'If he'd worked in the theatre he'd have been the Shaw of our day. He would have been that substantial. It remains a scandal that because you worked in television, you are somehow downgraded. You don't belong in that high category of high art. Well, Dennis does if anybody does.' --Trevor Griffiths
'As the British Film Institute celebrates the life and work of the writer who redefined TV drama , Oberon Books, with perfect timing, offers this collection of Potter's critical abuse in journalism and interviews at its most constructively eloquent. The Art of Invective essentially complements Humphrey Carpenter's magisterial biography and all those DVDs of the plays that can still galvanise what Potter called the palace of varieties in the corner of the room . He believed that television, with its vast, all-inclusive audience, was a potentially powerful means of promulgating true democracy... stingingly vitriolic invective... merciless pungency.' --The Spectator
Every page of this book is constellated with sentences and phrases of, variously, humour, cleverness, warmth, indignation and savagery. It is one of the very finest collections of occasional (but far from ephemeral) writing I have read: what counts is not the medium, not the genre, but the mind. The scholarship of the editors is impeccable. --Jonathan Meades, Literary Review
About the Author
Dennis Potter (17 May 1935 7 June 1994) was an English television dramatist, screenwriter and journalist. Beginning with contributions to BBC television's The Wednesday Play anthology series from 1965, he peaked with The Singing Detective (1986), a BBC TV serial for which he is best remembered. This work and many of his other widely acclaimed television dramas mixed fantasy and reality, the personal and the social and often used themes and images from popular culture. Potter was an influence on such creators as Steven Bochco, Alan Ball, Andrew Davies, Charlie Kaufman, Peter Bowker, Margaret Edson and Alain Resnais. His work has been the subject of many critical essays, books, websites and documentaries. BBC Four marked the tenth anniversary of Potter's death in December 2004 with a major series of documentaries about his life and work, accompanied by showings of Pennies from Heaven and The Singing Detective, as well as several of his plays. His influence has also extended into popular music, and he has been cited by bands such as Manic Street Preachers, Franz Ferdinand and Elbow.