Tom Stoppard: A Life

Stefan Collini at The Guardian:

How our experience in the theatre during one of his plays relates to our lives outside is a question that has nagged at discussions of Stoppard’s standing as a writer. His kind of quantum dramatics messes with our minds and our understanding of time and we love it, but when we get home we still have to set the alarm for work the next day. Does this mean that his plays are little more than a diverting display of verbal fireworks, clever but of no significance, or are deeper themes about our experience of life being addressed? At the very least, his work reveals a constant endeavour to decipher the puzzles of existence. As Hannah, a character in one of his best-loved plays, Arcadia, says: “It’s wanting to know that makes us matter. Otherwise we’re going out the way we came in.” She’s not just referring to the exit from the theatre.

more here.