British Library Acquires Harold Pinter Archive

$2.2M keeps Nobel laureate's papers in the country
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2007 2:27 PM CST
Nobel-winning British playwright Harold Pinter wears the French Legion d'honneur that he was awarded by French Prime Minster Dominique de Villepin, at the French Embassy in London, in this Jan. 17, 2007,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The British Library has bought the papers of Harold Pinter, the Nobel Prize-winning playwright, paying more than $2.2 million for 150 boxes of material, writes the Times of London. After the purchase of several British authors' archives by American universities, Pinter committed himself to finding a home in his own country for his material, which includes correspondence, scrapbooks, and at least one unpublished manuscript.

One of the highlights of Pinter's archive is a series of letters from Samuel Beckett, who defended the young playwright after bad reviews. "We are all thunderstruck by the stupidity and vulgarity of the critics," Beckett wrote to Pinter following the mauling of The Caretaker, a play now considered a classic. An exhibition of the collection will go on display next month.