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Septimus: There is nothing more to be said about sexual congress.
Thomasina: Is it the same as love?
Septimus: Oh no, it is much nicer than that. -- Tom Stoppard
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Life is a gamble, at terrible odds. If it were a bet you wouldn't take it. -- Tom Stoppard
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Other people's lives come at us without a backstory most of the time. The present is like that. -- Tom Stoppard
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I think I'm a difficult conventional writer. -- Tom Stoppard
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Knowledge is good. It does not have to look good or sound good or even do good. It is good just by being knowledge. And the only thing that makes it knowledge is that it is true. You can't have too much of it and there is no little too little to be worth. -- Tom Stoppard
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My brain cells are dying in their trillions. -- Tom Stoppard
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I'm not one of those writers who insist they don't read reviews and don't care much about them. I do read them, and I do care about them, and they're not always what you want them to be in an ideal world. -- Tom Stoppard
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Pink Floyd are one of a handful of bands I've listened to a lot and whose concerts I've been to. I love the experience. I don't dance; I just jig up and down like everybody else. -- Tom Stoppard
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(Words) deserve respect. Get the right ones in the right order, and you can nudge the world a little. -- Tom Stoppard
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Personally, I read reviews because I'm interested by them, but they don't have utility for me. -- Tom Stoppard
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What freedom means, is being allowed to sing in my bath as loudly as will not interfere with my neighbour's freedom to sing a different tune in his. -- Tom Stoppard
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Junk journalism is the evidence of a society that has got at least one thing right, that there should be nobody with the power to dictate where responsible journalism begins. -- Tom Stoppard
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If the audience is made to do not enough work, they resent it without knowing it. Too much and they get lost. There's a perfect pace to be found. And a perfect place that is different for every line of the play. -- Tom Stoppard
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The fact is, I loved being English. I was very happy to be turned into an English schoolboy. -- Tom Stoppard
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I don't find it easy to think of good stuff to write about. -- Tom Stoppard
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It's very common for people to recommend something to me because they're going on what I've already written, when, what really is the case, is that you want to write about something you haven't written about, in ways that you haven't done before. -- Tom Stoppard
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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. -- Tom Stoppard
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Since we cannot hope for order, let us withdraw with style from the chaos. -- Tom Stoppard
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Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little. -- Tom Stoppard
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I take every possible side. -- Tom Stoppard
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You do know what's coming up when you're translating. I suppose the concentration, then, is on finding a formulation which is speakable and in character - and economical as well, actually. -- Tom Stoppard
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I don't keep a diary and I throw away nearly all the paper I might have kept. I don't keep an archive. There's something worrying about my make-up that I try to leave no trace of myself apart from my plays. -- Tom Stoppard
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My desk faces the water, and I'm perfectly happy sitting there. I'm never lonely. -- Tom Stoppard
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We drift down time, clutching at straws. But what good's a brick to a drowning man? -- Tom Stoppard
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'Shakespeare in Love' was a particularly happy film. -- Tom Stoppard
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GUIL: I think I have it. A man talking sense to himself is no madder then a man talking nonsense not to himself.
ROS: Or just as mad.
GUIL: Or just as mad.
ROS: And he does both.
GUIL: So there you are.
ROS: Stark raving sane. -- Tom Stoppard
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"The [London] Times" has published no rumours; it's only reported facts, namely that other, less responsible papers are publishing certain rumours. -- Tom Stoppard
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The names for things don't come first. Words stagger after, hopelessly trying to become the sensation. -- Tom Stoppard
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For a long time I managed to think two things simultaneously, that I am actually a good playwright, and that the next time I write a play I will be revealed as someone who is no good at all. -- Tom Stoppard
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Theater in New York is nearer to the street. In London, you have to go deep into the building, usually, to reach the place where theater happens. On Broadway, only the fire doors separate you from the sidewalk, and you're lucky if the sound of a police car doesn't rip the envelope twice a night. -- Tom Stoppard
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When 'The Dark Side of the Moon' was a new album in 1973, a friend of mine walked into my room where I was working with a copy in his hand and said, 'You really have to do a play about this album.' -- Tom Stoppard
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Nobody would be killed on the roads if the speed limit were 10 miles an hour. -- Tom Stoppard
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Fifty-five crystal spheres geared to God's crankshaft is my idea of a satisfying universe. I can't think of anything more trivial than quarks, quasars, big bangs, and black holes.
-- Tom Stoppard
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Before Plato could describe love, the loved one had to be invented. We would never love anybody if we could see past our invention. Bosie is my creation, my poem. In the mirror of invention, love discovered itself. -- Tom Stoppard
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It is a defect of God's humor that he directs our hearts everywhere but to those who have a right to them. -- Tom Stoppard
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We've traveled too far, and our momentum has taken over; we move idly towards eternity, without possibility of reprieve or hope of explanation. -- Tom Stoppard
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My scripts are possibly too talkative. Sometimes I watch a scene I've written, and occasionally I think, 'Oh, for God's sake, shut up.' -- Tom Stoppard
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You should not translate for more than two hours at a time. After that, you lose your edge, the language becomes clumsy, rigid. -- Tom Stoppard
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You don't mind? Life is in the minding. -- Tom Stoppard
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One senses that all the Bolsheviks, even those who ended up as cold-blooded autocrats, had been on a journey from idealism to something else, and didn't notice - to mix periods - when the Rubicon was crossed. -- Tom Stoppard
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Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art. -- Tom Stoppard
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When I was 20, in 1957, and maybe you would say I was old enough to know better, but nevertheless, I was completely nuts about Buddy Holly. And I loved pop bands that had absolutely no intellectual pretensions whatsoever. I loved the Monkees. -- Tom Stoppard
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I seem to be failing in my intention to be as boring as I possibly can be for self-protection. -- Tom Stoppard
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I've never really worked out this thought, and I don't know if I'm really conscious of it, but I can see there's an attraction about writing about a period that's over and isn't going to change colour while you look at it. -- Tom Stoppard
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I'm not like some other writers: I have no actual urgent need or desire to add to what's written. You write it; if you're lucky, it's performed, and that's the end of the whole thing. -- Tom Stoppard
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Whatever became of the moment when one first knew about death? There must have been one. A moment. In childhood. When it first occurred to you that you don't go on forever. It must have been shattering, stamped into one's memory. And yet, I can't remember it. -- Tom Stoppard
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For me, the reputation for teaching language in general, and East European languages most particularly, gave Glasgow University, and by reflection the country, a distinction. -- Tom Stoppard
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I don't want to come over as some boringly self-deprecating person. But I don't see myself as a groundbreaking writer in the way plays are structured. -- Tom Stoppard
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Death is the ultimate negative. -- Tom Stoppard
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The whole excitement for writing anything is quite intense. And for a day or two, you think you've done everything extremely well. The problems start on the third day, and continues for the rest of your life. -- Tom Stoppard
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There's something scary about stupidity made coherent. -- Tom Stoppard
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People think there's a choice between smoking and immortality, but we've all got to die of something. -- Tom Stoppard
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I extract significance from melodrama, a significance which it does not in fact contain; but occasionally, from out of this matter, there escapes a thin beam of light that, seen at the right angle, can crack the shell of mortality. -- Tom Stoppard
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All of my scripts are based on other people's novels. Generally, I consider myself as one who writes for theatre. I do not see film work as a continuation of writing for theatre. It is more of an interruption of the writing process. -- Tom Stoppard
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Real data is messy ... It's all very noisy out there. Very hard to spot the tune. Like a piano in the next room, it's playing your song, but unfortunately it's out of whack, some of the strings are missing, and the pianist is tone deaf and drunk- I mean, the noise! Impossible! -- Tom Stoppard
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I was an awful critic. I operated on the assumption that there was an absolute scale of values against which art could be measured. I didn't trust my own subjective responses. -- Tom Stoppard
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I don't think I can be expected to take seriously any game which takes less than three days to reach its conclusion. -- Tom Stoppard
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I don't look at my work in a critical or analytical way; I just don't think of myself objectively. It doesn't interest me. -- Tom Stoppard
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Gallons of ink and miles of typewriter ribbon expended on the misery of the unrequited lover; not a word about the utter tedium of the unrequiting. -- Tom Stoppard
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Even when the writing seems very frivolous, I'm puritanical. I don't mean my subject matter. It's that I'm almost pathologically incapable of leaving something when I'm not quite happy with it. -- Tom Stoppard
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I write scenes - often quite long scenes - mainly because I still get seduced into writing six lines where one and a half will do. -- Tom Stoppard
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I mean, if Beethoven had been killed in a plane crash at twenty-two, the history of music would have been very different. As would the history of aviation, of course. -- Tom Stoppard
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Kissing girls is not like science, nor is it like sport. It is the third thing when you thought there were only two. -- Tom Stoppard
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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. -- Tom Stoppard
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A movie camera is like having someone you have a crush on watching you from afar - you pretend it's not there. -- Tom Stoppard
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THOMASINA:
But then the Egyptian noodle made carnal embrace with the enemy who burned the great library of Alexandria without so much as a fine for all that is overdue! -- Tom Stoppard
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Dying is not romantic, and death is not a game which will soon be over ... Death is not anything ... death is not ... It's the absence of presence, nothing more ... the endless time of never coming back ... a gap you can't see, and when the wind blows through it, it makes not sound ... -- Tom Stoppard
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I don't do interviews under false pretenses. -- Tom Stoppard
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There are certain sorts of jokes which have only to do with the substitution of the unexpected word in a familiar context. If you translated something into French and then had it translated back into English by somebody who didn't know the original, you'd lose what was funny. -- Tom Stoppard
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My intention still is to write a play to commemorate, possibly rather skeptically, the 50th anniversary of the Russian revolution. I started it at the beginning of 1966, but confronted with the enormous importance and reality of that revolution, I absolutely boggle. I don't know what to do about it. -- Tom Stoppard
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I don't feel like a Londoner. -- Tom Stoppard
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We must be born with an intuition of mortality. Before we know the word for it. Before we know that there are words. Out we come, bloodied and squalling, with the knowledge that for all the points of the compass, there's only one direction. And time is its only measure. -- Tom Stoppard
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Let me get it straight. Your father was king. You were his only son. Your father dies. You are of age. Your uncle becomes king."
"Yes."
"Unorthodox. -- Tom Stoppard
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The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster. strangely enough it all works out in the end ... it's a mystery. -- Tom Stoppard
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I don't think falling in love in Slovakia is much different from falling in love in Tunbridge Wells. -- Tom Stoppard
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In the theater there is often a tension, almost a contradiction, between the way real people would think and behave, and a kind of imposed dramaticness. -- Tom Stoppard
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I should have the courage of my lack of convictions. -- Tom Stoppard
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Left to themselves people are noble, generous, uncorrupted, they'd create a completely new kind of society if only people weren't so blind, stupid and selfish. -- Tom Stoppard
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Plays ... Maidens aspiring to Godheads and vice versa! -- Tom Stoppard
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Every age thinks it's the modern age, but this one really is. Electricity is going to change everything. Everything! -- Tom Stoppard
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Time is short, life is short, there's a lot to know. So I skip the entertainers in the newspaper now. I just haven't got time. -- Tom Stoppard
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One of the nice things about the world of filmmaking is that you make friends in the business. Sometimes directors feel a script needs something, but they're not sure what it is, so they show it to a friend; if the friend is a writer, he ends up kicking around with that script for a while. -- Tom Stoppard
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People have quite a simple idea about 'Anna Karenina.' They feel that the novel is entirely about a young married woman who falls in love with a cavalry officer and leaves her husband after much agony, and pays the price for that. -- Tom Stoppard
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I am not a mathematician, but I was aware that for centuries, mathematics was considered the queen of the sciences because it claimed certainty. It was grounded on some fundamental certainties - axioms - that led to others. -- Tom Stoppard
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Confession is an act of violence against the unoffending. -- Tom Stoppard
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Obviously, you would give your life for your children, or give them the last biscuit on the plate. But to me, the trick in life is to take that sense of generosity between kin, make it apply to the extended family and to your neighbour, your village and beyond. -- Tom Stoppard
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It takes a lot of effort to be vibrant. -- Tom Stoppard
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Chater: You dare to call me that. I demand satisfaction!
Septimus: Mrs Chater demanded satisfaction and now you are demanding satisfaction. I cannot spend my time day and night satisfying the demands of the Chater family. -- Tom Stoppard
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Be happy
if you're not even happy, what's so good about surviving? -- Tom Stoppard
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I went to an English school and was brought up in English. So I don't feel Czech. -- Tom Stoppard
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[James] Joyce ... an essentially private man who wished his total indifference to public notice to be universally recognized ... -- Tom Stoppard
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All your life you live so close to truth, it becomes a permanent blur in the corner of your eye, and when something nudges it into outline it is like being ambushed by a grotesque. -- Tom Stoppard
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I fell in love with literature and stayed lovesick all my life. -- Tom Stoppard
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I renounce all love except pure philosophical love. The so-called love of human animals removes people two by two from the only possibility of happiness, which is the communion of beautiful souls. -- Tom Stoppard
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I think I give the impression of being a romantic, and I think inside I'm quite severe. But some might say they had the opposite impression of me. -- Tom Stoppard
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It's no trick loving somebody at their best. Love is loving them at their worst. -- Tom Stoppard
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It's the wanting to know that makes us matter. -- Tom Stoppard
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Life in a box is better than no life at all, I expect. You'd have a chance at least. You could lie there thinking: Well, at least I'm not dead. -- Tom Stoppard
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The Plastic People of the Universe played 'Venus in Furs' from Velvet Underground, and I knew everything was basically okay. -- Tom Stoppard
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Well, he us a nab, he is mortal, death comes to us all, etcetera, and consequently he would have died anyways, sooner or later. Or to look at it from the social point of view - he's just one man among many, the loss would be well within reason and convenience. -- Tom Stoppard
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The media. It sounds like a convention of spiritualists. -- Tom Stoppard
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I actually went to an Oasis concert. I thought they were a brilliant songwriting band. -- Tom Stoppard
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In January 1962, when I was the author of one and a half unperformed plays, I attended a student production of 'The Birthday Party' at the Victoria Rooms in Bristol. Just before it began, I realised that Harold Pinter was sitting in front of me. -- Tom Stoppard
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He says his aim is poetry. One does not aim at poetry with pistols. At poets, perhaps. -- Tom Stoppard
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Like many people, I only knew of Ford Madox Ford through a book called 'The Good Soldier,' which is everybody's favorite Ford Madox Ford if they have one, but I came to read 'Parade's End' when it was suggested via Damien Timmer of Mammoth Screen. -- Tom Stoppard
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I think journalism is important. -- Tom Stoppard
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We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered. -- Tom Stoppard
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When I was younger, I could do something useful just by being free for half a day, but now I need five days to get the world I've left out of my head and ten days or a fortnight not talking to anyone to hold what I need to hold inside my head. -- Tom Stoppard
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I think ... the history of civilization is an attempt to codify, classify and categorize aspects of human nature that hardly lend themselves to that process. -- Tom Stoppard
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My whole life is waiting for the questions to which I have prepared answers. -- Tom Stoppard
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I think that the present is worth attention, one shouldn't sacrifice it to future conceptions of, of this future or that future. -- Tom Stoppard
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You always end up with too much, so it's good to be part of the conversation about not just what you can omit, but how you are going to do the grammar of the omission, how you make things continue to work when there's something missing. It's your last chance to rewrite. -- Tom Stoppard
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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. -- Tom Stoppard
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A man speaking sense to himself is no madder than a man speaking nonsense not to himself. -- Tom Stoppard
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One always likes to think that other countries are not like one's own. -- Tom Stoppard
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In my mind, I always knew what my father looked like. -- Tom Stoppard
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Theater is a recreation. It can be much more, but unless it's recreation, I don't see the point of it. -- Tom Stoppard
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I like pop music. I consider rock 'n' roll to be a branch of pop music. -- Tom Stoppard
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I write fiction because it's a way of making statements I can disown. -- Tom Stoppard
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The unpredictable and the predetermined unfold together to make everything the way it is. -- Tom Stoppard
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Fantasy flows in where fact leaves a vacuum. -- Tom Stoppard
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I like plays where people talk a lot. Conversation is sustained. Argument is sustained. -- Tom Stoppard
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We keep to our usual stuff, more or less, only inside out. We do on stage the things that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit being an entrance somewhere else. -- Tom Stoppard
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I'm not a theoretician about playwriting, but I have a strong sense that plays have to be pitched - the scene, the line, the word - at the exact point where the audience has just the right amount of information. It's like Occam's razor. -- Tom Stoppard
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For me, human rights simply endorse a view of life and a set of moral values that are perfectly clear to an eight-year-old child. A child knows what is fair and isn't fair, and justice derives from that knowledge. -- Tom Stoppard
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You don't often get a proposal to do Tolstoy for a really interesting director - that's easy to say yes to. -- Tom Stoppard
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HANNAH: Don't let Bernard get to you. It's only performance art, you know. Rhetoric, they used to teach it in ancient times, like PT. It's not about being right, they had philosophy for that. Rhetoric was their chat show. Bernard's indignation is a sort of aerobics for when he gets on television. -- Tom Stoppard
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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
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If you want to change something by Tuesday, theater is no good. Journalism is what does that.
But, if you want to just alter the chemistry of the moral matrix, then theater has a longer half-life. -- Tom Stoppard
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Well I believe in the desirability of an optimal society. -- Tom Stoppard
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Imagination without skill gives us contemporary art. -- Tom Stoppard
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Your opinions are your symptoms. -- Tom Stoppard
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Possibly because I did start off as a journalist, my starting point has always been that you've got to keep an audience with you. Whatever you're doing, you always want a script to be a page-turner. It's very important never, ever, to feel above that. -- Tom Stoppard
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My life feels, week to week, incomplete to the level of being pointless if I am not in preparation for the next play or, ideally, into it. -- Tom Stoppard
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When I was a reporter in Bristol, which I was between the years 1954 and 1960, the newspaper would get tickets for whoever showed up to play a gig at the big hall down the road, so I saw some wonderful people. The Everly Brothers, for example. -- Tom Stoppard
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To wrap up the idea of 'Parade's End' in a sentence or two, I would say it's a love story in which we see a man with two women, and we know what's attractive about them. And we know why and what they feel about him. -- Tom Stoppard
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And for the last three minutes on the wind of a windless day I have heard the sound of drums and flute ... -- Tom Stoppard
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Success is a sort of metaphysical experience. I live exactly as I did before - only on a slightly bigger scale. Naturally, I won't be corrupted. I'll sit there in my Rolls, uncorrupted, and tell my chauffeur, uncorruptedly, where to go. -- Tom Stoppard
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The truth is always a compound of two half- truths, and you never reach it, because there is always something more to say. -- Tom Stoppard
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I don't draw on my inner life in my work. -- Tom Stoppard
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The ordinary-sized stuff which is our lives, the things people write poetry about - clouds - daffodils - waterfalls - what happens in a cup of coffee when the cream goes in - these things are full of mystery, as mysterious to us as the heavens were to the Greeks. -- Tom Stoppard
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I write plays because dialogue is the most respectable way of contradicting myself. -- Tom Stoppard
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Pirates could happen to anyone. -- Tom Stoppard
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I consider myself to be a very fortunate person and to have led a very fortunate life. -- Tom Stoppard
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To be an artist at all is like living in Switzerland during a world war. To be an artist in Zurich, in 1917, implies a degree of self-absorption that would have glazed over the eyes of Narcissus. -- Tom Stoppard
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It makes me so happy. To be at the beginning again, knowing almost nothing ... A door like this has cracked open five or six times since we got up on our hind legs. It's the best possible time of being alive, when almost everything you thought you knew is wrong. -- Tom Stoppard
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Personally I am in favour of education but a university is not the place for it. -- Tom Stoppard
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I learned three things in Zurich during the war. I wrote them down. Firstly, you're either a revolutionary or you're not, and if you're not you might as well be an artist as anything else. Secondly, if you can't be an artist, you might as well be a revolutionary ... I forget the third thing. -- Tom Stoppard
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GUIL: A scientific approach to the examination of phenomena is a defence against the pure emotion of fear -- Tom Stoppard
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If you took away everything in the world that had to be invented, there'd be nothing left except a lot of people getting rained on. -- Tom Stoppard
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Nowadays, an artist is someone who makes art mean the things he does. -- Tom Stoppard
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My family was in Singapore when the Japanese War started. We were in Singapore at the time of Pearl Harbor, and by the beginning of 1942, the Japanese invasion of Burma and Singapore had started. -- Tom Stoppard
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Stark raving sane. -- Tom Stoppard
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Theater is still a medium which attracts young writers. You'd think that it would be all over by now, with television and film. But it's not. -- Tom Stoppard
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You end up going to school plays quite a bit as a parent, there are a lot of kids who are doing the job as well as they can, but there's always one or two who seem much more at home in the world of impersonation. -- Tom Stoppard
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No matter how imperfect things are, if you've got a free press everything is correctable, and without it everything is concealable. -- Tom Stoppard
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I have a spasm of envy for the person that was killed by a falling bookcase, as long as it doesn't happen prematurely. -- Tom Stoppard
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GUIL (quietly): Where we went wrong was getting on a boat. We can move, of course, change direction, rattle about, but our movement is contained within a larger one that carries us along as inexorably as the wind and current ... -- Tom Stoppard
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Honesty is seldom ingratiating and often discomfiting. -- Tom Stoppard
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It's really hard to talk about writing, and I'm usually conscious if I'm misleading people or misleading the questioner, because the problem with writing is the next line. -- Tom Stoppard
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The more doors there are for you to open, the better the play. -- Tom Stoppard
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In the end, one has to feel lucky that things fell out O.K. I've felt that all the years I've been writing plays. -- Tom Stoppard
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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. -- Tom Stoppard
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When I was in my teens, I was very, very keen on being the author of a book. What the book was was secondary. I wanted it to be in hardback. I didn't care how thick or thin it was, and I didn't actually care what it was about. -- Tom Stoppard
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Any revival in which I am involved is liable to change. -- Tom Stoppard
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I am not my body. My body is nothing without me. -- Tom Stoppard
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I'm the kind of person who embarks on an endless leapfrog down the great moral issues. I put a position, rebut it, refute the rebuttal and rebut the refutation. Endlessly. -- Tom Stoppard
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His radio plays include: If You're Glad I'll Be Frank, Albert's Bridge (Italia Prize), Where Are They Now?, Artist Descending A Staircase, The Dog It Was That Died, In the Native State (Sony Award). -- Tom Stoppard
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There are too many things I find it difficult to say 'no' to. -- Tom Stoppard
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To be in love with Debo Devonshire is hardly a distinction. -- Tom Stoppard
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War is capitalism with the gloves off -- Tom Stoppard
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I doubt that art needed Ruskin any more than a moving train needs one of its passengers to shove it. -- Tom Stoppard
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As Socrates so philosophically put it, since we don't know what death is, it is illogical to fear it. -- Tom Stoppard
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Well, we'll know better next time. -- Tom Stoppard
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A genuine love of learning is one of the two delinquencies which cause blindness and lead a young man to ruin. -- Tom Stoppard
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I believe in mess, tears, pain, self-abasement, loss of self-respect, nakedness. Not caring doesn't seem much different from not loving. -- Tom Stoppard
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Eternity is a terrible thought. I mean, where's it going to end? -- Tom Stoppard
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I proudly tell people, 'I have no computer,' so as not to be ashamed of having no computer. -- Tom Stoppard
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Carnal embrace is the practice of throwing one's arms around a side of beef. -- Tom Stoppard
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When you write, it's making a certain kind of music in your head. There's a rhythm to it, a pulse, and on the whole, I'm writing to that drum rather than the psychological process. -- Tom Stoppard
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Writing a play is like smashing that [glass] ashtray, filming it in slow motion, and then running the film in reverse, so that the fragments of rubble appear to fly together. You start - or at least I start - with the rubble. -- Tom Stoppard
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How is a juggler you can't hear or see or smell or touch different to no juggler at all? -- Tom Stoppard
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The idea that being human and having rights are equivalent - that rights are inherent - is unintelligible in a Darwinian world. -- Tom Stoppard
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I like the notion of theater as recreational. -- Tom Stoppard
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You are an over-excited little man, with a need for self-expression far beyond the scope of your natural gifts. This is not discreditable. Neither does it make you an artist. -- Tom Stoppard
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The whole philosophy of modern times is to dissolve distinctions between individuals and deal with them as large collections of people. It's essentially self-interested on the part of authority. -- Tom Stoppard
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If Beethoven had been killed in a plane crash at the age of 22, it would have changed the history of music ... and of aviation. -- Tom Stoppard
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It is easily and often overlooked that when Thomas Jefferson asserted that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were inalienable human rights, he did so on the ground that they had been endowed by God, our Creator. -- Tom Stoppard
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When I think of how things could have turned out, I feel as if I've dodged, not just bullets, but 6mm shells. -- Tom Stoppard
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Each move is dictated by the previous one
that is the meaning of order -- Tom Stoppard
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I really just like to be at a desk. -- Tom Stoppard
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I can be affectionate about a lot of things without watching them. -- Tom Stoppard
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All mystical experience is coincidence; and vice versa, of course. -- Tom Stoppard
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A Chinaman of the T'ang Dynasty - and, by which definition, a philosopher - dreamed he was a butterfly, and from that moment he was never quite sure that he was not a butterfly dreaming it was a Chinese philosopher. Envy him; in his two-fold security. -- Tom Stoppard
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As a playwright, you can cover a lot of waterfront without being able to hold your own against an expert in any of those areas. I have no illusions about that. -- Tom Stoppard
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What are a friend's books for if not to be borrowed? -- Tom Stoppard
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If you are well known at something else, you get points for doing stuff which lots of other people do, and much more, and they don't get any points at all. You get over-praised, over-credited. -- Tom Stoppard
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I don't act, I don't direct, I don't design. -- Tom Stoppard
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The universe is deterministic all right, just like Newton said, I mean it's trying to be, but the only thing going wrong is people fancying people who aren't supposed to be in that part of the plan. -- Tom Stoppard
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The whole of life is like that now. It's even impossible to think naturally because opinion has been set out for you to read back. Originality has been used up. And yet faith in one's uniqueness dies hard. -- Tom Stoppard
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The days of the digitals are numbered. The metaphor is built into them like a self-destruct mechanism. -- Tom Stoppard
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Philosophy consists in moderating each life so that many lives will fit together with as much liberty and justice as will keep them together: and not so much as will make them fly apart, when the harm will be the greater. -- Tom Stoppard
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I've got no interest in educating or instructing people. -- Tom Stoppard
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I'm aware of my old plays and occasionally think about them, but I'm much more anxious about finding the next play. -- Tom Stoppard
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ROS (mournfully): Not even England. I don't believe in it anyway.
GUIL: What?
ROS: England.
GUIL: Just a conspiracy of cartographers, you mean. -- Tom Stoppard
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Moon felt as if the conversation was a weight he had to drag along on the end of a rope. -- Tom Stoppard
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No problem is insoluble, given a big enough plastic bag. -- Tom Stoppard
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I don't believe that we evolved moral psychology; it just doesn't seem plausible to me as a biological phenomenon. -- Tom Stoppard
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Traitors hoist by their own petard?
or victims of the gods?
we shall never know! -- Tom Stoppard
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I am good at being shown something and counterpunching. -- Tom Stoppard
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The days of the digital watch are numbered. -- Tom Stoppard
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The thing that happens remarkably often is that the people who are writing a dissertation believe they need to speak to me in order to do their dissertation. They need to interview me. -- Tom Stoppard
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When we have found all the mysteries and lost all the meaning, we will be alone, on an empty shore. -- Tom Stoppard
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Septimus. When we have found all the mysteries and lost all the meaning, we will be all alone, on an empty shore.
Thomasina. Then we will dance. Is this a waltz? -- Tom Stoppard
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Chekhov directors and Chekhov actors love working on his plays because there seems to be no end to what you can find out about the micro-narrative when you're investigating a text. -- Tom Stoppard
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The thing about talking about human rights is that when one bears in mind the sharp end of it, one does not want to worry too much about semantics. -- Tom Stoppard
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In 2005, I got an email from Belarus Free Theatre. They were emailing playwrights in America and England announcing their existence and saying they would like support from us. I wrote back and asked if they wanted us to visit. They said, 'Yes, we'd love that.' -- Tom Stoppard
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Death followed by eternity the worst of both worlds. It is a terrible thought. -- Tom Stoppard
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Like most writers, I just create because I have a story to tell, really. -- Tom Stoppard
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I would join Sisyphus in Hades and gladly push my boulder up the slope if only, each time it rolled back down, I were given a line of Aeschylus. -- Tom Stoppard
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One of the attractions of translating 'Heroes' is that it's not the kind of play that I write. If it had been, I probably wouldn't have wanted to translate it. There are no one-liners. It's much more a truthful comedy than a play of dazzling wit. -- Tom Stoppard
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The printed word is no longer as in demand as when I was of the age of pupils or even at the age of the teachers teaching them. -- Tom Stoppard
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You think human nature is a beast, that it must be put in a cage. But it's the cage that makes the animal bad. -- Tom Stoppard
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Love is - OK, it's 20 things, but it isn't 19. And I think that love reaches for something which is very, very deep in us and is very easily obscured, and is also very easily denied, which is the instinct towards the other person, other than toward the self. -- Tom Stoppard
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Happiness is equilibrium. Shift your weight. -- Tom Stoppard
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Now for a handful of guilders I happen to have a private and uncut performance of the rape of the Sabine Women - or rather woman, or rather Alfred -Get your skirt on Alfred! -- Tom Stoppard
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I don't know that I want to share all my most intimate secrets. -- Tom Stoppard
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I am as miserable as anyone - sometimes. -- Tom Stoppard
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I don't believe there is something called 'film' and something called 'theater,' and that words belong in the theater. Some rather bad films have few words in them; some good films have a lot of words in them. -- Tom Stoppard
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The truth of the matter is that I used to be much more - as it were - shy. Now I don't care! -- Tom Stoppard
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Lou Reed was a hero because he was an anti-hero. -- Tom Stoppard
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The whole notion of journalism being an institution whose fundamental purpose is to educate and inform and even, one might say, elevate, has altered under commercial pressure, perhaps, into a different kind of purpose, which is to divert and distract and entertain. -- Tom Stoppard
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Good things, when short, are twice as good. -- Tom Stoppard
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I still believe that if your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon. -- Tom Stoppard
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What is the society we wish to protect? Is it the society of complete surveillance for the commonwealth? Is this the wealth we seek to have in common - optimal security at the cost of maximal surveillance? -- Tom Stoppard
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We're better at predicting events at the edge of the galaxy or inside the nucleus of an atom than whether it'll rain on auntie's garden party three Sundays from now. -- Tom Stoppard
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Everybody I know is writing plays twice a year. It's sort of making me feel I am not up to much. -- Tom Stoppard
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One bulls-eye and you're rich and famous. The rich get more famous and the famous get rich. You're the talk of the town ... The sense of so much depending on success is very hard to ignore, perhaps impossible. It leads to disproportionate anxiety and disproportionate relief or disappointment. -- Tom Stoppard
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Despite the digital age, there is a very large number of venues and spaces that are looking for plays, and many of them are looking for new plays. -- Tom Stoppard
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I'm a very boring person. -- Tom Stoppard
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Schepisi is the sort of director who could, would, and frequently did phone me whenever he came across a textual problem. -- Tom Stoppard
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I shall have poetry in my life. And adventure. And love, love, love, above all. Love as there has never been in a play. Unbiddable, ungovernable, like a riot in the heart and nothing to be done, come ruin or rapture. -- Tom Stoppard
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Can't you function unless you're losing? -- Tom Stoppard
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Dotty (off): HELP!
...
Archie: It's all right - just exhibitionism: what we psychiatrists call 'a cry for help'.
Bones: But it was a cry for help.
Archie: Perhaps I'm not making myself clear. All exhibitionism is a crey for help, but a cry for help as such is only exhibitionism. -- Tom Stoppard
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Success in life is to maintain this ecstasy, to burn always with this hard gemlike flame. -- Tom Stoppard
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A free press needs to be a respected press. -- Tom Stoppard
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I must stop compromising my plays with this whiff of social application. They must be entirely untouched by any suspicion of usefulness. -- Tom Stoppard
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Childhood is Last Chance Gulch for happiness. After that, you know too much. -- Tom Stoppard
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No one gets up after death-there is no applause-there is only silence and some second-hand clothes, and that's death. -- Tom Stoppard
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I've lost all capacity for disbelief. I'm not sure that I could even rise to a little gentle scepticism. -- Tom Stoppard
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I have about a dozen cassettes lying about which I use in random order. Very often, I pick up a cassette to dictate a letter, and I find my voice coming back at me with the lines of plays three years old. -- Tom Stoppard
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Rewriting isn't just about dialogue; it's the order of the scenes, how you finish a scene, how you get into a scene. -- Tom Stoppard
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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. -- Tom Stoppard
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If I wanted to change the world, the last thing I would do is write a play. -- Tom Stoppard
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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. -- Tom Stoppard
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I'm not that taken with Freudian perspectives. They seem to be overcomplicated. -- Tom Stoppard
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The bad end unhappily; the good, unluckily. That is what tragedy means. -- Tom Stoppard
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We are tied down to a language which makes up in obscurity what it lacks in style. -- Tom Stoppard
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There is no one so radical as a man-servant whose freedom of the champagne bin has been interfered with. -- Tom Stoppard
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Underneath runs the main current of preoccupation, which is keeping one's nose clean at all times. This means that when things go wrong you have to pass the blame along the line, like pass-the-parcel, till the music stops. -- Tom Stoppard
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The truth is, we value your company, for want of any other. We have been left so much to our own devices - after a while one welcomes the uncertainty of being left to other people's. -- Tom Stoppard
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I like dialogue that is slightly more brittle than life. I have always admired and wished to write one of those 1940s film scripts where every line is written with a sharpness and economy that is frankly artificial. -- Tom Stoppard
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Very often in Chekhov, where he exhibits a little bit of human behavior that you recognize as true, you give a little laugh. It's like a reflex. -- Tom Stoppard
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I wanted to be in the theater. It is simply the way I felt. -- Tom Stoppard
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Consistency is all I ask! -- Tom Stoppard
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Tom Stoppard's other work includes: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Jumpers, Travesties, Night and Day, After Magritte, The Real Thing, Enter A Free Man, Hapgood, Arcadia, Indian Ink (a stage adaptation of his own play, In the Native State) and The Invention of Love. Arcadia -- Tom Stoppard
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Chekhov understood that people are mysterious and can't be reduced to what we nowadays call 'motivation.' -- Tom Stoppard
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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. -- Tom Stoppard
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He's never known anything like it! But then, he has never known anything to write home about, so this is nothing to write home about. -- Tom Stoppard
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I'm attracted to the past. -- Tom Stoppard
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If I hadn't left Czechoslovakia, I would have been dead. -- Tom Stoppard
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If I am on a journey where I only have time to read one-and-a-half books, I never know which one-and-a-half I'll feel like reading. So I bring eight. -- Tom Stoppard
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Don't clap too loudly - it's a very old world. -- Tom Stoppard
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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. -- Tom Stoppard
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I didn't feel good about cutting out parts of very famous speeches, ... You think you somehow need all of it or you get none of it, but that's not true. -- Tom Stoppard
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Relax. Respond. That's what people do. You can't go through life questioning your situation at every turn. -- Tom Stoppard
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ROS: Why don't you go and have a look?
GUIL: Pragmatism?! - is that all you have to offer? -- Tom Stoppard
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I don't feel that I belong anywhere. Or rather, if there's a place I belong, I don't feel I'm there. -- Tom Stoppard
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I love love. I love having a lover and being one. The insularity of passion. I love it. I love the way it blurs the distinction between everyone who isn't one's lover. -- Tom Stoppard
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It is better to be quotable than to be honest. -- Tom Stoppard
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I have two garden parties a year to avoid going out to dinner. -- Tom Stoppard
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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. -- Tom Stoppard
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Save the gerund and screw the whale. -- Tom Stoppard
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People do terrible things to each other, but it's worse in the places where everybody is kept in the dark. -- Tom Stoppard
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Of all forms of fiction, autobiography is the most gratuitous. -- Tom Stoppard
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What a fine persecution - to be kept intrigued without ever quite being enlightened. -- Tom Stoppard
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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. -- Tom Stoppard
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Inside where nothing shows, I am the essence of a man spinning double-headed coins, and betting against himself in private atonement for an unremembered past. -- Tom Stoppard
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It is no light matter to put in jeopardy a single life when it is the very singularity of each life which underpins the idea of a just society. -- Tom Stoppard
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I burn with no causes. -- Tom Stoppard
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If enough things that are untrue are said about you, no one will know what really is true. -- Tom Stoppard
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I think probably I've been influenced by Chekhov and Walt Disney, if you see what I mean. -- Tom Stoppard
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We're actors - we're the opposite of people! -- Tom Stoppard
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Although I don't examine myself in this respect, I would say, off the top of my head, that I've come to acknowledge my Czechness more as I get older. -- Tom Stoppard
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A writer doesn't really have much of a function on a movie set. -- Tom Stoppard
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Theatre is a series of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster. -- Tom Stoppard
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To be 64 is appalling, so what does it matter being 65? -- Tom Stoppard
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If I see an actor in a role that is really terrifying, no matter how many times I meet him socially, I'm still frightened of him. I think he's going to hit me. -- Tom Stoppard
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Between "just desserts" and "tragic irony" we are given quite a lot of scope for our particular talent. Generally speaking, things have gone about as far as they can possibly go when things have got about as bad as they reasonably get. -- Tom Stoppard
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One feels that the past stays the way you left it, whereas the present is in constant movement; it's unstable all around you. -- Tom Stoppard
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I am not somebody who meets a man or a woman somewhere and feels like that is an incredible character that I must write into a play. -- Tom Stoppard
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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. -- Tom Stoppard
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'The Importance of Being Earnest' is important, but it says nothing about anything. -- Tom Stoppard
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I'm vaguely embarrassed by myself sometimes. -- Tom Stoppard
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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
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You can't go around chasing your own plays and showing up every time somebody does one somewhere. You just cross your fingers and hope that they're OK. -- Tom Stoppard
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Get me inside any boardroom and I'll get any decision I want. -- Tom Stoppard
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I just happen to know quite a lot of what happened in Czechoslovakia between 1968 and the fall of Communism. -- Tom Stoppard
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Somebody who likes to do my plays is a good director for them. -- Tom Stoppard
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You stupid woman, if rationality were the criterion for things being allowed to exist, the world would be one gigantic field of soya beans! -- Tom Stoppard
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Theatre probably originated without texts, but by the time we get to the classical Greek period, theatre has become text-based. -- Tom Stoppard
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My father was a doctor in Moravia, in the south of the country. There were a number of Jewish doctors in the hospital there, and at a certain point - almost too late, really, but in time - they were all sent overseas by their employer. -- Tom Stoppard
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I always loved rock 'n' roll. -- Tom Stoppard
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Maybe Napoleon was wrong when he said we were a nation of shopkeepers ... Today England looked like a nation of goalkeepers. -- Tom Stoppard
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The text loses its virginity simply by being staged: it's no longer the abstract ideal version; it's an event. -- Tom Stoppard
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When Auden said his poetry didn't save one Jew from the gas chamber, he'd said it all. -- Tom Stoppard
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Seduced her? Every time I turned round she was up a library ladder. In the end I gave in. That reminds me - I spotted something between her legs that made me think of you. -- Tom Stoppard
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Chekhov was capable of casually tossing off deplorable comments in his letters, combined with a very modern anger against anti-Semitism. -- Tom Stoppard
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If they are all so obsessed with change they should begin by changing for dinner. -- Tom Stoppard
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Rosencrantz: Shouldn't we be doing something
constructive?
Guildenstern: What did you have in mind? ... A short, blunt human pyramid ... ? -- Tom Stoppard
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The idea that public safety, the safety of the innocent, is an absolute which trumps every other consideration, is tacitly abandoned in the way we live. -- Tom Stoppard
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In Chekhov, everything blends into its opposite, just fractionally, and this is sort of unsettling. And that's why you end up 100 years later asking, 'Is that moment tragic or comic?' -- Tom Stoppard
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There is presumably a calendar date a moment when the onus of proof passed from the atheist to the believer, when, quite suddenly, secretly, the noes had it. -- Tom Stoppard
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Art cannot be subordinate to its subject, otherwise it is not art but biography. -- Tom Stoppard
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Biography is the mesh through which real life escapes. -- Tom Stoppard
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Fatherlessness didn't strike me as being an event. It was a state of life. -- Tom Stoppard
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I'm not interested in clothes; I just like them. -- Tom Stoppard
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Corporeal death is not the whole story. -- Tom Stoppard
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I've voted in every election - not always for the same political party and never with any degree of enthusiasm. -- Tom Stoppard
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If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older. -- Tom Stoppard
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The way 'star' used to be reserved for a small number of people, and when the star category became so vast, they came up with 'superstar,' and then they came up with 'megastar.' -- Tom Stoppard
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It's not the voting that's democracy, it's the counting. -- Tom Stoppard
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I think I enlist comedy to a serious purpose. -- Tom Stoppard
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Can only write about what bites you. -- Tom Stoppard
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I don't think Stoppardian has a precise definition. -- Tom Stoppard
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Because theatre is a story-telling art form, we feel entitled to assume that the playwright got there before we got there. -- Tom Stoppard
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Hell is very likely to be modernization infinitely extended. -- Tom Stoppard
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To say that it is without pace, point, focus, interest, drama, wit or originality is to say simply that it does not happen to be my cup of tea. -- Tom Stoppard
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Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else. -- Tom Stoppard
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There must have been a moment, at the beginning, were we could have said
no. But somehow we missed it. -- Tom Stoppard
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Better a fallen rocket than never a burst of light. -- Tom Stoppard
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I'm offended by things and take pathetic little stands against them. -- Tom Stoppard
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I am aware, as everybody has to be, that there's more competition for one's attention nowadays. -- Tom Stoppard
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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. -- Tom Stoppard
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If you let the plot be determined by what you feel is in the character's mind at that point, it may not turn out to be a very good play, but at least it will be a play where people are behaving in a kind of truthful way. -- Tom Stoppard
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I would count myself as a friend of Vaclav Havel. -- Tom Stoppard
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Rosencrantz: I don't believe in it anyway.
Guildenstern: What?
Rosencrantz: England.
Guildenstern: Just a conspiracy of cartographers, then? -- Tom Stoppard
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If you were handed power on a plate you'd be left fighting over a plate. -- Tom Stoppard
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I'm very unhappy about my entire life if my writing is going wrong. -- Tom Stoppard
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My life is sectioned off into hot flushes, pursuits of this or that. -- Tom Stoppard
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You can persuade a man to believe almost anything provided he is clever enough, but it is much more difficult to persuade someone less clever. -- Tom Stoppard
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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. -- Tom Stoppard
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I was delighted to not go to university. I couldn't wait to be out of education. -- Tom Stoppard
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Public postures have the configuration of private derangement. -- Tom Stoppard
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I want to support the whole idea of the humanities and teaching the humanities as being something that - even if it can't be quantitatively measured as other subjects - it's as fundamental to all education. -- Tom Stoppard
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The colours red, blue and green are real. The colour yellow is a mystical experience shared by everybody. -- Tom Stoppard
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The Almost Free Theatre, the Fun Art Bus and the rest of them were phenomena of a decade which was simultaneously playful and desperately serious; and -- Tom Stoppard
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There are many, many more small theater spaces than there were when I was starting out. -- Tom Stoppard
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What Tolstoy is on about is that carnal love is not a good idea. -- Tom Stoppard
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The idea that anybody might be allowed to use their common sense when clearly no harm is being done is part of history now. -- Tom Stoppard
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You're familiar with the tragedies of antiquity, are you? The great homicidal classics? -- Tom Stoppard
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After all these years, I definitely associate having a pen in my hand with having an ashtray just out of eye line. -- Tom Stoppard
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I wish I could remember how to write a play. I can't remember how they happened. -- Tom Stoppard
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The hard part is getting to the top of page 1. -- Tom Stoppard
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I can put two and two together, you know. Do not think you are dealing with a man who has lost his grapes. -- Tom Stoppard
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I flinch when I see my name in the newspapers. -- Tom Stoppard
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Why should I write a play? I don't have to write a play, do I? But somehow, I think that's what I'm here for, so I'd better do it. -- Tom Stoppard
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You are the plays you write. How on earth could you write them otherwise? They're projections of your own predilections. -- Tom Stoppard
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I write for film or, in this case, television when I haven't got a play cooking. -- Tom Stoppard
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Eternity's a terrible thought. I mean, where's it all going to end? -- Tom Stoppard
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When you try to grasp the way the Western world is going, you see that we are on a ratchet towards a surveillance state, which is coming to include the whole population in its surveillance. This is our reward for accepting the restraints on the way we live now. -- Tom Stoppard
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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. -- Tom Stoppard
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Belinsky: 'Who is this Moloch that eats his children?'
Herzen: 'It's the Ginger Cat. -- Tom Stoppard
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From principles is derived probability, but truth or certainty is obtained only from facts. -- Tom Stoppard
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A great production of a black comedy is better than a mediocre production of a comedy of errors. -- Tom Stoppard
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We live amidst absurdity, so close to it that it escapes our notice. -- Tom Stoppard
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Words, words. They're all we have to go on. -- Tom Stoppard
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What is an artist? For every thousand people there's nine hundred doing the work, ninety doing well, nine doing good, and one lucky bastard who's the artist. -- Tom Stoppard
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A 'human right' is, by definition, timeless. It cannot adhere to some societies and not others, at some times and not at other times. -- Tom Stoppard
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Reality, the name we give to the common experience. -- Tom Stoppard
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Directors sometimes have good ideas that I wished I'd had, not on rewriting but simply on staging. -- Tom Stoppard
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A healthy attitude is contagious but don't wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier. -- Tom Stoppard
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Everything has to be taken on trust; truth is only that what is taken to be true. It's the currency if living. There may be nothing behind it, but it doesn't make any difference so long as it is honoured. One acts on assumptions. What do you assume? -- Tom Stoppard
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Suicide is no more than a trick played on the calendar. -- Tom Stoppard
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A publisher many years ago asked if I'd like to write a novel for £50. And I said, 'Absolutely.' -- Tom Stoppard
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I got dizzy," he explained.
I should think you did. What were you doing?'
Nothing," said Moon. "I was trying to face one way or the other and I got confused and fell over."
Let that be my epitaph. -- Tom Stoppard
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That I have the right to express myself freely at all times in all circumstances entails the idea that free speech is a 'basic human right' possessed by each individual, and, as such, trumps the interests of the society or group, including my neighbour. -- Tom Stoppard
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When I was 20, the idea of having a play on anywhere was just beyond my dreams. -- Tom Stoppard
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Audiences know what to expect, and that is all that they are prepared to believe in. -- Tom Stoppard
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I'm a playwright who gets involved in movies when I'm not writing a play. -- Tom Stoppard
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Act first! The ideas will follow, and if not - well, it's progress -- Tom Stoppard
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One doesn't want one's democracy to behave like a dictatorial or fascistic police. One doesn't. -- Tom Stoppard
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After Magritte often serves as a companion piece to The Real Inspector Hound, which I think is appropriate in at least one way: neither play is about anything grander than itself. A -- Tom Stoppard
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Atheism is a crutch for those who cannot bear the reality of God. -- Tom Stoppard
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In the end, my children put me on to Pink Floyd when they were teenagers. -- Tom Stoppard
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VALENTINE: Are you talking about Lord Byron, the poet?
BERNARD: No, you fucking idiot, we're talking about Lord Byron, the chartered accountant. -- Tom Stoppard
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I'm hopeless at looking into myself and trying to see how things are working and why. -- Tom Stoppard
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We give advice by the bucket, but take it by the grain. -- Tom Stoppard
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We ransomed our dignity to the clouds. -- Tom Stoppard
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The tragedy of journalism is that these are people doing their best work. -- Tom Stoppard
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I get the impression sometimes that a play arrives in a sequence of events that I have no control over. -- Tom Stoppard
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I loved the Beatles when they turned up, and the Stones when they turned up, and never really stopped liking them. -- Tom Stoppard
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Player: Relax. Respond. That's what people do. You can't go through life question your sitution at every turn. -- Tom Stoppard
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The 'role of the theatre' is much debated (by almost nobody, of course), but the thing defines itself in practice first and foremost as a recreation. This seems satisfactory. TOM STOPPARD 1993 -- Tom Stoppard
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I'm going to be dead before I read the books I'm going to read. -- Tom Stoppard
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I don't respond well to the Olympic noise, which is the noise of nationalistic triumphalism. -- Tom Stoppard
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Actors! The mechanics of cheap melodrama! That isn't death! You scream and choke and sink to your knees but it doesn't bring death home to anyone- it doesn't catch them unawares and start the whisper in their skulls that says- 'One day you are going to die. -- Tom Stoppard
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It takes character to withstand the rigours of indolence. -- Tom Stoppard
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I like trying to create a spark through a collaboration between me and the audience. -- Tom Stoppard
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I don't even know what my voice is to this day. -- Tom Stoppard
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Uncertainty is the normal state. -- Tom Stoppard
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If you don't know what is being said, the rest of the actor's work is wasted. -- Tom Stoppard
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Information is light. Information in itself, about anything, is light. -- Tom Stoppard
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Revolution is a trivial shift in the emphasis of suffering. -- Tom Stoppard
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It's so great in the theater when everyone catches up on the truth. -- Tom Stoppard
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I read for interest and enjoyment, and when I cease to enjoy it I stop. -- Tom Stoppard
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The results of the divorce between truth and human beings can be most graphically observed in politics. -- Tom Stoppard
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The possibilities are infinite with new writing; every time you open a new script, there's no limit to what it might contain. -- Tom Stoppard
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I think theater ought to be theatrical. -- Tom Stoppard
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I can't remember what my first script was. -- Tom Stoppard
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I adopted England as least as much as England adopted me. -- Tom Stoppard
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I agree with everything you say, but I would attack to the death your right to say it. -- Tom Stoppard
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It would have been nice to have had unicorns. -- Tom Stoppard
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One of the reasons why there are so many versions of Chekhov is that translations date in a way that the original doesn't; translations seem to be of their time. -- Tom Stoppard
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In England the rich own the poor and the men own the women. -- Tom Stoppard
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How the hell do I know what I find incredible? Credibility is an expanding field ... Sheer disbelief hardly registers on the face before the head is nodding with all the wisdom of instant hindsight. -- Tom Stoppard
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I cannot say that I write with any social objective. One writes because one loves writing, really. -- Tom Stoppard
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You've no idea, the whole Army's obsessed with playing at soldiers ... -- Tom Stoppard
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You can't treat royalty like people with normal perverted desires. -- Tom Stoppard
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If an idea's worth having once, it's worth having twice. -- Tom Stoppard
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PLAYER : It costs little to watch, and little more if you happen to get caught up in the action, if that's your taste and times being what they are. -- Tom Stoppard
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Like almost everything else from the West, the Romantic Revolution arrived late in Russia. -- Tom Stoppard
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Every exit is an Entry somewhere else. -- Tom Stoppard
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I barely remembered my father; I'm confused between genuine memory and the few photographs that survived. -- Tom Stoppard
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I'm a conservative kind of person. I don't think rightwing is quite the same thing. But I acknowledge my conservatism of temperament. -- Tom Stoppard
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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. -- Tom Stoppard
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A circle is the longest distance to same point. -- Tom Stoppard
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The causes we know everything about depend on causes we know very little about which depend upon causes we know absolutely nothing about. -- Tom Stoppard
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With plays that require any kind of reading program, I'm reading for a couple of years before using the material. -- Tom Stoppard
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I will take his secret to the grave, telling people I meet on the way. -- Tom Stoppard
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I write out of my intellectual experience. -- Tom Stoppard
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Embarrassingly enough, I often can't remember how I came to write something. -- Tom Stoppard
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People think I'm very nice, you know. And I'm not as nice as they think. -- Tom Stoppard
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I'm very garrulous, but I don't say anything. -- Tom Stoppard
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Hotel rooms inhabit a separate moral universe. -- Tom Stoppard
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For 10 years of my life, 3 times a day, I thanked the Lord for what I was about to receive and thanked him again for what I had just received, and then we lost touch and I suddenly thought, where is he now -- Tom Stoppard
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Responsibilities gravitate to the person who can shoulder them. -- Tom Stoppard
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Give us this day our daily mask. -- Tom Stoppard
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'Arcadia' is obviously a play that's got interesting things in it that are perhaps quite hard to grasp. -- Tom Stoppard
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As a child, I was airlifted out of the path of the Nazis. Unfortunately, I was parachuted into the path of the Japanese, but then I was airlifted again to India. -- Tom Stoppard
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Never believe in mirrors or newspapers. -- Tom Stoppard
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A lesson in folly is worth two in wisdom. -- Tom Stoppard
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I think of myself as a theater animal instead of an intellectual animal. -- Tom Stoppard
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I'm good at being funny. -- Tom Stoppard
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The fact is that people are attracted to new work and by new work. -- Tom Stoppard