British playwright Harold Pinter has been awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in Literature.
In making its announcement, the Swedish Academy said that in his plays, Pinter “uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression’s closed rooms”.
Pinter, aged 75, was born to a Jewish dressmaker in the London borough of Hackney. The Nobel jury described him as the foremost representative
of drama in post-war Britain.
The laureate “restored theatre to its basic elements: an enclosed space and unpredictable dialogue where people are at the mercy of each other and pretense crumbles,” added the awarding panel.
Perhaps a mark of his stature is the adjective “Pinteresque” which is used to describe a particularly menacing, taut atmosphere in drama.
During his youth, Pinter experienced anti-Semitism, which he said had been important in his decision to become a dramatist. He made his playwriting debut in 1957, with “The Room”. His conclusive breakthrough came with “The Caretaker” in 1959, followed by “The Homecoming” in 1964.
The Nobel Committee also noted the value of Pinter’s work outside the arts.
“Since 1973, Pinter has won recognition as a fighter for human rights, alongside his writing. He has often taken stands seen as controversial.”
Pinter, who had been named in the speculation surrounding this year’s prize, will receive the 10 million kronor prize money, a gold medal and a diploma from Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on 10th December, the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel.
The announcement of the Literature Prize was the last of six by the Nobel Committee.