Essays on Theatre
"Pinter is among the few writers one can point to as decisively influential on a genre. (Among fellow Nobelists, one would have to cite Hemingway on fiction, perhaps, or T.S. Eliot on poetry.) There is not a playwright working in English after 1968 or so who doesn’t owe something to the stripping down and refurbishing of theatrical language in Pinter’s early masterworks–a meld of poetry, jargon, slang and strategic silences."
"As a practical influence, Pinter resembles one of his greatest dramatic creations: Max, the bullying patriarch of The Homecoming. Max enters with a stick from the kitchen, bellowing for the scissors. Pinter’s early vision of a more clipped and less overtly political theater has largely won the day, and decisively so."
"The golden cultural moment of the late 1920s and 1930s is a reminder of the possibilities of a synergy between labor and art -- and a possible road map to the future."
"Staged Action may not contain many practical lessons for the playwrights and writers of today, but it does rescue a valuable part of the cultural history of the left. It suggests that when our writers and artists with a popular audience do wake once again -- after this three-decade slumber -- to the dramas of labor and its struggles to organize in the face of powerful force, there are resources from which they may draw inspiration."
"Daisey explicitly rejects the notion that money -- and especially government money -- is a panacea, despite the looming savagery of more budget cuts and the alluring promise of stimulus. In such an atmosphere, it is easy to look back fondly to Depression-era solutions such as the Federal Theatre Project, or to gaze longingly at European-style infusions of cash into elite cultural institutions."
"Lucie's literate plays often bristle with sudden and unexpected violence, making Lucie a key transitional figure between the overtly political British drama of the 1970s and the 'in-yer-face' school of the 1990s."