Harold Pinter

It is one of the characteristics of art – the greater the art, the greater the characteristic – that it points to (“captures” would precisely misstate the idea) the complexity of nature, of situation, of emotion, ofHarold Pinter expression, of judgment: the entire human calculus. It is so much so that rarely may the creator be the equal of the art. That is in the nature of the greatness of art, and of the complexity of human beings, including artists, that art addresses. So we have the most outstanding of artists (Picasso, Sinatra – according to Patrick French’s new biography, The World Is What It Is, V.S. Naipual) who are, personally, bastards. And we have those, like the recently deceased Harold Pinter, who are politically bilious and hateful and whose high moral dudgeon, in that political sphere, is in inverse relation to their careening moral compass. One might argue (one, in this instance, being me) that we should separate the person from the art even as we seek to understand one through the other – indeed, make art of the tension between them. Oliver Kamm considers the matter.