Monday, December 12, 2005

Harold Pinter's Nobel speech

Harold Pinter, who was awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature, recorded a profoundly anti-American political speech to be heard at the award's acceptance ceremony (Pinter couldn't travel to Sweden because of his ill health). Very uncomfortable but hardly unexpected: no true political activist would waste such an opportunity to reiterate his political message. It happens over and over again at the most important award ceremonies.

Love it or hate it, back it or dismiss it, two paragraphs in the speech are, in my view, worthy of special mention as I completely agree with them:

"I believe that despite the enormous odds which exist, unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination, as citizens, to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. It is in fact mandatory.

If such a determination is not embodied in our political vision we have no hope of restoring what is so nearly lost to us - the dignity of man."

The thing is, this determination "to define the real truth of our lives and our societies" can only be successful if, as Pinter puts it, it is "unflinching, unswerving and fierce".

That said, I think that as far as we common, simple humans are concerned, it is perhaps convenient to start with the universe that immediately surrounds us on a practical day-to-day basis and only then, after successfully grasping this more immediate microsociety, if there's still strength and capacity for more, should we aim higher.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I entirely agree.