Harold Pinter Wins Nobel Literature Prize | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 13.10.2005
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Harold Pinter Wins Nobel Literature Prize

Leading British playwright Harold Pinter won the 2005 Nobel Literature Prize on Thursday, the Swedish Academy announced.


First he got his own word -- Pinteresque -- now the Nobel prize

Pinter, "who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms," is the foremost representative of drama in postwar Britain, the jury said. The laureate "restored theater to its basic elements: an enclosed space and unpredictable dialogue where people are at the mercy of each other and pretense crumbles," it added.

He is even credited with an adjective, Pinteresque, which is used to describe a particular atmosphere and environment in drama.

Pinter, who has just turned 75, was born in the London borough of Hackney, the son of a Jewish dressmaker. During his youth he experienced anti-Semitism, which he said had been important in his decision to become a dramatist. He made his playwriting debut in 1957, with "The Room." His conclusive breakthrough came with "The Caretaker" in 1959, followed by "The Homecoming" in 1964.

Award ceremony in December

Pinter will take home the prize sum of 10 million kronor (1.1 million euros, $1.3 million). Last year, the honor went to Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek.

Pinter will receive the Nobel Prize, which consists of the prize money, a gold medal and a diploma, from Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel, the founder of the Nobel prizes, in 1896.

The Literature Prize was the last of the six coveted awards to be handed out this month.

Last week, the Nobel Medicine Prize went to Australian research duo Barry Marshall and Robin Warren for their breakthrough research on how to treat stomach ulcers with antibiotics.

The Physics Prize went to US nationals Roy Glauber and John Hall, and Theodor W. Haensch of Germany for groundbreaking work on understanding light, while the Chemistry Prize honored Yves Chauvin of France and US nationals Robert Grubbs and Richard Schrock for a breakthrough in carbon chemistry that opens the way to smarter drugs and environmentally-friendlier plastics.

The Economics Prize was awarded to Robert Aumann, an Israeli-US citizen, and Thomas Schelling of the United States for using game theory to explain conflict resolution.

Finally, the Peace Prize, perhaps the most prestigious of the awards, went to the UN nuclear watchdog IAEA and its Egyptian director general Mohamed ElBaradei for their efforts to halt the spread of nuclear weapons.

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