Pinter In Play

Critical Strategies and the Plays of Harold Pinter

Pinter In Play

Book Pages: 367 Illustrations: Published: October 1990

Literature and Literary Studies > Literary Criticism, Theater and Performance > Theater

Pinter in Play provides a survey of diverse readings of the Harold Pinter canon organized around and presented in terms of the major critical schools of the past twenty-five years, from New Criticism to deconstruction to poststructuralism. Reflecting on the cultural, personal, sociological, and philosophical contexts of these diverse critical perspectives and the critics who express them, this book is equally about the act or the art of literary criticism and itself an important work of literary criticism. Drawing on interviews with Pinter scholars, Susan Hollis Merritt shows how critics "play" with Pinter and thereby seriously enforce personal, professional, and political affiliations. Cutting across traditional academic and nonacademic boundaries, Merritt argues that greater cooperation and collaboration among critics can resolve conflicts, promote greater social equity, and foster ameliorative critical and cultural change.


"Pinter in Play may be one of the most ambitious contributions to the history of contemporary criticism in the last five years." — John Gronbeck-Tedesco, Pinter Review

"A masterly treatise—not only on Pinter, but on the art of literary criticism in general." — Newsletter of the International Theatre Institute of the United States, Inc.

"A quite remarkable piece of scholarship. . . ." — R. J. Lee , Choice

"An extraordinary book, at times a model of scrupulous textual examination, at others a provocative turning upside down of conventional practices of criticism." — Ronald W. Strang, Notes and Queries

"An original and important book relevant to current general interests in literary theory and the problems of interpretation as well as to Pinter scholarship and criticism. Merritt has produced a work of ‘metacriticism’ that I would expect to remain of permanent value. Her knowledge of Pinter scripts, performances of them, and of Pinter critics and reviewers is vast, and parallel to her demonstrations of changes in critical strategies and perspectives, she evokes a sense of the changes Pinter has gone through as a playwright." — Michael Steig, Simon Fraser University


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Winner, 1992 Choice Outstanding Academic Books

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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1674-9 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-1040-2
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