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Title: Harold Pinter and the performance of power : considerations of affect in select plays, screenplays and films, poetry and political speeches
Author: Chiasson, Basil Alexander Eugene
ISNI:       0000 0004 2704 5743
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis looks at selections of Harold Pinter's work across multiple media: written dramatic texts, screenplays and poetry, activity in theatrical and film production and his political activism. It has been argued that Pinter's dramatic medium is exceeded by movements, intensities and forces that operate on and circulate within the corporeal bodies of Pinter's 'audiences'. However, approaches to Pinter to date remain overly focused on representation and hermeneutics and tied to a decidedly idealist conception of being, perception and knowledge. I argue that in order to appreciate the politics of Pinter's aesthetics, readings of Pinter's work need to move in a more decidedly materialist direction. To do so, I enlist the conceptual tools of Gilles Deleuze and felix Guattari, specifically 'affect'. In bringing affect theory to Pinter I illustrate how 'the direct, mutual involvement of language and extra-linguistic forces,1 must be taken into account at every critical step, and that meaning need be construed as a material process, the expression of forces acting upon each other. The diversity of Pinter's work is explored over six chapters with a view to its aesthetic disposition and function, how it enters into noteworthy relations with those who engage with it, and how it establishes conditions that are propitious for transitory but ultimately productive trans formative encounters. Proceeding as such necessitates appraisal of ethical and political positions in relation to Pinter's expression without distinguishing politics from aesthetics - a trend common to intellectual enterprise. Rather, the three keywords in the title of this thesis - performance, power and affect - function as concepts to advance the argument for Pinter's aesthetics as a politics. In considering the aesthetics of Pinter's work in varied media, this thesis invites the reader to see the strategies by which Pinter intervenes in each area as interrelated and political.
Supervisor: Taylor-Batty, M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available