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Andrew Goodspeed

Summary

This paper examines Harold Pinter’s late play Mountain Language as a depiction of political oppression specifically rooted in linguistic oppression. The play presents a “mountain people” who have been forbidden to use their “mountain language” by a coercive state authority. The play contrasts the brutality of the officers and guards with the humanity (represented through two still-life ‘tableau’ scenes) of the victims, the “mountain people.” The paper notes, however, that there is an unsettling linguistic twist to the play, in that the “mountain language” and the “language of the capital” are both English in performance. The paper suggests that this is partly motivated by Pinter’s expressed desire to make the play disturbingly recognizable to western audiences, thus removing the spectator’s or reader’s ability to judge such oppressions as being exotic, irrelevant, or encountered only in distant unstable countries. The paper argues that Pinter’s focus upon linguistic prohibition, linguistic discrimination, and linguistic denigration is rendered unexpectedly universal through the reliance of the text upon English as the medium for both the prohibited language and the language of authority.

Open access

Andrew Goodspeed

Open access

Andrew Goodspeed

Open access

Andrew Goodspeed

Open access

Andrew Goodspeed

Open access

BOOK REVIEW

Kenneth Morrison. Sarajevo’s Holiday Inn on the Frontline of Politics and War. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 2016. 248 pp.

Andrew Goodspeed