Literary Birthday – 3 July – Tom Stoppard

Happy Birthday, Tom Stoppard, born 3 July 1937.

Nine Quotes

  1. What are a friend’s books for if not to be borrowed?
  2. I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little or make a poem which children will speak for you when you’re dead.
  3. Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art.
  4. I’m going to be dead before I read the books I’m going to read.
  5. We give advice by the bucket, but take it by the grain.
  6. 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.
  7. I read for interest and enjoyment, and when I cease to enjoy it I stop.
  8. My work always tried to unite the true with the beautiful; but when I had to choose one or the other, I usually chose the beautiful.
  9. I cannot say that I write with any social objective. One writes because one loves writing, really.

Tom Stoppard is a Czech-born British playwright. Knighted in 1997, his well-known plays include Arcadia, Professional Foul, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. He co-wrote the screenplays for Brazil, The Russia House, and Shakespeare in Love. He has won one Academy Award and four Tony Awards.

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 3rd July 2015