‘Style’ versus ‘Substance’

  • Tim Brassell


By a strange coincidence Stoppard’s first (and, to date, only) novel was published in the self-same week as the first performance of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead at Edinburgh. As Stoppard lightheartedly told Jon Bradshaw very much later,

I believed my reputation would be made by the novel. I believed the play would be of little consequence.1


Short Story Secret Agent Real Emotion Funeral Procession Apparent Sincerity 
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  1. 1.
    Jon Bradshaw, ‘Tom Stoppard Non-Stop’, Telegraph Sunday Magazine, 26 June 1977, p. 30. On the eve of Rosencrantz’s London opening he also describes the novel, according to Keith Harper, as ‘the best thing he’s done’, The Guardian, 12 April 1967, p. 7.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Introduction Two (Faber & Faber, 1964) p. 134. All subsequent references are to this edition.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    ‘The Definite Maybe’.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    See ‘Ambushes for the Audience’, Theatre Quarterly vol. IV, no. 14, p. 4.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    cf. The Definite Maybe’, p. 18.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Published by Anthony Blond in 1966, and reprinted by Panther Books (1968) and Faber & Faber (1974). Page references are to this last edition.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    See below, Chapter 6.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    T. S. Eliot, Collected Poems 1909–1962 (Faber & Faber, 1963) p. 14.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    See p. 127.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Conrad, The Secret Agent (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1972) p. 147 (and elsewhere).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bradshaw, ‘Tom Stoppard Non-Stop’, p. 30.Google Scholar

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© Tim Brassell 1985

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  • Tim Brassell

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