Thursday, December 08, 2005

"a truly voluptuous cushion of reassurance"


Anonymous King Bastard said...


12/09/2005 5:52 AM  
Blogger Jon Husband said...

Pinter had a brief commentary back on October 18 or 19th that was remarkable .. so remarkable that I spent my last 2 euros in a cafe on Rhodos to by the Guardian that day. I still have it somewhare, and will typoe itout and email you it .. it was exceedingly concise and powerful.

12/09/2005 2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took a history course at the state university back in 1983 about the history of Latin America. The professor who taught was very big on the idea of the Caudillo. We had to write a term paper on something, and I wrote one about the Sandanistas. This professor gave me a F. This girl I knew in the class said this was very unfair to me just because I didn;t liek the Caudillo. I had to rewrite that paper just to get a D!

I don't read much news anyway, but now because of the internet I read this blog post and I find that a guy who liked the Sandanistas and didn't like the Caudillos gets a Noble prize. What a fucked up world where the one person who gets the prize from a bunch of stuffed shirts only gets to say what nobody else in a public university can say without getting bad grades and almost flunking, even though both of them have never been to the country of Sandinia!

That professor was odd. While he lectured he used to hold his Gold Cross pen between the palms of his hands and slide his hands back and forth, rotating the pen along his palms. We were concerned that it might melt.


12/09/2005 11:00 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...


I'd welcome the Pinter - thanks - I know I owe you an email or three.


perhaps the prof was simply keeping his slot muscles warm.

12/10/2005 12:03 AM  
Blogger Jon Husband said...

Here's the Pinter piece I remembered .. it's a variation on a theme, the most recent speech being only the latest example. I didn't have to type it out from the copy I kept .. thanks, Google.

What I found interesting at the time was that it was on the front page of the Independent on October 14th. While I picked it up on Rhodos, no doubt hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people who read English were picking it up from newstands in Madrid, Rome, Moscow, London, Paris, etc.

I can't even imagine something such as his brief 8 paragraphs or so appearing on the front page of an American newspaper. How can the ongoing absence of responsibility and any moral courage on the part of the newspapers and television news possibly continue ?

What DO the men and women who lead these enterprises think when THEY look in the mirror (as Pinter challenges Bush and Blair to do) ? How can this be .. is the ideology of money so very deep that all vestigial link to a sense of humanity have disappeared ?

12/10/2005 12:32 PM  
Blogger Jon Husband said...

I also found this examination of Pinter's recent speech quite interesting, and I thought the writer's suggestion that Pinter, in being extremely earnest, may have left some of the possible impact on the table (so to speak) probably correct.

12/10/2005 12:39 PM  
Blogger Mike Golby said...

I've read the critique of Pinter's speech and find it damned good, Jon. Then again, is structure that important when given such opportunity to address millions on a matter of importance, especially when crippled by illness?

But, yes, the flaw is definitely there.

Knut Hamsun... what a wonderful speech; what warmth, grace, humility. Much of his writing was as lyrical. Hunger, on the other hand, was as harrowing as any book I remember reading when young. Perhaps if we read as much today, or visited the theatre as frequently, Pinter would have had no need...

Ah, hell, there's nothing like nostalgia, eh? Times have changed. We're all hacks now.

12/12/2005 4:47 PM  
Blogger Jon Husband said...

Mike, I was being as Canadian as all get out when I wrote " ... may have left some of the possible impact on the table (so to speak) probably correct."

Pinter's address could have been historically magnificent, one for the ages. I'm not even well-developed in the literary field, and I could see that.

Don't seem to be able to get that equivocal politeness out of ny system, must be almost genetic.

Ah, yes .. if we only read and went to the theatre (live) more. Which brings to mind .. I saw an extremely powerful exhibiton in the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art about a year ago by one of your fellow countrymen, William Kentridge, and I was delighted / doubly impressed that he is (or was) quite involved with activist theatre.

12/12/2005 6:38 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

As much as I'm tempted to agree with you both (Jon and Mike), I have to say, I think Pinter is enough of a writer to know that he was breaking with the occasion and the logic of his opening. He understood he was forfeiting some degree of persuasive force by not going the Orwell route.

Perhaps it would be worthwhile to wonder why he'd make this "mistake."

Roy of Alicua finds Pinter's argument "beyond the province of literature."

It may be precisely the political, social, and cultural policing of the boundaries of that province that Pinter here wishes to put in question. To do this, he steps outside his theatrical raison d'etat. Is this what's kind of unforgiveable - a matter, not of poetics, but of protocol?

12/12/2005 10:40 PM  
Blogger Jon Husband said...

I'll bet you're right, Tom. I am thinking that he knew full well that this was a moment on the world stage and that he needed (wanted) to make his statement clear, concise and accessible to as many humans as cared to pay attention ... without making it probably more tricky to access while perhaps more powerful.

12/14/2005 12:41 AM  
Anonymous brian moffatt said...

I'm late to the game here guys, but I saw the piece - and haven't read it yet. Glanced at the critique.

It was, to me, a remarkable piece of theatre. A one man show. Perfectly logical, having everything to do with literature and language. What am I missing?

Art - his art, language,- as opening up, a movement toward truth, a noble if unattainable goal.

Politics - branded as The Truth Outright - where language is debased ceaslessly, monotonously.

And the Pinter pauses!

I'm not easily moved, but here was a man speaking on behalf of the unaccounted dead - did you kiss the dead body?

I think ultimately some might be offended because implied in his speech is the notion that democracy - our form of poltics - is a complete sham, not only artless, but truthless. Sacrosanct. Delusional.

We sit in this country (Canada, during an election) and the words being spilt on the charlatans, hucksters and bagmen is sickening.

Pinter sat in that wheelchair - almost voiecless - covered by that blanket, the tapestry of lies.

Art is a cripple. And politics ia the art of barbarians.

Made sense to me.

Death. Bring it on.

12/17/2005 3:45 PM  

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