 113
The Pumpkin Eater: Married Love and Justice 125
The Homecoming: Dominance, Choice and the Ethic Revised 127
The Quiller Memorandum: Torture without Threat 151
Tea Party And The Basement: The Illusive Qualities of Power 153
Accident: Death, Desire, and Birth 165
Landscape, Silence And Night: Where Powerplays Vanish 169
The Go-Between: Freedom Reborn 181
Old Times: Triple Dominance 183
Langrishe, Go Down, A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu: The Proust Screenplay, and Monologue: Remembrances of Things Past 203
No Man's Land: Past Dominance Regained 207
The French Lieutenant's Woman and The Last Tycoon: Love Gained and Lost 225
Betrayal: The Past Regained 233
Precisely And Family Voices: Lovedeath 253
A Kind of Alaska: Identity Unresolved 263
Victoria Station: Love And Power Revisited 269
One For The Road: The End of the Road 273
Mountain Language: Torture Revisited 285
Turtle Diary, Victory, The Handmaid's Tale, Reunion, The Heat of the Day, The Comfort of Strangers, The Remains of the Day, and The Trial: The Screenplays of the 1980's and Early 1990's 293
The Comfort Of Strangers: Love and Justice 297
Party Time and The New World Order: Love and Justice Revisited 305
Moonlight: Lovedeath Wedded 315
Ashes to Ashes, The Dreaming Child, and Celebration: Desire, Destruction, Responsiblity and the Complicity of Women 365
Some Conclusions on Love, Justice and Power in the Pinter Ethic: The Public Consequence of Private Acts 413
Select Bibliography 421
Index 441
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