Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Tom Stoppard: Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

Player . . . - well, I can do you blood and love without the rhetoric, and I can do you blood and rhetoric without the love, and I can do you all three concurrent and consecutive, but I can't do you love and rhetoric without the blood. Blood is compulsory - they're all blood, you see.

Guil Is that what people want?

Player It's what we do.

Tom Stoppard

5 comments:

phyllis said...

I really thought I was well read unitl I started reading this blog!

sigh

lagatta à Montréal said...

Phyliss, I'm sure you are VERY well-read!

The more one reads, the more one realises that one can never read everything - nor is one necessarily interested in doing so.

Same with learning languages. I get requests for many I don't speak, and some for which I can't even find translators.

Rosenkrantz is among those works I read or saw when I was far too young to really understand them.

I don't think the Czechs I know (who were of course dissidents) are very fond of Stoppard, but it is to his credit that he created an award for Czech authors. So many thought they were out of the frying pan of repression and found themselves in the fire, as people became interested in imported mass culture and not their own authors, many of whom had displayed extraordinary bravery against both Nazism and Stalinism. Some very courageous people there are in dire straits.

And I'm still trying to find Buchmendel, in the original!

Perhaps it is somewhere in the books of the late mum of a dear friend of mine. Viennese Jews, and as cultivated as Zweig. Also left for Brazil. Mum wound up in Israel after her first husband died - in a wonderfully pre-war Viennese touch, with the OTHER suitor, who had sought refuge in Palestine. Hmmm.

Mum was 99 when she died, peacefully.

Linda Grant said...

There's a novel, there.

George S said...

Wasn't the early Stoppard the absolute bee's knees? Still his best play.

Mae Travels said...

Dear Linda,
Please come back to posting on this blog. I think your choice of both a work and a single, important sentence will be inspiring.

You inspired me: I began by reading "Buchmendel" and now I've read most of the stories in Zweig's Kaleidescope collection, as well as an article called "The Displacement of Jewish Identity in Stefan Zweig's 'Buchmendel'".

Thanks... maetravels.blogspot.com