By Martin S. Regal
Harold Pinter: a question of Timing specializes in the ways that Pinter conceives of and dramatises time in line with the actual medium with which he's operating. It is going past Pinter's visible fascination with fake and precise reminiscence to track some of the textual and non-textual thoughts he employs to distort series and period in his performs. additional, it indicates how Pinter undermines the temporal assumptions of naturalism and realism to shape a uniquely relativistic international during which time is a critical function.
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Extra resources for Harold Pinter: A Question of Timing
He moves as well in fluid time, with scenes that fade in and fade out so that the listeners have little sense of what the passage of time has been. Time and space... 5 Wertheim admits that this fluid property of the play need not be entirely eliminated on stage, but he believes that the very physical presence of the set extensively fixes our ideas of space and time. 6 According to Esslin, radio 'inclines towards amorphousness' while leaving open the possibility for 'the firm skeleton of a welldefined structure' and, as he points out, there is a very close analogy here to music.
28 A good deal of the humour in the first part of the play results from Stanley being fussed over and scolded by Meg while he plays up to the image of a naughty child she has imposed on him. Her parental mock-authority is contrasted more darkly with Goldberg's later in the play as he punishes Stanley for rebellion and dissent. The 'regressive movement towards childhood' works against the mainstream of the text and subverts it. Stanley succumbs to forces from the past and is 'sucked in' by them.
He walks. The other sits. He walks, talking. The other talks, sitting. He replies, standing. I squat, say nothing. 26 The effect is one of selected gestures, 'emblems in silence' run in rapid sequence but with gaps between them. What the characters have to say is less important than their physical relation to one another, and as we have already seen such arrangements often provide the original images of Pinter's plays. Extreme relativity of position (since the three characters are constantly changing their physical attitude to one another) defines Len's world.