British playwrite, Harold Pinter, accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature this week. Pinter's acceptance speech centered around his scorn for American foreign policy. It begins:
In 1958 I wrote the following:I blanched as I listened to his voice deliver the scathing indictment, because his words were so very damning and so very true. As a playwrite, Pinter vividly illustrates his message with words, heaping a shameful scorn on the American government and by default the American people for allowing the government to run roughshod over the rest of the world in the name of Democracy. We, as freedom-loving Americans, have a lot to answer for. The exposure of the United States' duplicitous human rights policy has diminished our credibility and our stature on the world stage. Continuing to perpetrate the fraud leaves us at the mercy of terrorists and endangers any of our soldiers who are captured. We know better and we simply must do better.
'There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false.'
I believe that these assertions still make sense and do still apply to the exploration of reality through art. So as a writer I stand by them but as a citizen I cannot. As a citizen I must ask: What is true? What is false?