Tom Stoppard
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"Sir Tom Stoppard" is a Czechoslovakia/Czech-born British playwright, Knight Bachelor/knighted in 1997. He has written prolifically for TV, radio, film and stage, finding prominence with plays such as Arcadia (play)/Arcadia, The Coast of Utopia, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (play)/Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, Professional Foul (play)/Professional Foul, The Real Thing (play)/The Real Thing, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. He co-wrote the screenplays for Brazil (1985 film)/Brazil, The Russia House (film)/The Russia House, and Shakespeare in Love, and has received one Academy Award and four Tony Awards. Themes of human rights, censorship and political freedom pervade his work along with exploration of linguistics and philosophy. Stoppard has been a key playwright of the Royal National Theatre/National Theatre and is one of the most internationally performed dramatists of his generation.

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If an idea's worth having once, it's worth having twice.

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

We are tied down to a language that makes up in obscurity what it lacks in style.

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

We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.

We're actors - we're the opposite of people.

I write plays because writing dialogue is the only respectable way of contradicting yourself. I'm the kind of person who embarks on an endless leapfrog down the great moral issues. I put a position, rebut it, refute the rebuttal, and rebut the refutation.

The truth is always a compound of two half- truths, and you never reach it, because there is always something more to say.

It's not the voting that's democracy, it's the counting.

I agree with everything you say, but I would attack to the death your right to say it.

It is better to be quotable than to be honest.

It is an interesting view of atheism, as a sort of "crutch" for those who can't stand the reality of God.

We do on stage things that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.

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

If Beethoven had been killed in a plane crash at the age of 22, it would have changed the history of music... and of aviation.

My whole life is waiting for the questions to which I have prepared answers.

Revolution is a trivial shift in the emphasis of suffering.

Dying is not romantic, and death is not a game which will soon be over... Death is not anything...death is not...It's the absence of presence, nothing more...the endless time of never coming back...a gap you can't see, and when the wind blows through it, it makes no sound...

Rosencrantz: Do you think death could possibly be a boat? Guildenstern: No, no, no...Death is...not. Death isn't. You take my meaning. Death is the ultimate negative. Not-being. You can't not-be on a boat. Rosencrantz: I've frequently not been on boats. Guildenstern: No, no, no - what you've been is not on boats.

The days of the digital watch are numbered.

Eternity's a terrible thought. I mean, where's it all going to end?

All your life you live so close to truth it becomes a permanent blur in the corner of your eye. And when something nudges it into outline, it's like being ambushed by a grotesque.