Nobel prize for playwright and friend of Cuba Harold Pinter

Campaign News | Thursday, 13 October 2005

'I am overwhelmed' says CSC patron

British playwright and friend of Cuba Harold Pinter has won the Nobel Prize for literature.

The 75 year-old patron of CSC and long-time campaigner against US imperialism said he was overwhelmed by the decision announced on 12 October.

Harold is one of the most influential British playwrights of his generation and famous for work such as The Room, The Birthday Party, and The Caretaker.

He has written more than 25 plays plus cinema screenplays including The French Lieutenant's Woman, The Accident, The Servant and The Go-Between.

But he is also equally famous for his work for peace and solidarity. He has appeared many times on platforms and at events to raise money CSC and was an outspoken critic of the interventions in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

In the theatre Harold is credited with the invention of a new dramatic style known as the comedy of menace.

The literary term Pinteresque describes a kind of challenging psychological drama featuring characters that may represent each other's fears, insecurities or latent sexuality.

The Nobel Academy said: "Pinter restored theatre to its basic elements: an enclosed space and unpredictable dialogue where people are at the mercy of each other and pretence crumbles."

Leaning on a cane outside his London home and sporting a bandaged head after a fall he admitted feeling very grateful and "quite overwhelmed".

The frail but defiant writer, who has been recovering from cancer of the oesophagus, is an outspoken radical who has already turned down John Major's offer of a knighthood.

He is the first Briton to win the literature award since V.S. Naipaul in 2001 and used the spotlight of his victory to blast the Government - again - over the Iraq war.

"I think the world is going down the drain if we're not very careful," he said.

"Iraq is just a symbol of the attitude of western democracies to the rest of the world."

Harold joins a list of Nobel laureates in recent years who support Cuba including Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jose Saramargo and Rigoberta Menchu.

CSC director Rob Miller sent this letter to Harold on hearing the news.

Dear Harold,

I would like to pass on our congratulations on your winning the 2005 Nobel Prize for literature.

I am sure that this award is not only in recognitionof your wonderful work in your field but reflects a desire to take into consideration your ongoing support for peace and solidarity in the world at this most dangerous time.

Our very best regards,

Rob Miller

On behalf of the Executive Committee of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign

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