Sunday, December 28, 2008

RIP Harold Pinter

Although I've never been a particular fan of Harold Pinter, I found myself curiously moved by his death. His work, it appears, affected me more than I realised, so I thought I might perhaps take a moment to reflect upon the man, and his life.

The exact time and place of Harold's birth remains unclear, and although his upbringing by his father's brother sister after the tragic loss of both parents (in an incident that would scar the young Pinter for the rest of his life), has been described as less than ideal, Harold appeared to deal with his situation in a particularly stoic manner. Yet his teenage years were in many way tempestuous - perhaps the inevitable result of bottling up the emotions of his early life. This would, of course, affect his work, although it is arguable that without such a dramatic start to his life, Pinter would never have made the considerable breakthroughs in his field for which he became justly famous -and in some quarters infamous. His acceptance into noted public school Hogwarts certainly moulded the young Pinter into the man he would become, even if for such a tragically short time.

Pinter stamped his mark on the cultural and thaumatological scene as a suburban brooder and as an irate iconoclast - his work on the Crucio incantations alone have earned him a place amongst Britain's finest magicians. Yet it was his stance against the war that gave Pinter most fame towards his final years, perhaps undeservedly overshadowing his earlier, more theoretical work in the area of Imperious Curses.

In recent years, he had seized the platform offered by his 2005 Triwizard Tournament prize to denounce Dark Lord Voldermort and the war in the Wizarding World that was to claim the lives of so many, Muggles and non-Muggles alike.

On a personal note, I rather lost track of Pinter's work somewhere after the Prisoner of Azkaban, which I found well-plotted, but rather lifeless, and stuffed full of sub-Dahlian whimsy, which sat rather uncomfortably next to the over-cranked teenage angst and blatant use of plot tokens. Still, Harold did the best he could with what he was given, and one can ask no more than that. He touched all our lives, whether we knew it or not, and our thoughts must certainly go our to Ron and Hermione, who will need all our support in this difficult time.


21 comments:

cat said...

*giggles rather a lot*

I'm not sure if I should be ashamed of myself for laughing or not. *ponders*

Tim Footman said...

OK, smartarse, now do one for Eartha Kitt.

james henry said...

Hmm...




*fails*

patroclus said...

Eartha Kitt: beloved companion of Michael Knight.

Kelly said...

Would it be nitpicky to say that young Harold was in fact raised by his mother's sister, rather than his father's brother?

Oh well, done it now :)

james henry said...

Oh really? My Potter-fu is weak, unfortunately. I will amend.

Loz said...

This was amazing. AMAZING.

Although I'm genuinely quite ashamed about how incredibly long it took me to cotton on.

james henry said...

*blushes*

Obviously, when I say 'Potter', I mean the bloke what done the plays with all the gaps in.

Kevin said...

I sat here reading, and thought I didn't know Hogwarths was a real place. JK must have taken inspiration from this real Hogwarths. I must goggle after I finish reading.

I don't know if the joke is on me, Harold Pinter or the joke is an homage to Pinter or Potter or ... me? I'm so confused, and now because I feel daft I'm banning myself from commenting on your blog ever again.

P.S. Word verification: "FOCKI" ... indeed.

james henry said...

Kevin: I like to think everyone goggles after reading one of my posts.

'What the-' they say, reeeling into the street, goggling.

Vicus Scurra said...

Yes, very nice. Although I saw another blog post - can't remember where - earlier in the day that used a subtle substitution to great comic effect.
On behalf of those of us who just regurgitate any old crap, well done on working hard on your blog.

Fat Roland said...

Did Tufty the squirrel teach you nothing? Goggle both ways *before* you reeel into the street.

Congrats on taking me in, even after the first Hogwarts reference.

Kevin said...

LOL

Well, I could've used yuhoo.

Damn, I just broke my pre-new year's resolution not to comment on here again. That's gotta be a record?

james henry said...

YOU'RE BARRED!

(you're not actually barred).

Thanks, Vicus and FR.

Kevin said...

KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!

Ahem.

Jayne said...

Oh deary, deary me...

Marsha Klein said...

I'm sure there's a joke to be made about 'the Weasley under the cocktail cabinet'.

Unfortunately, I am not the person to make it.

jayne said...

Where are you? I do hope you're planning to watch Demons tonight - it looks like it'll be wonderfully bad.

james henry said...

I was in Slough! I missed Demons, but will catch up later.

Meanwhile, I have decided the new Doctor will be Good, but feel slightly bad about telling people it was DEFINITELY going to be Patterson Jospeph. Note that I wasn't confident enough to put a bet on it though...

Interval Drinks said...

I had hoped it would be Patterson Joseph too, but can see why they might have gone for Matt Smith.

I saw him in a play earlier this year called That Face where he had a, shall we say, unhelathy relationship with his mother and ended up wearing a nightie and a string of pearls and doing a wee (stage wee not real wee) on a bed. I'm not sure how this bodes for his Doctor-ing but he was very good.

The Pinter post made me laugh muchly...

james henry said...

Ooh dear, I'd better tell Moffat about this, as I'm pretty sure that's his plot for D. Who series 5 ep 2....