less than 1 minute read

Old Times

a play by Harold Pinter, performed and published in 1971. This characteristically enigmatic play involves a reunion between Kate, now married to Deeley and living quietly in the country, and Anna, an old friend who knew her well when they were young women in London but has not seen her for some years. Gradually, it becomes apparent that, under the polite conversation, Deeley and Anna harbour hostile and jealous feelings towards each other. The conflict is seldom open and never acknowledged, but it becomes an increasingly ugly and passionate battle for the mastery of the abstracted, inscrutable Kate, in which memories, or purported memories, are used as weapons. In a some-what surreal ending, Kate appears to reject both combatants and assert her independence. The play is full of charged silences, unpretentiously pregnant lines, and a feeling that these hidden and unassertive characters are fighting for their emotional survival. In its combination of strong feeling, understatement, and mystery, it is a good example of Pinter's ability to show molehills and suggest mountains.

Additional topics

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Joseph O'Connor Biography to Cynthia Ozick Biography