The Pinter of Our Discontent

The Nobel-winning master of quiet malice dies at 78

Derek Hudson / Getty

Harold Pinter in 2003

Harold Pinter was speaking to the press just after receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005. "I was told today that one of the Sky channels [the satellite news network owned by Rupert Murdoch] said this morning that Harold Pinter is dead.' Then they changed their mind and said, 'No, he's won the Nobel Prize.' So I've risen from the dead."

This true-life joke is repeated in Charlie Kaufman's film about a madly ambitious theater man, Synecdoche, New York. So people have been anticipating the death of one of the 20th century's most revered and mysterious playwrights...

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