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The theater's much the most difficult kind of writing for me, the most naked kind, you're so entirely restricted.... I find myself stuck with these characters who are either sitting or standing, and they've either got to walk out of a door, or come in through a door, and that's about all they can do.

HAROLD PINTER, The Paris Review, fall 1966

I am reported as a deranged man; someone who is stark raving mad. There's this idea that if a traffic warden walked down the street, I would go and throttle him.

HAROLD PINTER, New Statesman, Nov. 8, 1999

One of the greatest theatrical nights of my life was the opening of The Homecoming in New York. There was the audience. This was 1967. I'm not sure they've changed very much, but it really was your mink coats and suits. Money. And when the lights went up on The Homecoming, they hated it immediately: "Jesus Christ, what the hell are we looking at here?" I was there, and the hostility towards the play was palpable. You could see it. The great thing was, the actors went on and felt it and hated the audience back even more. And they gave it everything they'd got. By the end of the evening, the audience was defeated. All these men in their tuxedos were just horrified and the women, because the actors just went [he makes the sound of an explosion]. I thought it was a great night. And that was a real example of a contest between the play and the audience. There's no question that the play won on that occasion, although that is not always the case.

HAROLD PINTER, The Progressive, Mar. 2001

I had—I have—nothing to say about myself, directly. I wouldn't know where to begin. Particularly since I often look at myself in the mirror and say, "Who the hell's that?"

HAROLD PINTER, The Paris Review, fall 1966

Do the structures of language and the structures of reality (by which I mean what actually happens) move along parallel lines? Does reality essentially remain outside language, separate, obdurate, alien, not susceptible to description? Is an accurate and vital correspondence between what is and our perception of it impossible? Or is it that we are obliged to use language only in order to obscure and distort reality -- to distort what happens -- because we fear it?

HAROLD PINTER, "Oh, Superman," Opinion, BBC Channel 4, May 31, 1990

I can sum up none of my plays. I can describe none of them, except to say: That is what happened. That is what they said. That is what they did.

HAROLD PINTER, Various Voices: Prose, Poetry, Politics, 1948-1998

This champagne socialist stuff is a cliche. I can't take the rewards of society and shut up. I can't, and I bloody well won't.

HAROLD PINTER, New Statesman, Nov. 8, 1999

I think it is not fanciful or silly to say that the characters do start to possess their own life.

HAROLD PINTER, The Progressive, Mar. 2001


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