Cycnos | Volume 14 n°1 Harold Pinter - 

David Z. Saltz  : 

Pinter (a dialogue)

Texte intégral

1A: Pinter.

2B: What?

3A: Pinter. Do you know him?

4B: Pinter?

5A: Yes.


7 Do you?

8B: Know him?

9A: His work. Do you know his work? Are you… acquainted with his… literary output?

10B: Which one?

11A: What?

12B: Work. Which work?

13A: Any of it.

14B: There’s a lot of it, you know. Of work. A man like him generates a lot of… literary… work.

15A: Mmnn.

16B: A man of his… caliber.


18 A great many works.

19A: I see.


21 Then you do?

22B: What?

23A: Know him. Them. The works. The plays.


25B: The plays?

26A: Yes.

27B: No.


29 I don’t, actually. Know them.

30A: Ah.


32B: Do you?

33A: What?

34B: Know them? Pinter’s… plays?


36A: There aren’t that many, actually.

37B: Aren’t there?

38A: No. In point of fact, very few. For a writer of his… reputation. A startling lack of literary… fecundity, Pinter.

39B: Mmnn.

40A: Especially recently. The last twenty years or so. Quite productive before that. But recently a bit of a… falling off.


42 A shame, really.

43B: Is it?

44A: Don’t you think?


46 Eh?


48 Ah, but then you wouldn’t know. Would you? You wouldn’t know anything about that. His dramatic fecundity. Or lack thereof. Since, as you’ve just admitted, with admirable candor, as you’ve just confessed, you don’t know him, or his work, his plays, at all. You know nothing about Pinter. So you’re hardly in a position to assess. Are you?


50B: Quite influential.

51A: Oh?

52B: I hear.

53A: Ah.

54Slight pause

55 You hear that, do you?


57B: Yes. Inspires quite a few… imitators. His work does. His style.

58Slight pause

59 That’s what they say, anyway.


61 Not very good, most of them. His imitators. His literary proteges.


63 I hear.


65 Second rate hacks. Knocking off his style of writing… dialogue. Knocking off second rate parodies of his work. Awful stuff. Broadcasting it to the world. Quite pathetic, really.

66A: Oh?

67B: That’s what I hear, anyway.

68A: Ah.

69Long pause

70 I’ve always quite liked Mamet, actually.

71B: Mamet?

72A: David Mamet. Yes.


74 And very… productive. Mamet. Impressive quantity of first rate… literary… output.

75B: But we’ve been discussing Pinter.

76A: What?

77B: Pinter.

78A: Pinter?

79B: Yes.


81A: Not… Mamet?

82B: No. Pinter.

83A: Ah.

84Slight pause

85 My mistake.

Pour citer cet article

David Z. Saltz, « Pinter (a dialogue) », paru dans Cycnos, Volume 14 n°1, mis en ligne le 11 juin 2008, URL :


David Z. Saltz

University of Georgia, U.S.A.