Thursday, October 19, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Tom Stoppard


British dramatist and screenwriter.
Tom Stoppard
The media. It sounds like a convention of spiritualists.
Stoppard quotes
Turgenev: The names for things don't come first. Words stagger after, hopelessly trying to become the sensation.
Stoppard
An artist is the magician put among men to gratify — capriciously — their urge for immortality. The temples are built and brought down around him, continuously and contiguously, from Troy to the fields of Flanders. If there is any meaning in any of it, it is in what survives as art, yes even in the celebration of tyrants, yes even in the celebration of nonentities. What now of the Trojan War if it had been passed over by the artist's touch? Dust. A forgotten expedition prompted by Greek merchants looking for new markets. A minor redistribution of broken pots. But it is we who stand enriched, by a tale of heroes, of a golden apple, a wooden horse, a face that launched a thousand ships — and above all, of Ulysses, the wanderer, the most human, the most complete of all heroes — husband, father, son, lover, farmer, soldier, pacifist, politician, inventor and adventurer.




Stoppard Tom quotes
Good things, when short, are twice as good.
Stoppard Tom
A foreign correspondent is someone who lives in foreign parts and corresponds, usually in the form of essays containing no new facts. Otherwise he's someone who flies around from hotel to hotel and thinks that the most interesting thing about any story is the fact that he has arrived to cover it.
Tom Stoppard quotes
I began my talk by saying that I had not written my plays for purposes of discussion. At once, I felt a ripple of panic run through the hall. I suddenly realised why. To everyone present, discussion was the whole point of drama. That was why the faculty had been endowed — that was why all those buildings had been put up! I had undermined the entire reason for their existence.
Tom Stoppard
Alexander: No spunk, simple as that! Your brother's an army deserter!
Michael: Oh yes, I've resigned my commission.
Alexander: He's refusing to return to duty.
Michael: On grounds of ill health, Papa. I'm sick of the Army.
Alexander: No discipline, that's the problem!
Michael: No, it's riddled with discipline, that's the problem. That and Poland.
Stoppard Tom quotes
Miss Frobisher smiles, with little cause that I know of. If Jesus of Nazareth had had before him the example of Miss Frobisher getting through the Latin degree papers of the London University Examinations Board he wouldn’t have had to fall back on camels and the eyes of needles, and Miss Frobisher’s name would be a delightful surprise to encounter in Matthew, Chapter 19; as would, even more surprisingly, the London University Examinations Board. Your name is not Miss Frobisher? What is your name? Miss Burton. I’m very sorry. I stand corrected. If Jesus of Nazareth had had before him the example of Miss Burton getting through the... Oh, dear, I hope it is not I who have made you cry.
Stoppard
When Harold Pinter was lobbying to have London's Comedy Theatre renamed the Pinter Theatre, Stoppard wrote back: "Have you thought, instead, of changing your name to Harold Comedy?"
Stoppard Tom
Alexander: I myself was educated in Italy. My doctorate in philosophy is from the University of Padua.
Renne: Really? Philosophy?
Alexander: My dissertation was on worms.
Renne: Worms the philosopher?
Alexander: No, just worms.
Renne: Ah, the philosophy of worms.
Alexander: Not at all. Worms have no philosophy, as far as is known.
Tom Stoppard
I'm showing an interest in your work. I thought you liked me showing an interest in your work. My showing. Save the gerund and screw the whale.




Tom Stoppard quotes
Since we cannot hope for order let us withdraw with style from the chaos.
Tom Stoppard
I don't think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you might nudge the world a little or make a poem that children will speak for you when you are dead.
Stoppard quotes
I still believe that if your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon.
Stoppard Tom
Alexander: How the world must have been changing while I was holding it still.
Stoppard Tom quotes
The days of the digitals are numbered. The metaphor is built into them like a self-destruct mechanism.
Tom Stoppard
My whole life is waiting for the questions to which I have prepared answers.
Tom Stoppard quotes
The House of Lords, an illusion to which I have never been able to subscribe — responsibility without power, the prerogative of the eunuch throughout the ages.
Tom Stoppard
I know the British press is very attached to the lobby system. It lets the journalists and the politicians feel proud of their traditional freedoms while giving the reader as much of the truth as they think is good for him.
Stoppard Tom
Their coarseness is the sinew of some kind of brute confidence which is the reason England is home to every shade of political exile. They don't give asylum out of respect for asylum-seekers, but out of respect for themselves. They invented personal liberty, and they know it, and they did it without having any theories about it. They value liberty because it's liberty.


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