Theater: The Roomer

With due and high regard for John Donne, every man is an island. We make beachheads on these islands, advance with deceptive ease for a few hundred yards, and then run into an impenetrable rain forest. No modern playwright has been more acutely conscious of the resistant density of the human personality than Harold Pinter.

To interpret his plays, a good guide is a necessity. He exists in Martin Esslin (The Peopled Wound; Doubleday; $5.95). Author of The Theatre of the Absurd and Brecht: The Man and His Work, Esslin is a genial host of a critic. He shares an avant-garde playwright...

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