Never read any of Rachel Shteir's theatre writing on Slate before, but with a single turn of phrase she won me over: "Beckett's apocalyptic optimism." Yes! It forever bothers me that people regularly describe Samuel Beckett's plays as "pessimistic." I've always felt the opposite: the extra-textual message of Beckett's work is that even in this shit flowers grow. But calling them optimistic would be a tad misleading... Apocalyptic optimism seem just about right.
Anyway, here's Shteir's appraisal of Harold Pinter's Nobel win, with which I quite agree, and here's her consideration of August Wilson's legacy. (The extra-textual message of this blog post is that winning a Nobel and dying are pretty much the same thing for a writer.)