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Old Times (Modern Plays) Hardcover – June 17, 1971


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Hardcover, June 17, 1971
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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Plays
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Methuen young books; First Edition edition (June 17, 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0416186505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0416186505
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,490,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Harold Pinter was born in London in 1930. He lived with Antonia Fraser from 1975 and they married in 1980. In 1995 he won the David Cohen British Literature Prize, awarded for a lifetime's achievement in literature. In 1996 he was given the Laurence Olivier Award for a lifetime's achievement in theatre. In 2002 he was made a Companion of Honour for services to literature. In 2005 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature and, in the same year, the Wilfred Owen Award for Poetry and the Franz Kafka Award (Prague). In 2006 he was awarded the Europe Theatre Prize and, in 2007, the highest French honour, the Legion d'honneur. He died in December 2008. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Arkaan Semere on January 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
This was my second Pinter play, and I must say that I enjoyed Old Times much more than The Homecoming, which felt too unpleasant.
There is no plot to speak of, but it has three enigmatic characters (one male, two females) who discuss events in the past. This really doesn't belong in the 'theatre of the absurd' category, but one can call it a 'nominal comedy', along the same lines as Albee's A Delicate Balance, because everything is the same at the end as the beginning.
The reason this play works is due to Pinter's growing control over his characters and the complete brilliance he has in his situational writing. He doesn't write of plots, but he raises so many questions. The fact that none are answered is really of no consequence. It is a difficult play, but a rewarding one.
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By J. Holmberg on January 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
I believe that this play is very well written. Just like Pinters other plays, he has added an element of comedy to it, yet omits the "real ending" leaving you to imagine what happens after the lights go down. Harold Pinter and be closely compared to Samuel Beckett, they both refuse to give explanations of the characters or endings. I recommend this book if you like to use your imagination.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John F. Rooney VINE VOICE on August 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
In reading Pinter's "Old Times" (1970) one gets the feeling that much of the novelty of the Theater of the Absurd has worn thin. Pinter's work seems far less of a breakthrough than it once did. Then we were engrossed by what was new and novel, but now new realities, new trends and the return of old trends have appeared. Today's theater is less cerebral, less demanding, more facile and superficial--just as it was before the Theater of the Absurd was in its heyday. Perhaps audiences have been lulled back to sleep.
Psychologically this play is still interesting because it deals with time and memory in an unfamiliar manner. Kate and Deeley are married living away from the London. Kate's old friend Anna is visiting after twenty years. We are faced with ambiguities and gnawing questions. Were Anna and Kate lovers in the past? Did Deeley know Anna in the past? When the play first begins is Anna really in the room? And what does borrowed underwear have to do with the eroticism evident in the play? Is Pinter manipulating us? Playing with us?
The play begins with Absurdist questions and dialogue with some real nonsense lines. Pinter is interested in words, their true meanings, and silences. Some familiar lyrics from old songs are sung by Deeley and Anna such as "Blue moon, I see you standing alone..."
Deeley is apparently a movie director or someone connected with movies. At one point he says he's Orson Welles. There's a lot of mystifying behavior and conversation in the play.
The play has the usual Pinteresque suspense and sense of menace, but it's more obscure, opaque. Why are we uneasy, disturbed by what is occurring? For Deeley the two women seem to merge into one. Does Anna ever show up at all or is it really just Deeley and Kate? Does Anna still exist? This play has one of Pinter's most enigmatic closing scenes.
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By Margaret P. on October 30, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just what I wanted and ordered.
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