There are a couple of bits of Tom Stoppard news this week (an Arcadia revival is in previews on Broadway and Keira Knightley might play Anna Karenina in a film of Stoppard`s adaptation), so I used that as an excuse to write about my favorite playwright in my Taki`s Magazine column
Tom Stoppard`s remarkable career stands as a puzzling rebuke to cynicism about show biz. Sure, audience-pandering, trend-surfing, and propagandizing can explain the vast majority of what the entertainment industry sets before us. Yet, how can we account for Stoppard`s endless success? Sir Tom has appealed to everyone`s best instincts for most of the last half-century, and he`s been handsomely rewarded for it.
Read the rest there.
By the way, here`s something that caught my eye in Johann Hari`s 2003 review of a Stoppard biography in the leftwing Independent:
Did you know that Stoppard came up with the name of his friend Mick Jagger`s 1997 tour, "Bridges to Babylon", or that Stoppard, Jagger and the ultra-right-wing journalist Paul Johnson often meet for tea and biscuits? (Oh, to be a fly on the wall of that padded cell...)
That England`s leading playwright, rock star, and historian get together privately and, no doubt, exchange heresies ... I mean, they have to be madto say things like what Johann Hari suspects them of saying at tea parties he doesn`t get invited to.