He knows he can’t change things with pain, so he doesn’t.
“I don’t take things too hard,” he said. “Death for example. People die, and I somehow avoid the moment. Or if you say something embarrassingly stupid to someone or you think you’re talking to someone but it’s actually someone else. I vaguely realize that I have the power not to dwell on this.” The thing. I can see there is another way to live where you lie awake about it. I’m just thinking, ‘Go to hell.’
Critics have long debated whether Stoppard’s verbal acrobatics and brain-obsessions distorted feelings in many of his plays, but Lee thinks this is misleading, that sadness, annihilation, melancholy, vulnerability, and feeling is an external thread through his work.
At first, Stoppard resisted the idea that his work should have a moral or political message – the “breath of social application”. As the Maliki character said in his account, “Lord Malquist and Mr. Moon,” “Since we cannot hope for order, let us withdraw in anarchy fashion.” Stoppard himself liked to say, in Wildean style, “I must have courage for my lack of convictions.” But history has pushed the “Messenger of Secession,” as drama critic Kenneth Tynan has called it, into even more powerful commitments. In 2013, he shared the PEN Pinter Award for his work against human rights abuses.
Marber said, “Leopoldstadt is a really angry play. It’s a play about murder, the terrible state murder, and how did this crime happen?”
Stoppard told me that when he started his career, he didn’t want to appear in his work “in any way”. Gradually it became less bottled.
“Then, I guess, with The Real Thing, I didn’t care much,” he said of his play about the relationship of a dazzling playwright and actress, a topic that Stoppard might know something about, given his connections with Felicity Kendall and Sinad Cusack. “Now, with the last few plays, I really want to encourage the play to be emotional. A woman who reviewed the Rock ‘n’ Roll song wrote that she started crying when the love story finally met, just in time. I knew I was more pleased than any number of People who told me I was too smart or cultured.
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