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Harold Pinter on International Stages

Edited By Tomaz Onic

Harold Pinter is inarguably one of the most influential modern British dramatists. The horizon of his literary, cultural and political activity stretches far beyond the borders of his homeland, as well as beyond the theatrical and literary world. The essays in this volume deal with the reception of his literary (and political) heritage in several European and non-European Countries, offering previously unpublished research. They bring together a variety of aspects focusing on Pinter in the former region of Eastern Europe like Hungary, Poland, Turkey, Croatia, Macedonia and Slovenia, where his literary ideas as well as political activism seem fully applicable. They are balanced by selected Western perspectives, including Italian, British and American ones.
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Pinter in Macedonia: Productions, Translations and Critical Reception


← 102 | 103 → Benjamin Keatinge1

Considering its size (25,713 sq km) and relatively low population (2 million), the Republic of Macedonia offers a surprisingly rich and vibrant theatrical tradition and infrastructure. Leading theatre scholar, Jelena Lužina, notes in her essay “Theatre in Search of a New Identity” that Macedonia’s “long and rich cultural history – primarily an urban one – is made up of a dense mingling of different languages and traditions (Macedonian, Turkish, Wallachian, Hebrew, Albanian …)” while “Its present reality is dominated by what is known as the process of transition, which characterizes all ex-communist countries…” (2004). The purpose of this chapter is to show that in the midst of this transition – and following independence in 1991 and war in neighbouring Kosovo in the late 1990s, plus its own brief conflict in 2001 – the Macedonian stage has found a space for the dramatic work of Harold Pinter. Indeed, while Pinter’s impact and dissemination may have been slow, especially in the pre-independence period, there is strong evidence to suggest that Pinter’s work has established itself in the Macedonian repertoire, while also impacting upon important Macedonian dramatists writing before and after 1991. It would seem that the mid-1990s, as this research will argue, marks the point of “lift-off” for Pinter in Macedonia. Writing in 1994, the critic and poet Ivan Ivanovski tried to establish reasons “for such a long period of neglect of Pinter’s dramaturgical works on the professional drama stages in Macedonia” (Ivanovski 1994). He cites the challenges of...

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