The Theater: Memories As Weapons

All of Harold Pinter's plays can be viewed as attempts to write the same play. Each new work appears to be another approximation of some Platonic ideal in which Pinter yearns finally to reduce a few characteristic themes and methods to their purest state, finally to narrow his focus to a vision of life in its quiddity. In these terms, Old Times, which opened last week in London, may be his nearest miss yet.

The plot encapsulates the basic Pinter situation. Two people are together, in this case a documentary film maker and his wife of 20 years, who live in a...

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