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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:30 am

Prepare to have your world turned upside down:

Harold Pinter announced today that he has decided to abandon his career as a playwright in order to concentrate exclusively on politics.


Posted by Tim B. on 02/28/2005 at 10:12 PM

      But Pinter had a crumb of comfort for fans of his work. “I think I’ve stopped writing plays now, but I haven’t stopped writing poems”

      Posted by guinsPen on 02/28 at 10:32 PM • permalink


    1. Just in time! There are still some Draculan tyrants remaining whom Harold Pinter can serve as a more articulate Renfield, and they can provide him with the most exotic bugs to eat.

      Posted by ForNow on 02/28 at 10:46 PM • permalink


    1. I would like Harold Pinter to show me his poems from the ‘90s about Saddam Hussein.  These anti-war people never seem to be answerable for the fact they didn’t lift a finger to protest the real war criminal, Mr. Hussein.  In their eyes, history always seems to begin on March 19, 2003.  Where were you before that, Mr. Pinter?  Do you feel no responsibility for the people killed then while you looked the other way?

      Posted by kcom on 02/28 at 11:01 PM • permalink


    1. will anybody actually notice?

      Posted by murph on 02/28 at 11:01 PM • permalink


    1. what is it with moonbats and poetry

      Posted by FusterCluck on 02/28 at 11:04 PM • permalink


    1. “I’ve written 29 plays. Isn’t that enough?” Yes, Harold, more than enough.

      Posted by Urbs in Horto on 02/28 at 11:13 PM • permalink


    1. He means the next play will be political

      Posted by rog2 on 02/28 at 11:29 PM • permalink



      [The scene is a nearly-deserted bar. At the bar sits HAROLD, holding a pint. A BARTENDER is washing glasses]

      HAROLD: Another pint.

      [BARTENDER silently pushes another across]

      HAROLD: Interesting day. Real interesting.

      [no response]

      HAROLD: Y’know, it’s funny. People never like to look deeper inna things. I mean, here I am, I’m a playwright, poet. People, they see someone like that and just walk by, it’s like they don’t even notice. But it’s real interesting, the writer’s life. Real interesting.

      [no response but the clink of glasses]

      HAROLD: I mean, most people, they think I just siddown and write plays, all dull and conventional-like. But y’know, there are little games you can play.

      BARTENDER: Closing in fifteen minutes.

      HAROLD: For example – the whole leg-crossing bit. Wouldn’t find that in a play if writers were really the dull types everyone thinks we are. It was a joke, see? Wanted to see how long I could make the audience just sit there while nothing happened. That’s not the kind of joke a stockbroker or one of them rich city types could make.


      HAROLD: Of course, it’s a lot of work, playwrighting is. And nobody seems to appreciate you once you get older. Chew you up and spit you out, the industry does. Like factory work – there’s always fresh blood coming in, why should we have to look after the poor buggers who are past it?

      BARTENDER: Tab is…eighty-five pounds seventy pence, sir. How will you be paying?

      HAROLD: Course, I haven’t done much playwrighting lately. Takes it out of you, at my age. Done lots of poems, though – little things.

      BARTENDER: How will you be paying, sir?

      HAROLD: Sometimes I wonder…what will people remember longer, the poems or the plays? Course, I did a bit of activism too – amateur thing, really. Wonder if they’ll remember any of it. It’s the kind of thing people take for granted – like garbage collectors. They don’t care about it unless it disappears suddenly.

      BARTENDER: Eighty-five pounds seventy.

      HAROLD: Maybe I could switch to activism again. Something to do with my life.

      BARTENDER: Closing in five minutes, and you owe eighty-five pounds seventy.

      HAROLD: You think I’m paying for this? I just told you I’m a writer! What kind of a life do you think I’ve had? Begging for scraps – working myself to the bone to promote the Cause – writing plays none of you bastards cared about – and you have the nerve to get me for eighty-five pounds?

      [BARTENDER takes baseball bat from under counter, glowers]

      HAROLD [producing billfold]: You’ll pay for this when the Revolution comes. You and everyone like you! Trying to do over some poor sod of a benighted writer – that’s it! I’m turning to activism! THE WORLD WILL HEAR OF THIS, YOU UNDERSTAND ME?!!

      [EXIT, followed by an enraged and bat-wielding BARTENDER]
      Posted by Sonetka on 02/28 at 11:36 PM • permalink


    1. I`ve seen one Pinter play and it was crap. I gave him a chance and he fail me.
      If you fail at all else try politics.

      Posted by raider580 on 02/28 at 11:55 PM • permalink


    1. “I’ve written 29 plays. Isn’t that enough?�?

      Probably.  I’m not sure I could avoid seeing a 30th as well.The man is no Tom Stoppard,,,

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 03/01 at 12:53 AM • permalink


    1. Hurry Up Harry

      Looks like it’s turning winter,
      for poor daft old Harold Pinter,
      No more plays, but poems and rhymes,
      His income’s down to nickels and dimes.

      Maybe he could be a media whore,
      Like lefty lumpoid Mikey Moore-
      Then he’d be on easy street,
      Making moolah beating his meat.

      At least HST had the good grace,
      To shoot himself in the face;
      All these other old whiny pinko gits,
      Hang around giving us the shits.

      Like Beatle Boots and Khe Sanh,
      The sixties are so over, man.
      Must be sad to have been so hip,
      To now wind up on a saline drip.

      Those days are gone, and only missed,
      By old farts when they’re pissed,
      Like flares, tie-dye and protest folk-
      So why don’t you just go and croak?

      Posted by Habib on 03/01 at 01:06 AM • permalink


    1. Excellent, excellent work, sonetka.  All that’s missing is Pinter calling the bartender “chum.” Because apparently, when HP calls you “chum,” you should sit up and take notice or something.

      Posted by Joe Geoghegan on 03/01 at 01:12 AM • permalink


    1. LOL, Habib!  Good one.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 03/01 at 01:31 AM • permalink


    1. That’s bloody brilliant, Sonetka.

      Posted by Hanyu on 03/01 at 01:38 AM • permalink


    1. Great, so politics gets Pinter and literature gets Jimmy Carter.  It’s a lose-lose situation.

      Posted by Sluggo on 03/01 at 02:11 AM • permalink


    1. If we could harness left-wing self-importance for electricity, we wouldn’t need to burn copies of the Kyoto Accord to keep warm.

      I’d say “Don’t quit your day job” to Pinter, but then…

      Posted by Craig Mc on 03/01 at 02:27 AM • permalink


    1. Both Sonetka and Habib have pretty much summed it up! Well done.

      Posted by blogstrop on 03/01 at 03:14 AM • permalink


    1. Having read some of his poems, I can’t think that it’s a wise career move.

      Then it’s some time since I saw one of his plays.

      Posted by rexie on 03/01 at 04:03 AM • permalink


    1. How many plays have Sonetka and Habib had produced?  I’d really like to read them.

      Posted by Bryla on 03/01 at 04:57 AM • permalink


    1. Bryla – I’ll answer that if you’ll tell me how many short stories you’ve had published and paid for :).

      Posted by Sonetka on 03/01 at 05:07 AM • permalink


    1. By the look of his prize-winning pome, I reckon H could turn a quid writing lyrics for Gorgoroth. Or maybe Spinal Tap.

      Posted by Habib on 03/01 at 05:17 AM • permalink


    1. Sonetka, I’m pretty sure mine is bigger than yours

      Posted by Bryla on 03/01 at 05:28 AM • permalink


    1. I just followed rexie’s link above. Apparently Pinter has won the ‘Wilfred Owen Award for War Poetry.’ Is it just me, or was Wilfred Owen famous for, you know, poetry in another war? Like, nearly a hundred years ago? I’m an enormous fan of Wilfred Owen’s poetry (I like it a lot, not I’m fat), but doesn’t it seem a tiny bit presumptious to ascribe his name to the anti-war mood today, when he was dead before Iraq came into existence? I don’t like the sound of this Wilfred Owen Society. He was a great poet, not a man with future-vision.

      Posted by Steve on 03/01 at 05:47 AM • permalink


    1. all I can say is, what a fag!

      Posted by steve68 on 03/01 at 05:57 AM • permalink


    1. The only good news for the UK is that he is criticizing Blair. He is not doing it for the right reasons but that is unimportant.

      Posted by jorgen on 03/01 at 06:51 AM • permalink


    1. I’ve had it, he grumbled, I’m done
      This playwriting crap is no fun.
      More pitiful than
      An angry young man:
      An angry old has-been – I’m one.

      An ignorant, self-righteous crank
      Whose efforts at prose frankly stank;
      Now I’ll stick to verse
      At which I am worse.
      You’ll all have the Bushies to thank.

      Posted by lyle on 03/01 at 08:01 AM • permalink


    1. well bugger me – he was a playwright? i thought all that stuff was just undergraduate socialist meetings that took the wrong tram & ended up on stage by accident


      Posted by KK on 03/01 at 08:02 AM • permalink


    1. I’d like to see a Macbeth II, tying up the loose ends, if he wants to do something useful.

      Like who did the deed.  I suspect the Macbeth woman.

      Posted by rhhardin on 03/01 at 08:06 AM • permalink


    1. I am too important, he swore.
      They cannot and will not ignore
      My anti-war screeds
      And narcissist needs.
      I’m more than a glorified bore!

      Bushitler fears me – he’s right!
      He stole all my pencils last night.
      Rumsfeldian beams
      Disrupt my dreams
      And scramble my brains when I write.

      But all that his minions devise,
      The mind-rays and nightmares and lies,
      Cannot confuse me –
      Wait, did I just see
      Vampire Slayer Rice with these eyes?

      Posted by lyle on 03/01 at 09:46 AM • permalink


    1. steve

      I quite agree about Wilfred Owen.  Whatever his unknowable views on the War in Iraq might have been, he could be forgiven for his dove-like sentiments about the futility of war having served (and died) in the trenches as a young man.  Unlike Pinter who has pontificated on the subject from a safe distance.

      Also Owen could write:


      Move him into the sun–
      Gently its touch awoke him once,
      At home, whispering of fields unsown.
      Always it woke him, even in France,
      Until this morning and this snow.
      If anything might rouse him now
      The kind old sun will know.

      Think how it wakes the seeds,–
      Woke, once, the clays of a cold star.
      Are limbs, so dear-achieved, are sides,
      Full-nerved– still warm,– too hard to stir?
      Was it for this the clay grew tall?
      — O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
      To break earth’s sleep at all?

      Posted by rexie on 03/01 at 10:44 AM • permalink


    1. Thanks, Rexie.  That’s a gorgeous Owen poem.  I hope that Sonetka, Habib, and Lyle will forgive my ranking it a bit ahead of their works.  =P Or for that matter, ahead of anything I’ve done.

      Posted by Nightfly on 03/01 at 02:21 PM • permalink




      Thanks for the compliments, guys – and mine go out to Habib and Lyle, with bells on. But frankly, I’m a little disappointed in the efforts of our new troll.

      Posted by Sonetka on 03/01 at 02:31 PM • permalink


    1. Sonetka,

      You can probably assume that Bryla has had more works published, simply because anybody with an email address like has probably been living on the public teat for years, producing reams of shitty, pointless literature – all paid for by you and me at the point of a gun.

      Posted by murph on 03/01 at 09:15 PM • permalink


    1. “The German Guns”, by Private Baldrick

      Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom
      Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom,
      Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom

      Posted by murph on 03/01 at 09:26 PM • permalink


    1. Hang on.  I got it wrong.

      “The German Guns�?, by Private Baldrick
      Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom,
      Boom, Boom, Boom,
      Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom,
      Boom, Boom, Boom.

      Posted by murph on 03/01 at 09:28 PM • permalink


    1. Now is the Pinter of our discontent
      Made laborious by this sum of talk;
      And all the Clods who lour’d upon our house
      In the deep bosom of the Observer buried.

      Posted by Zoe Brain on 03/01 at 10:21 PM • permalink


    1. You’ve got me there murph.  How witty and incisive of you.  Established literary figures are all wankers anyhow (except for Joseph Goebbles).  Thanks for all those checques, do you have any guns or cars for me now?

      Posted by Bryla on 03/01 at 10:44 PM • permalink


    1. Joseph Goebbles [sic] is an established literary figure?  In what circle?

      As a matter of fact I enjoy many works of literature, written by people of both left and right wing persuasions.  Neither side has a monopoly on wankerdom, however I would say that those on the far left, like Mr Pinter, and far right, like Mr Goebbels, certainly make up the largess.

      As for your statement…

      Thanks for all those checques [sic], do you have any guns or cars for me now?

      What ARE you on about, you silly person?

      Posted by murph on 03/01 at 10:53 PM • permalink


    1. Murph – your limited intellect cannot comprehend the layers of depth contained in the deep thoughts of Bryla.  His moon literature is far advanced beyond simple Earth concepts like plot, character, and motivation.  That is why he gets checks from the government.

      Sonetka – don’t fret, yer still me bonnie lass.  (You ARE a lass, right?)

      Posted by Nightfly on 03/02 at 12:21 AM • permalink


    1. Goebbels produced lot’s of literature, a lot of which was as reflective of reality of Harold Pinter; he must be chuffed having a sauce named after his initials though. Clever marketing, as both are red and fruity.

      Posted by Habib on 03/02 at 12:25 AM • permalink


    1. What ARE you on about, you silly person?

      murph, I think it’s more of a case of what Bryla is on, not on about.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 03/02 at 02:26 AM • permalink


    1. Is there any chance Pinter can get Le Carré as his running mate?

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 03/02 at 08:18 PM • permalink


    1. Why stop with Le Carre, Richard? Let’s see some real solidarity from Harold’s friends and fellow travellers. Noam Chomsky calling it quits; mass resignations at the UN; Philip Adams Bob Brown and Margo Kingston departing en masse. Ah, well, we can dream.

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 03/02 at 09:35 PM • permalink


    1. Margo departs all the time, especially when something significant and inexplicable by her worldview happens in the real world.

      She just keeps coming back.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 03/02 at 11:48 PM • permalink


    1. Belated, but…

      Murph – got me there. Such things would fall under the “fiction” heading, wouldn’t they? 🙂

      Yes, Nightfly, I am 100% Lass. (“She must be labeled Lass, With Care, you know.”)

      Can I throw in a nomination of Alec Baldwin for Pinter’s cabinet? Him or Sean Penn.

      Posted by Sonetka on 03/03 at 12:51 AM • permalink


    1. Any Baldwin- they breed like rabbits, and I reckon it’s time for a cull.

      Posted by Habib on 03/03 at 01:21 AM • permalink


  1. The theatre’s loss is now the political realm’s loss.

    Posted by Ioxymoron on 03/04 at 11:25 AM • permalink