Tom Stoppard (July 03, 1937 - ..)
Born: 3rd July, 1937
Nationality: English
Profession/Occupation: Dramatist
Region: Zlin, Czech Republic
Notable works: "A Walk on the Water", "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead", "Every Good Boy Deserves Favour", "Jumpers", "Lord Malquist and Mr. Moon", "Rock 'n' Roll", "The Coast of Utopia", "Night and Day", "Undiscovered Country", "Arcadia"

Tom Stoppard Facts

Biography

Tom Stoppard, original name Tomas Straussler, in full Sir Tom Stoppard, (born July 3, 1937, Zlin, Czechoslovakia [now in Czech Republic]), Czech-born British playwright and screenwriter whose work is marked by verbal brilliance, ingenious action, and structural dexterity.

Stoppard's father was working in Singapore in the late 1930s. After the Japanese invasion, his father stayed on and was killed, but Stoppard's mother and her two sons escaped to India, where in 1946 she married a British officer, Kenneth Stoppard. Soon afterward the family went to live in England. Tom Stoppard--he had assumed his stepfather's surname--quit school and started his career as a journalist in Bristol in 1954. He began to write plays in 1960 after moving to London. His first play, A Walk on the Water (1960), was televised in 1963; the stage version, with some additions and the new title Enter a Free Man, reached London in 1968.

Stoppard's play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1964-65) was performed at the Edinburgh Festival in 1966. That same year his only novel, Lord Malquist & Mr. Moon, was published. His play was the greater success: it entered the repertory of Britain's National Theatre in 1967 and rapidly became internationally renowned. The irony and brilliance of this work derive from Stoppard's placing two minor characters of Shakespeare's Hamlet into the centre of the dramatic action. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead transferred to Broadway in 1967 and later received a Tony Award for best play.

A number of successes followed. Among the most-notable stage plays were The Real Inspector Hound (1968), Jumpers (1972), Travesties (1974; Tony Award for best play), Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (1978), Night and Day (1978), Undiscovered Country (1980, adapted from a play by Arthur Schnitzler), and On the Razzle (1981, adapted from a play by Johann Nestroy). The Tony-winning The Real Thing (1982), Stoppard's first romantic comedy, deals with art and reality and features a playwright as a protagonist. Arcadia, which juxtaposes 19th-century Romanticism and 20th-century chaos theory and is set in a Derbyshire country house, premiered in 1993, and The Invention of Love, about A.E. Housman, was first staged in 1997. The trilogy The Coast of Utopia (Voyage, Shipwreck, and Salvage), first performed in 2002, explores the lives and debates of a circle of 19th-century Russian emigre intellectuals; it received both a Tony Award and a Laurence Olivier Award for best play. Heroes (2005), translated from a play by Gerald Sibleyras, is set in a retirement home for French soldiers, and it received an Olivier Award for best new comedy. Rock 'n' Roll (2006) jumps between England and Czechoslovakia during the period 1968-90. In The Hard Problem (2015), Stoppard explores consciousness.

Stoppard wrote a number of radio plays, including In the Native State (1991), which was reworked as the stage play Indian Ink (1995). He also wrote a number of notable television plays, such as Professional Foul (1977). Among his early screenplays are those for The Romantic Englishwoman (1975), Despair (1978), and Brazil (1985), as well as for a film version (1990) of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead that he also directed. In 1999 the screenplay for Shakespeare in Love (1998), cowritten by Stoppard and Marc Norman, won an Academy Award. Stoppard also adapted the French screenplay for the English-language film Vatel (2000), about a 17th-century chef, and wrote the screenplay for Enigma (2001), which chronicles the English effort to break the German Enigma code. He later penned scripts for a lavish miniseries (2012) based on novelist Ford Madox Ford's tetralogy Parade's End and for a film adaptation (2012) of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. Stoppard also cowrote the historical drama Tulip Fever (2017), which is set in 17th-century Amsterdam.

Stoppard's numerous other honours included the Japan Art Association's Praemium Imperiale prize for theatre/film (2009). He was knighted in 1997.

Top 276 Tom Stoppard quotes

Revolution is a trivial shift in the emphasis of suffering.
Emphasis
Revolution
Shift
Suffering
Trivial
It is better to be quotable than to be honest.
Better
Honest
Than
To be honest
It's not the voting that's democracy; it's the counting.
Counting
Democracy
Voting
My whole life is waiting for the questions to which I have prepared answers.
Answers
Life
Prepared
Questions
Waiting
Which
Whole
It is better of course to know useless things than to know nothing.
Better
Course
Know
Nothing
Than
Things
Useless
Life is a gamble, at terrible odds - if it was a bet you wouldn't take it.
Bet
Gamble
Life
Life is a
Odds
Take
Terrible
You
Age is a very high price to pay for maturity.
Age
High
High price
Maturity
Pay
Price
Very
The bad end unhappily, the good unluckily. That is what tragedy means.
Bad
End
Good
Means
Tragedy
If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.
Become
Carry
Childhood
Never
Older
You
Your
We give advice by the bucket, but take it by the grain.
Advice
Bucket
Give
Grain
Take
Get me inside any boardroom and I'll get any decision I want.
Any
Decision
Get
Inside
Me
Want
If you associate enough with older people who do enjoy their lives, who are not stored away in any golden ghettos, you will gain a sense of continuity and of the possibility for a full life.
Any
Associate
Away
Continuity
Enjoy
Enough
Full
Full life
Gain
Golden
Life
Lives
Older
Older people
From principles is derived probability, but truth or certainty is obtained only from facts.
Certainty
Derived
Facts
Obtained
Only
Principles
Probability
Truth
Good things, when short, are twice as good.
Good
Good things
Short
Things
Twice
Beauty is desired in order that it may be befouled; not for its own sake, but for the joy brought by the certainty of profaning it.
Beauty
Brought
Certainty
Desired
Joy
May
Own
Sake
A healthy attitude is contagious but don't wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.
Attitude
Carrier
Catch
Contagious
Healthy
Others
Wait
My work always tried to unite the true with the beautiful; but when I had to choose one or the other, I usually chose the beautiful.
Always
Beautiful
Choose
Chose
Had
Other
Tried
True
Unite
Work
A movie camera is like having someone you have a crush on watching you from afar - you pretend it's not there.
Afar
Camera
Crush
Having
Like
Movie
Pretend
Someone
Watching
You
Eternity's a terrible thought. I mean, where's it all going to end?
End
Eternity
Going
Mean
Terrible
Thought
Maturity is a high price to pay for growing up.
Growing
Growing up
High
High price
Maturity
Pay
Price
Up
The media. It sounds like a convention of spiritualists.
Convention
Like
Media
Sounds
Every exit is an entry somewhere else.
Else
Entry
Every
Exit
Somewhere
Somewhere else
I think age is a very high price to pay for maturity.
Age
High
High price
I think
Maturity
Pay
Price
Think
Very
The days of the digital watch are numbered.
Days
Digital
Numbered
Watch
Responsibilities gravitate to the person who can shoulder them.
Gravitate
Person
Responsibilities
Shoulder
Them
Who
James Joyce - an essentially private man who wished his total indifference to public notice to be universally recognized.
Essentially
His
Indifference
James
James joyce
Joyce
Man
Notice
Private
Public
Recognized
Total
Universally
Who
Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art.
Art
Craftsmanship
Gives
Imagination
Many
Modern
Modern art
Objects
Picnic
Skill
Us
Useful
Without
It is not hard to understand modern art. If it hangs on a wall it's a painting, and if you can walk around it it's a sculpture.
Around
Art
Hard
Modern
Modern art
Painting
Sculpture
Understand
Walk
Wall
You
I still believe that if your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon.
Aim
Believe
Change
Change the world
Immediate
Journalism
More
Short-term
Still
Weapon
World
Your
Back in the East you can't do much without the right papers, but with the right papers you can do anything The believe in papers. Papers are power.
Anything
Back
Believe
East
Much
Papers
Power
Right
Without
You
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.
Able
Ages
Been
House
Illusion
Lords
Never
Power
Prerogative
Responsibility
Subscribe
Throughout
Which
Without
We're actors. We're the opposite of people.
Actor
Opposite
People
Life in a box is better than no life at all... I expect.
Better
Box
Expect
Life
No life
Than
I write plays because writing dialogue is the only respectable way of contradicting yourself. I put a position, rebut it, refute the rebuttal, and rebut the refutation.
Because
Dialogue
I write
Only
Plays
Position
Put
Refute
Respectable
Way
Write
Writing
Yourself
It was a different planet in 1967, the Broadway theatre. It had a little ashtray clamped to the back of every seat and the author got 10% of the gross.
Ashtray
Author
Back
Broadway
Different
Every
Got
Gross
Had
Little
Planet
Seat
Theatre
If enough things that are untrue are said about you, no one will know what really is true.
About
Enough
Know
No-one
Really
Said
Things
True
Untrue
Will
You
I burn with no causes.
Burn
Causes
I cannot say that I write with any social objective. One writes because one loves writing, really.
Any
Because
Cannot
I write
Loves
Objective
Really
Say
Social
Write
Writes
Writing
Fatherlessness didn't strike me as being an event. It was a state of life.
Being
Event
Life
Me
State
Strike
I'm so grateful to grab hold of something that wants to be a play. It doesn't happen very often. I don't have unwritten plays waiting for their turn.
Grab
Grateful
Happen
Hold
Often
Play
Plays
Something
Turn
Unwritten
Very
Waiting
Wants
I take every possible side.
Every
Possible
Side
Take
I was interested by the idea that artists working in a totalitarian dictatorship or tsarist autocracy are secretly and slightly shamefully envied by artists who work in freedom. They have the gratification of intense interest: the authorities want to put them in jail, while there are younger readers for whom what they write is pure oxygen.
Artists
Authorities
Autocracy
Dictatorship
Envied
Freedom
Gratification
Idea
Intense
Interest
Interested
Jail
Oxygen
Pure
You can't but know that if you can capture the emotions of the audience as well as their minds, the play will work better, because it's a narrative art form.
Art
Art form
Audience
Because
Better
Capture
Emotions
Form
Know
Minds
Narrative
Play
Well
Will
I never had any frustration about writing uncredited. I always felt that the satisfaction of doing it was in the doing of it, really, and getting recognised by the small number of people that know what you did.
About
Always
Any
Did
Doing
Felt
Frustration
Getting
Had
Know
Never
Number
People
Really
The fact is, I loved being English. I was very happy to be turned into an English schoolboy.
Being
English
Fact
Happy
Loved
Schoolboy
Turned
Very
I was so thrilled being a reporter, because it gave you the kind of access to people that you wouldn't ever get to meet.
Access
Because
Being
Ever
Gave
Get
Kind
Meet
People
Reporter
Thrilled
You
I'm a very boring person.
Boring
Person
Very
I've got no interest in educating or instructing people.
Educating
Got
Interest
No interest
People
From as long as, literally as far back as I can remember I've liked puns, word jokes, I can literally recall looking at a comic at the age of six or seven and I remember what I enjoyed and what it was precisely and how the joke worked.
Age
Back
Comic
Enjoyed
Far
How
I can
I remember
Joke
Jokes
Liked
Literally
Long
Looking
I've seldom minded other people's opinions, but the other side of that coin is that I've seldom been interested by them, um their opinions about me I mean.
About
Been
Coin
Interested
Me
Mean
Minded
Opinions
Other
People
Seldom
Side
Them
Um

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