Stoppard making sense

In yesterday’s Guardian:

“Writing a new play shouldn’t be seen as a mystery belonging to a priesthood, but as a challenge, a technical challenge, just to get into it. The art pertains to the level you carry it off on. If I had been asked to write 1,200 words for a newspaper tomorrow, on any subject, I would just do it, rather than leave a white hole in the page. And I think it’s a very healthy attitude to take to writing anything. Just as a corrective – perhaps an overcorrective – to the opposite view, which I tend to flinch when confronted with: that it’s all rather deep and mysterious and special and precious. Sod that!”


Simon R. Gladdish April 16, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Dear Katy

I remember seeing Stoppard’s ‘The Real Inspector Hound’ in Reading when I was a mere teenager. The play was well acted and brilliantly written and I have been a firm fan of Stoppard ever since. I find him infinitely superior to the likes of Harold Pinter whose Caretaker and Birthday Party have always left me stone cold. I’m delighted that Tom’s still alive and compos mentis and I wish him as many more productive decades as is humanly possible.

Best wishes from Simon

Tom April 16, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Here, here.

(To Stoppard)

(I like Pinter lots too)

(But not as much as Beckett)

(The holy trinity)

msbaroque April 16, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Totally see what you mean there Tom! :)

Having said which, Stoppard has given me hours of joy and delight, two experiences all too uncommon – both in the theatre and out – and Arcadia is maybe my all-time favourite (non-Shakespeare) play. (Big Statement #5107)

Jonathan April 16, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Well yes absolutely. It’s the discipline, isn’t it? This last week I accepted an invitation to guestblog on a friend’s ‘Daily photo of our suburb’ site- with some hesitation as I knew it meant writing something (just a little, but still, you know, something) every day, when on my own blog I manage more like once a month.

Anyway it’s been actually quite easy coming up with something (and something I’ve been pleased enough with) each day, as long as I viewed it as a ‘technical’ task as opposed to sitting in a darkened room waiting for inspiration.

George S April 17, 2010 at 8:35 am

Arcadia is very good, but I think Ros and Guil is still the best, pound for pound. Stoppard is marvellous – a sharp sharp mind but a rather more conventional heart. I like him, as a man, for the heart but I think he is at his best as a dramatist when feeling through the brain.

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