Tag Archives: Tom Stoppard

Literary link roundup 9/11/08

Jacket Copy: “Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ to be film”

David Strathairn, Alan Alda, Jeff Daniels, Mary-Louise Parker and Paul Rudd will join the cast of the film “Howl,” according to today’s Hollywood Reporter. […] The roles of the new cast members — lawyer, judge — indicate that the film will highlight the 1956-57 obscenity trial against publisher City Lights.

Jacket Copy: “Neal Stephenson: a deeper look”

Author Neal Stephenson (“Cryptonomicon,” “The Baroque Cycle,” “Snow Crash”) has just published a new novel, “Anathem.” L.A. Times staff writer Scott Timberg talked to Stephenson for an upcoming profile. But since you’ll have to wait a few days for that, we thought we’d share some excerpts from his recent interviews with the author.

Weekly Standard: “Forty Years On: Tom Stoppard’s ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ and the end of the Soviet empire.”

By Stoppard’s own admission, the play is a modified rendering of the extended argument that took place between Václav Havel and Milan Kundera about their country under communism. Stoppard tells us in his excellent introduction to the Rock ‘n’ Roll script that Jan was originally called Tomás, not just because this is the playwright’s own birth name but because it is that of Kundera’s lothario physician in The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Jan’s friend and sparring partner in Prague, the passionate intellectual Ferdinand, is named for Ferdinand Vanek, Havel’s alter ego in three of his plays, Audience, Private View, and Protest. So here, roughly, are our stand-ins for a great Czech debate between two titans of 20th-century resistance.