An Observation


I'm faintly amused to learn that freshly minted Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter grew up in Hackney.

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  1. “Mr. Pinter’s trademark style is full of tense silences and spare dialogue, and he is among a handful of writers whose name has inspired an adjective: ‘Pinteresque.'”

    Who are the other Pinters?

  2. Yes, but that was well before Hackney became what it is today (and even today it’s only certain areas of Hackney that are bad). It was probably quite nice at the time. I used to live in somewhat bad neighborhood called Leytonstone, which is where Alfred Hitchcock grew up.

  3. They’re beer drinkers. You know, pinters.

  4. I’ve seen Hemingway’s name invoked as an adjective. Any others?

    Of course, Fisk managed to get a verb named after him.

  5. Coulteresque is another I can recall. It gets 418 google hits. Hemingwayesque pulls 22,600.

  6. full of tense silences and spare dialogue

    That *does* sound hackneyed.

  7. Dante-esque.


    Shakesperian (as in high Shakespearian drama, not as in a person who does Shakespeare).

    And of course, Chateaubriand got a dish named after hisself.

  8. chthus,

    Kafkaesque is of course the daddy of all __esques. I do believe I’ve heard Faulkneresque before. Felliniesque, too. Proustian, Joycean, etc.

  9. Mamet was directly influneced by Pinter. Mametesque

  10. Mamet was directly influneced by Pinter. Mametesque

  11. Yes Kafkaesque is a good’un. 293,000. Shakespearean gets over 2mil, but I feel it is unfair since many are describing his own work.

  12. No wonder Pinter won the Nobel. Not only does he write unwatchable, unreadable plays, but he’s a tireless slinger of anti-American cliches who took the opportunity afforded by 9/11 to call the United States “a fully-fledged, award-winning, gold-plated monster.”

    They should have given it to Pinter’s arch-enemy Tom Stoppard. Or no wait, they shouldn’t have: Stoppard writes stuff that people actually like.

  13. Don’t forget about Montesque . THat’s my fave.

  14. My particular favorit is George Bernard Shaws’s: Shavian. I would assume that both “shavian” and “pinteresque” are semantically the same adjective– overrated. Now, Mattinglian, that sounds more like it.

  15. Pinter and Arundhati Roy ought to get together and have a love child like Michael J. Fox on Family Ties. They’re both convinced that they themselves are much, much nicer than us horrible Americans. I’d love to see them get together to produce something that would show them what arrogant assholes they can be.

  16. Tim,

    I won’t defend Pinter’s politics and I have no opinion on his work, but I doubt very much his anti-Americanism gave him a leg up on the competition. There have been a good number of conservative, even reactionary laureates through the years. Yes, Derek Walcott won it, but so did Naipaul. Yes, Sartre won it (and declined it), but so did Camus. Bellow, Solzhenitsyn, Churchill, T.S. Eliot, Mauriac, and so forth. I don’t know anything about a lot of them (any Salvatore Quasimodo (1959) fans out there?), but it doesn’t seem like the selection process swings one way or the other politically.

    As for it being an elitist choice, it’s the Nobel Fuckin’ Prize for Christ’s sake. Stoppard can cry himself to sleep on a bed stuffed with twenty pound notes.

  17. I like Quasimodo in translation. My general opinion of the Nobel Prize in Literature is: if you didn’t give Joyce or Proust one then what’s the point? I’m not sure if A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu was published in whole while they were making the prizes, but some of it was.

  18. Dickensian. Has anyone said that yet?

  19. Spielbergian

    Keynesian (can’t believe that one hasn’t been mentioned, and chortled over, yet.)

  20. Orwellian?

  21. Seussian.

  22. re the Nobel prize

    You don’t have to go all the way back to Joyce & Proust, they didn’t give it to Graham Greene either, as a more recent example.

  23. Crap, I meant to say montesquieuesque.

    It would have been funnier if I had gotten it right.

    Or perhaps not.

  24. Re: the other Pinters

    I just meant the article as written makes it sound like Harold wasn’t the only Pinter whose name inspired the adjective “Pinteresque.” It was funnier to me this morning.

  25. I think we need a word like “thoreauvian,” as in, “Cathy Young’s article the other day was thoreauvianly reasonable and well-considered.”

    Also: Hakluytian. As in, “His e-mail, shooting down my proposal, dripped with Hakluytian contemptuousness.”

  26. Arundhati Roy needs a spanking.

  27. American – Amerigo Vespucci. 1,640,000,000 Google hits. Why is that such a round number ?

  28. It’s only an award, and therefore meaningless to the average Jason or Kimberly. Another hand in the cosmic circle jerk.

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