Quotes

Tom Stoppard’S Quotes on Attitude and Childhood

If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.

A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.

Every exit is an entry somewhere else.

 Maturity is a high price to pay for growing up.

Age is a very high price to pay for maturity.

 It is not hard to understand modern art. If it hangs on a wall it’s a painting, and if you can walk around it it’s a sculpture.

Theatre is a series of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.

 Tom Stoppard

From principles is derived probability, but truth or certainty is obtained only from facts.

Obviously, you would give your life for your children, or give them the last biscuit on the plate. But to me, the trick in life is to take that sense of generosity between kin, make it apply to the extended family and to your neighbour, your village and beyond.

 Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art.

  I still believe that if your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon.

Responsibilities gravitate to the person who can shoulder them.

 Life is a gamble, at terrible odds – if it was a bet you wouldn’t take it.

  I want to support the whole idea of the humanities and teaching the humanities as being something that – even if it can’t be quantitatively measured as other subjects – it’s as fundamental to all education.

 It is better of course to know useless things than to know nothing.

 It’s not the voting that’s democracy; it’s the counting.

My scripts are possibly too talkative. Sometimes I watch a scene I’ve written, and occasionally I think, ‘Oh, for God’s sake, shut up.’

 For me, human rights simply endorse a view of life and a set of moral values that are perfectly clear to an eight-year-old child. A child knows what is fair and isn’t fair, and justice derives from that knowledge.

 When you write, it’s making a certain kind of music in your head. There’s a rhythm to it, a pulse, and on the whole, I’m writing to that drum rather than the psychological process.

It is no light matter to put in jeopardy a single life when it is the very singularity of each life which underpins the idea of a just society.

One senses that all the Bolsheviks, even those who ended up as cold-blooded autocrats, had been on a journey from idealism to something else, and didn’t notice – to mix periods – when the Rubicon was crossed.

I like trying to create a spark through a collaboration between me and the audience.

 It was a different planet in 1967, the Broadway theatre. It had a little ashtray clamped to the back of every seat and the author got 10% of the gross.

 The whole thing about writing a play is that it’s all about controlling the flow of information traveling from the stage to the audience. It’s a stream of information, but you’ve got your hand on the tap, and you control in which order the audience receives it and with what emphasis, and how you hold it all together.

 Beauty is desired in order that it may be befouled; not for its own sake, but for the joy brought by the certainty of profaning it.

Theatre probably originated without texts, but by the time we get to the classical Greek period, theatre has become text-based.

 It’s so great in the theater when everyone catches up on the truth.

Pink Floyd are one of a handful of bands I’ve listened to a lot and whose concerts I’ve been to. I love the experience. I don’t dance; I just jig up and down like everybody else.

  I like pop music. I consider rock ‘n’ roll to be a branch of pop music.

 When ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ was a new album in 1973, a friend of mine walked into my room where I was working with a copy in his hand and said, ‘You really have to do a play about this album.’

 One doesn’t want one’s democracy to behave like a dictatorial or fascistic police. One doesn’t.

 A free press needs to be a respected press.

 I think age is a very high price to pay for maturity.

 In the period before the arrival of Mrs. Thatcher, politics had been in such low esteem. Everything was so hedged, so mealy-mouthed. Then along came this woman who seemed to have no manners at all and said exactly what she thought. Everyone’s eyes were popping and their jaws were dropping, and I really enjoyed that.

 Like many people, I only knew of Ford Madox Ford through a book called ‘The Good Soldier,’ which is everybody’s favorite Ford Madox Ford if they have one, but I came to read ‘Parade’s End’ when it was suggested via Damien Timmer of Mammoth Screen.

I am not a mathematician, but I was aware that for centuries, mathematics was considered the queen of the sciences because it claimed certainty. It was grounded on some fundamental certainties – axioms – that led to others.

 It is easily and often overlooked that when Thomas Jefferson asserted that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were inalienable human rights, he did so on the ground that they had been endowed by God, our Creator.

Good things, when short, are twice as good.

 We give advice by the bucket, but take it by the grain.

 Hotel rooms inhabit a separate moral universe.

 In January 1962, when I was the author of one and a half unperformed plays, I attended a student production of ‘The Birthday Party’ at the Victoria Rooms in Bristol. Just before it began, I realised that Harold Pinter was sitting in front of me.

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.

 Nobody would be killed on the roads if the speed limit were 10 miles an hour.

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