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Pinter in Play


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Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback Edition xi
Preface xvii
Introduction xxi
Abbreviations xxix
Perspectives on Pinter's Critical Evolution
1. "Progress" and "Fashion" in Pinter Studies 3
2. Aims, Kinds, and Contexts of Criticism 25
3. Criticism as Strategy 49
4. Pinter's "Semantic Uncertainty" and Critically "Inescapable" Certainties 66
Some Strategies of Pinter Critics: Themes, Rituals, Games, Fantasies, Dreams
5. Thematic Tactics and Ritural Ruses: Searches for Meaning 89
6. Psychoanalytic Maneuvers: Smoke Screens against Recognition 108
7. Some Other Language Games: Linguistic Parlays and Parleys 137
8. Cultural Politics 171
Social Relations of Critical and Cultural Change
9. Contingencies of Value Judgments of Pinter's Plays 213
10. The Case of Pinter: Toward Theory as Practice in Critical and Cultural Change 245
Notes 277
Works Cited 299
Index 329


"An original and important book relevant to current general interests in literary theory and the problems of interpretation as well as to Pinter scholarship and criticism. Merritt has produced a work of 'metacriticism' that I would expect to remain of permanent value. Her knowledge of Pinter scripts, performances of them, and of Pinter critics and reviewers is vast, and parallel to her demonstrations of changes in critical strategies and perspectives, she evokes a sense of the changes Pinter has gone through as a playwright."-Michael Steig, Simon Fraser University

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