The latest volume in the Michigan Modern Dramatists series offers an authoritative but accessible look at Harold Pinter, one of the greatest and most influential postwar British playwrights and author of classic works such as The Birthday Party and The Homecoming. Pinter was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005 for his remarkable body of work and plays that "uncover the precipice under everyday prattle and force entry into oppression's closed rooms."
Harold Pinter: The Theatre of Power focuses on the playwright's continuously innovative experiments in theatrical form while tracing the recurrence of a consistent set of ethical and epistemological concerns. Exploring important plays from across this prolific writer’s career, author Robert Gordon argues that the motivating force in almost all of Pinter's drama is the ceaseless desire for power, represented in his work as a compulsive drive to achieve or maintain dominance—whether it be the struggle to defend one's own territory from intruders, the father's battle with his sons to assert his patriarchal position in the family, the manipulation of erotic feelings in the gender warfare that motivates sexual relationships, the abuse of brute force by dictatorships and democracies, or simply the masculine obsession to dominate. Gordon demonstrates the adventurousness of Pinter's experimentation with form while at the same time exposing the ethical, epistemological, and aesthetic preoccupations that have persisted with remarkable consistency throughout his career.
Photo: Harold Pinter, 1976. © Eve Arnold, Magnum Photos