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Hailed by The New York Times as "one of the most important playwrights of our day," Harold Pinter is the author of The Birthday Party, The Homecoming, and The Caretaker--just a few of his plays that have become seminal works in our literary canon. In Various Voices, Pinter presents his own selections from over fifty years of prose, poetry, and political writings, offering Hailed by The New York Times as "one of the most important playwrights of our day," Harold Pinter is the author of The Birthday Party, The Homecoming, and The Caretaker--just a few of his plays that have become seminal works in our literary canon. In Various Voices, Pinter presents his own selections from over fifty years of prose, poetry, and political writings, offering insight into the man and his oeuvre. Now in paperback, this edition includes recently written new poems and prose. His nonfiction selections span "A Note on Shakespeare" (1950) to "An Interview with Mireia Aragay" (1996); the short stories begin with "Kullus" (1949) and end with "Tess" (2000); and the poetry ranges from "School Life" (1948) to "They All Rang" (1999). The political writings illustrate the lucidity of Pinter's views on human-rights issues.


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Hailed by The New York Times as "one of the most important playwrights of our day," Harold Pinter is the author of The Birthday Party, The Homecoming, and The Caretaker--just a few of his plays that have become seminal works in our literary canon. In Various Voices, Pinter presents his own selections from over fifty years of prose, poetry, and political writings, offering Hailed by The New York Times as "one of the most important playwrights of our day," Harold Pinter is the author of The Birthday Party, The Homecoming, and The Caretaker--just a few of his plays that have become seminal works in our literary canon. In Various Voices, Pinter presents his own selections from over fifty years of prose, poetry, and political writings, offering insight into the man and his oeuvre. Now in paperback, this edition includes recently written new poems and prose. His nonfiction selections span "A Note on Shakespeare" (1950) to "An Interview with Mireia Aragay" (1996); the short stories begin with "Kullus" (1949) and end with "Tess" (2000); and the poetry ranges from "School Life" (1948) to "They All Rang" (1999). The political writings illustrate the lucidity of Pinter's views on human-rights issues.

30 review for Various Voices: Prose, Poetry, Politics

  1. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    3.5 This book is divided into four sections and each has its own quality, or lack thereof. It starts off strong with "Prose," which is nonfiction about theatre and its personalities. This was enjoyable, an insight into the mind of a playwright and screenwriter. (4 stars) The second section, "Prose Fiction," is the big drop-off. Wordplay and interchangeability of characters appear, much in the same way as they do is in his plays, but they don't work for me as short stories. It also didn't help that 3.5 This book is divided into four sections and each has its own quality, or lack thereof. It starts off strong with "Prose," which is nonfiction about theatre and its personalities. This was enjoyable, an insight into the mind of a playwright and screenwriter. (4 stars) The second section, "Prose Fiction," is the big drop-off. Wordplay and interchangeability of characters appear, much in the same way as they do is in his plays, but they don't work for me as short stories. It also didn't help that any woman in any of the stories seems to be there only as an object of lust, or a body part. (2 stars) The "Poetry" section, presented chronologically, is uninspiring at first but picks up considerably about halfway through. Of course, it helped that I still had Julian Sands' voice in my head as I read some of these. (See here for that account.) A reworking of his own The Birthday Party in poetic form is interesting. (3 stars) The book ends on a high note with "Politics," essays to various newspapers, most dealing with the hypocrisy of the U.S. and its relations with other countries, as well as the inclusion of two articles (not written by Pinter) about the banning of a production of his plays in an English prison and the arrests at a rehearsal of Mountain Language at a Kurdish community center in London. I laughed at the ridiculousness of the first, but the latter was too scary and sad for even a chuckle. (4 stars)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Esther

    to summarize - a selection of his non play related writing. Some of the non fiction is great, esp some letters written to The Guardian. I wish I could be that articulate about Reagan/Nicaragua/Iraq/Bush insanity.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alden (Decaf)

    Political sections were good, made some good points about the use of language in politics and how easily it can be subverted, respect him for remaining firm on his positions and advocating for them so thoroughly; as for the actual fiction sections, there are only so many times I can read the word "swelling" to describe a woman before I long for the sweet release of death Political sections were good, made some good points about the use of language in politics and how easily it can be subverted, respect him for remaining firm on his positions and advocating for them so thoroughly; as for the actual fiction sections, there are only so many times I can read the word "swelling" to describe a woman before I long for the sweet release of death

  4. 5 out of 5

    beth

    this book was published before pinter won the nobel prize for literature in 2005, so it lacks a critical piece of pinter's work: his nobel prize acceptance speech. but you can see that online. http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/li... if you're going to read this book, be sure you read that speech as well. but yes, this is a fine collection of fiction, letters, and interviews with the political dramatist, poet, and visionary. this book was published before pinter won the nobel prize for literature in 2005, so it lacks a critical piece of pinter's work: his nobel prize acceptance speech. but you can see that online. http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/li... if you're going to read this book, be sure you read that speech as well. but yes, this is a fine collection of fiction, letters, and interviews with the political dramatist, poet, and visionary.

  5. 5 out of 5

    David

    Much as I enjoy the plays written by Harold Pinter, I'm afraid I couldn't get on with his writing. The first of the three sections was the best: letters, speeches and other bits of prose. But the poetry, which was a particular love of the writer, left me cold. Although I have to say that most poetry does. But like those pieces earlier, the poems on cricket were the most accessible. Then the last section on political writing was not for me and I skipped most of it. If only they had saved the firs Much as I enjoy the plays written by Harold Pinter, I'm afraid I couldn't get on with his writing. The first of the three sections was the best: letters, speeches and other bits of prose. But the poetry, which was a particular love of the writer, left me cold. Although I have to say that most poetry does. But like those pieces earlier, the poems on cricket were the most accessible. Then the last section on political writing was not for me and I skipped most of it. If only they had saved the first for last.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kiof

    He hasn't got any literary theories, and most of his poems aren't very good, but he's got some political theories that he'll bludgeon you with. Even if you agree with ninety percent of what he's saying--and who couldn't?--it can all feel a bit menacing. To quote a more nuanced observer of leftist Latin American politics than Pinter: "God bless Fidel Castro's concentration camps for homosexuals and...Hugo Chavez's Spanish which smells of shit and is shit, since I created it." He hasn't got any literary theories, and most of his poems aren't very good, but he's got some political theories that he'll bludgeon you with. Even if you agree with ninety percent of what he's saying--and who couldn't?--it can all feel a bit menacing. To quote a more nuanced observer of leftist Latin American politics than Pinter: "God bless Fidel Castro's concentration camps for homosexuals and...Hugo Chavez's Spanish which smells of shit and is shit, since I created it."

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marie-pierre Stien

    I've never liked Pinter, mostly because I've never liked his misogynistic plays and the man is oh-so-very dry and full of himself. But he does know literature of course and has more than a few things to say about it. A great place to learn, if you were the kind of woman who could tolerate such occasional read. I've never liked Pinter, mostly because I've never liked his misogynistic plays and the man is oh-so-very dry and full of himself. But he does know literature of course and has more than a few things to say about it. A great place to learn, if you were the kind of woman who could tolerate such occasional read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    3.5 rounded up. The essays are uniformly intertesting, the poems vary ( I prefer the later ones ) and the short stories are the weakest section. Not for the first time reader.

  9. 5 out of 5

    annakatrina

    I know the place I know the place. It is true. Everything we do Corrects the space Between death and me And you.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Peter Westergaard

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cam Roberts

  12. 4 out of 5

    Emanuel

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Monaghan

  14. 5 out of 5

    mary lou tosques

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  16. 4 out of 5

    Branka

  17. 4 out of 5

    Faith

  18. 4 out of 5

    Joe

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bauchui

  20. 4 out of 5

    Will Day-brosnan

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

  22. 4 out of 5

    Toby William

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lis

  24. 5 out of 5

    alex

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gracchus Babeuf

  26. 4 out of 5

    Luke

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tom Beaver

  28. 4 out of 5

    Eric

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alberto

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ioanna

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