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Teaching Harold Pinter

February 29, 2016

Teaching Pinter again today. Reblogging this.

conradbrunstrom

Every so often I get out of my eighteenth-century comfort zone when it comes to teaching.  Teaching Harold Pinter is uncomfortable but very satisfying.  I’ve a few indicative texts on my academia.edu page – thus: http://nuim.academia.edu/ConradBrunstrom.

The delicious thing about old Pinter is that without having read a word of Michel Foucault, he grasped and illustrated the fact that language is hopelessly infected with inequitable power relations.  Like Foucault, Pinter was more interested in the “how” of power than the “who” or the “why”.  The dynamics of linguistic domination are constantly shifting.  Like Foucault, Pinter illustrated how subjectivity could be constructed or deconstructed, how “character” emerges from the play of language and how “intention” is an impossibly slippery concept.   Within a world of structural oppression, it makes no sense to try to discover who might be pulling the levers behind the curtain.  Precisely where Stanley is to be driven…

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