Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Great Regulars: Old Times, like much of Pinter, is a brilliant

surface stretched over a vacuum. The play is designed to make us feel there is great significance to these twists and mysteries but there is none.

Bad-good art of this kind is a trick. Contrast Pinter with Beckett. There is no vacuum in Beckett, he addresses human life full-on, the theatrical devices are not arbitrary, they arise from the necessity of how Beckett feels and, consequently, they make us feel the same way.

from Bryan Appleyard: The Bad-Good and the Good-Bad


For example, [A.C.] Grayling breezily dismisses Stalinism and Maoism as being "counter-Enlightenment" forces. But communism was an Enlightenment project based on a belief in reason to re-order human affairs. You may say Stalin and Mao were communist aberrations but then the Catholic Church could legitimately claim forgiveness for the Spanish Inquisition and the slaughter of the Cathars on the same grounds.

There is also an irritating and highly self-serving argument that appears in various forms throughout the book.

from Bryan Appleyard: from New Statesman: Grayling: The Fifth Horseman Rides


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