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 mad to say things like what Johann Hari suspects them of saying at tea parties he doesn't get invited to.