Swans Commentary » swans.com December 29, 2008 - January 1, 2009  



Waiting For Pinter's Funeral


by Art Shay





(Swans - December 29, 2008 - January 1, 2009)  


•   Ishmael:  He's gone. At least that's what the Times says. Dead and gone.


•   Blurg:  Who's gone?


•   I:  Pinter. Only 78 and gone. He was an actor then a playwrote.* He was a Hebe married to this Lady -- Antonia Fraser.


•   B:  The one they called the kiddie machine. She had five or seven. Kept slipping out of her like launching submarines at Southport. With her first husband till Pinter nailed her. I don't know if they had any together. She was royalty, like Princess Diana, but sober. I heard maybe eight kids, three they don't mention.


•   I:  Englishwomen love to fuck -- why not. The babies just come in the wake of all the fucking they do. Why not.


•   B:  Why not what?


•   I:  Fuck.


•   B:  Yeah, it's a shame now it's gotten so popular. It's overdone. How'd you know he was a Hebe?


•   I:  He came to our Temple for Hannukah services. He wore tsitsus on his shawl.


•   B:  No need to be vulgar, Ishmael. I thought he was a non-observer.


•   I:  He was circumcised or circumscribed, or both. A hell of an observer though. He could see right through you. Eerie.


•   B:  He wrote religion was the opiate of the people.


•   I:  No, that was some other Hebe.


•   B:  Didn't he write about this car taker? Stole Rollses and Morrises. There's a dilemma for you. Parts not interchangeable at all.


•   I:  Care taker. Not car taker.


•   B:  What's the diff?


•   I:  None to me. You going to the funeral?


•   B:  He won the Nobel prize.


•   I:  There'll be toffs at the funeral. Might be good for business.


•   B:  They don't carry billfolds in those hats. I'm going for the wine and sponge cake.


•   I:  That's life as he saw it -- you slither out, you make a few stupid moves, you win over a proven stud mare, you sell your papers to the British library for 3 million pounds, then you die.


•   B:  You make it sound easy.


•   I:  It is easy -- for some of us.


•   B:  For others it's godawful Hell just waitin' around for the other shoe to hit.


•   I:  This Turkish shoemaker had to hire an extra hundred shoemakers to make the right model.


•   B:  And the next day the Pope came out against terrorism. That oughta stop it in its tracks.


•   I:  The best shoes don't leave any tracks. Who's running at Ascot today?


•   B:  I say we skip the funeral and go to the races. He'd've wanted it that way.


•   I:  I think he's faking it. He'll be back in a fortnight like Bush, as if nothin' new happened. I can't believe Harold bought it.


•   B:  And what about Cheney?


•   I:  I hear Hell rejected him so he'll be back as well. What's for din din?


*  Playwrote is one of my favorite words. A play I wrote -- my first -- ran for six weeks here in Chicago. It was called "A Clock for Nikita" and it was a comedy and love story about a young Russian who designed an alarm clock that played Tchaikovsky -- wake the workers up happy. I used to review books for the Chicago Sun-Times and the book editor was the great Herman Kogan. Whenever I wrote a book review he would list me in the credit box as, "Art Shay is a famed photo-journalist, the former Bugle Champ of the Bronx, and a distinguished playwrote. His play A Clock for Nikita (Khrushchev ordered the first clock) ran recently at the Stagelight Theater." So playwrote, alas, in referring to me, means a one-play-produced writer...  (back)


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About the Author

Art Shay is the author-photographer of more than fifty books, the former staff Washington correspondent for Time-Life and Life Bureau Chief in San Francisco. Shay has had 25,000 published pictures including 1,050 covers of magazines, books, and annual reports for such clients as Ford, 3M, National Can, Motorola and ABC-TV. His pictures hang in the National Portrait Gallery (Heffner, Durocher, Robert Crumb) in the Chicago Art Institute. His work is currently exhibited at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art (through June 29, 2008) following an exhibition at the Gallerie Albert Loeb in Paris, France. The April 2008 issue of North Shore magazine (Chicago) says that "his pictures have the psychology of Dostoevsky, the realism of Hemingway, and the metaphor of Melville... He's in the Pantheon of great photographers such as Cartier-Bresson, Brassai, Strand, and Stieglitz." The Daily Herald (Chicago suburban) of May 5, 2008, called him "the pre-eminent photojournalist of the 20th century..."



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This Edition's Internal Links

2009 Predictions - Swans

Prophecy - Art Shay

Statistically Reckoned Predictions For 2009 - Marie Rennard

Bernie Madoff And The Establishment - Gilles d'Aymery

No Laurels To Rest On - Jan Baughman

Top Predators - Martin Murie

Harold Pinter: 1930 - 2008 - Charles Marowitz

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Exclusive Interview With Prince Hamlet - Charles Marowitz

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Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art15/ashay07.html
Published December 29, 2008 - January 1, 2009