David Alan Mamet (/ˈmæmɪt/; born November 30, 1947) is an American playwright, essayist, screenwriter, and film director. As a playwright, Mamet has won a Pulitzer Prize and received Tony nominations.
Mamet's style of writing dialogue, marked by a cynical, street-smart edge, precisely crafted for effect, is so distinctive that it has come to be called Mamet speak. Mamet has recognized an association of his edgy narrative style by noting his debt to Harold Pinter, to whom he dedicated Glengarry Glen Ross. He often uses italics and quotation marks to highlight particular words and to draw attention to his characters' frequent manipulation and deceitful use of language. His characters frequently interrupt one another, their sentences trail off unfinished, and their dialogue overlaps. Moreover, certain expressions and figures of speech are deliberately misrepresented to show that the character is not paying close attention to every detail of his dialogue (e.g., or so forthinstead of and so forth). Mamet himself has criticized his (and other writers') tendency to write "pretty" at the expense of sound, logical plots. When asked how he developed his style for writing dialogue, Mamet said, "In my family, in the days prior to television, we liked to while away the evenings by making ourselves miserable, based solely on our ability to speak the language viciously. That's probably where my ability was honed." One instance of Mamet's dialogue style can be found in Glengarry Glen Ross, in which two down-on-their-luck real estate salesmen are considering stealing from their employer's office. George Aaronow and Dave Moss equivocate on the meaning of "talk" and "speak", turning language and meaning to deceptive purposes:
David Mamet also studied acting at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City.
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