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2012.08.20 斯托帕德的版本

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Versions of Stoppard
One of the greatest living playwrights is also a sought-after screenwriter and a conservative modernist

Aug 20th 2012

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By Victoria Glendinning

Tom stoppard turned 75 this summer. There is a line of his on several quotations websites: “I think age is a very high price to pay for maturity.” Does he still think that? He tells the strange story of how he wrote those words, some time in the late 1960s, on a dressing-room wall, backstage at the rock musical “Hair”, for a friend who was appearing in it. “And then, years and years later, I was sent a photo of the same words written on a signboard in Hawaii, and this was pre-Twitter. It’s like one of Richard Dawkins’s memes, a cultural gene which spreads.”

Back to the subject: “I don’t like getting old.” Tentatively, I suggest this may be because when we are old we don’t know any more how we seem to other people. “I don’t think I ever present myself to other people,” he says. “Most of us are impersonating a version of ourselves.” The version of himself that Stoppard projects to the world is courteous, considerate, conscientious. If a comment strikes a wrong note, he responds at an angle, like a politician, or a poet, and with a hint of asperity. His pastime is fly-fishing, which demands quiet and patience. It is hard to imagine him getting really angry. “I lose my temper about things and people but not at people, or rarely."

He runs his fingers through his longish grey locks, quite often. He speaks with deliberation, and does not pronounce the letter r as others do. It is not rolled, it comes from somewhere at the back of his throat. He is conservatively dressed in dark trousers and a striped shirt, no jacket. In profile he is a Roman emperor. But just around the corner is the flash of a cape, the flicker of a flying scarf, all the tousled stylishness of Bohemia. He looks like Doctor Who as played by Jon Pertwee. He is the Doctor Who of theatre, spiralling round parallel realities, playing with time. Even in conversation, versions of himself jostle for primacy, subverting what he has just said. He could never have been an actor like his son, Ed: “I’d be too self- conscious.” He’s not self-conscious at the moment—even though he is, he says, “enacting someone being interviewed”—“because I’m not pretending to be someone else. I’d feel silly in someone else’s story, being someone else.”

Yet he did start his life as someone else—the little Czech refugee, “whisked away from both the Nazis and the Japanese”. Tomas Straussler, with his brother and his parents, fled the German occupation of Czechoslovakia and went to Singapore. The small boys and their mother Martha fled again, to Australia, this time escaping the Japanese occupation of Singapore. His father, a doctor, stayed behind and did not survive. Martha and her sons were displaced a third time, from Australia to India, where at the end of the war she married an Englishman, Major Kenneth Stoppard. He gave the boys his name and brought the family to England. Major Stoppard said to Tom, when he was still a young child: “Don’t you realise that I made you British?” So far from resenting this, Tom sees the gift of Britishness as part of what he calls his “charmed life”.

An aspect of his charmed life is that “I grew up in a culture which put a high premium on theatre.” He is one of that clutch of world-class British playwrights born in the 1930s who burst on to the scene after Arnold Wesker, John Osborne and Peter Shaffer; he can be thought of in the same breath as Harold Pinter, Michael Frayn and Simon Gray. But a few years’ difference in age is huge when you are young, and Pinter was seven years older, Frayn four, Gray one. “Pinter I looked up to when I was a journalistic reporter in Bristol”—his first job, straight out of school—“and I was a Frayn follower from the late 1950s. His television reviews in the Guardian were little gems.”

“Simon [Gray] and I came through at much the same time”—Stoppard with “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” (1966), an overnight success which now has classic status. Virtuoso performers such as John Wood, the friend for whom he wrote “Travesties” (1974), made theatre seem like a collaboration between writer and actor. “I knew John from 1965 when we were both youngish-marrieds in Pimlico, and he was in a TV play I wrote.” John Wood died last year, and at a memorial celebration in July Stoppard told a roomful of actors, “he truly was my favourite actor”.

No artist considers himself as one of a cluster, however distinguished it may be, and Stoppard says he thinks about his contemporaries not just as playwrights, but as “people and what they are like”. But is he competitive? A long pause. “I am furtively

We are in London, in his penthouse flat overlooking Chelsea Harbour. On the tele­phone, I said I could be there by ten. “Oh no, don’t do that.” I assumed this was because he could not get himself together so early. But it wasn’t that. Knowing that I live two hours away in the country, “I did not want you to have to make such an early start.”

He had driven himself back to London at midnight from his “Goldilocks-like cottage down the M3”, and before I arrived was making notes for the edit of the fourth episode of “Parade’s End”. This is the five-part series he has adapted from the novels of Ford Madox Ford, commissioned by the BBC. Set before and during the first world war, in which Ford had served, “Parade’s End” is a whirlwind of a work, four novels put together as one, and stylistically a challenge, with a “baffling structure”, Stoppard says. “The difficulty in writing a series, as opposed to a film, is that each episode has to come to something.” He had trouble with the third episode, “I really got it completely wrong.”

A veteran who has adapted everything from “Three Men in a Boat” (1975) to “Empire of the Sun” (1987), Stoppard has his techniques for adaptations. For “Parade’s End”, he reduced the novels to one-line summaries on a sheet of A3. “I subsequently mapped out on a bigger sheet of card how I thought it would divide into five parts. We stuck to that scheme, though I was vague as to the length of each part. The 60-minute length was arrived at without calculation and we were stuck with it ever after. Naturally, I wrote too much, and some of the cuts we had to make were painful. It is crucifying to have to drop scenes, and make chicanes joining the bits together.”

This project has been on the stocks for a while. In 2008 Stoppard was at a literary festival in Brazil and afterwards had a week in the suite above the entrance to the Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio, overlooking the beach, reading these extraordinary novels. He came home and wrote for a year. “Susanna [White, the award-winning director of, among other adaptations, “Bleak House” and “Jane Eyre”] read the script and simply decided she would do it whatever happened, even though she was under pressure for a big film.”

The production required co-funding from foreign channels, and as executive producer Stoppard found himself involved in protracted negotiations over casting and direction with the American cable network HBO. “They become, in effect, co-producers, and have the same sort of input as the BBC and Mammoth [the production company] when it comes to giving notes, etc, and generally exerting an influence on the finished product. I was very naive about what it would be like. They naturally had the interests of their own customers uppermost, and no shared network of allusions.”

He was not used to this degree of co-operation. “My idea of television goes back to 1977,” when Michael Lindsay-Hogg directed his “Professional Foul” in the days of pre-electronic editing: “We did what we wanted to do, with no involvement in meetings with five or six other people, and everything occupied as much screentime as it needed—if you did 70 minutes, it went out as 70 minutes.”

He would probably not be giving this interview were it not for the imminent screening not only of “Parade’s End” but also of his full-length film adaptation of Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina”, for Working Title, starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law. He composed a lightly challenging interview with himself once, for the Royal Society of Literature’s Review, in which he asked himself why he gave interviews, andanswered: “Almost invariably to oblige someone, usually it’s the person employed to publicise the production.” To say no “makes me look, or at any rate feel, churlish or arrogant. But in my heart I respect the writers who won’t play the game.”

So we play the game, sitting opposite one another at a table—good acquaintances over many years, but not familiar friends. We are both smoking cigarettes, and between us is a fat ceramic ashtray on the top of which we stub them out. Every now and then Stoppard presses the top and the butts disappear into the cavity below.

The room is comfortable without being grand, with generous sofas, quiet colours, walls covered with books and pictures and family photographs. It is tidy but not hotel-tidy. It is home, the only one Stoppard owns. He sold his house in Provence, and the cottage is rented. “I love it, but my diary is such that I hardly get there.”

He goes into the kitchen to fetch a dish with four large slices of quiche, two Stilton and broccoli and two smoked salmon. They are rich and deep, so we only have one each. I ask him where the quiche came from, imagining he had it sent in, or that it is the work of an invisible cook. “No,” he says, “I bought it myself, from the food shop I always go to because it is the nearest to John Sandoe”—the independent bookshop in Chelsea, the haunt of writers and dedicated readers. The food shop is Partridges, family-owned for 40 years and with a royal warrant as Grocers to the Queen. My mother used to go there, I say. “Ah, but when your mother went to Partridges, it would have been at the bottom of Sloane Street.” Quite right.

Chelsea is his patch. In a life dislocated in various ways, he sustains and is sustained by a kind of bedrock continuity. He has lived in the same building for 20 years, beginning on the first floor and moving up to the top when space for his books ran out. The flat overlooks the pier where, on the day of the Jubilee pageant, the Queen took to the river in a launch which carried her the few hundred yards to the royal barge (though she didn’t look up). “I had 18 children on my balcony, plus their parents, and Union Jacks to wave at the Queen and her family. One of my friends brought some faded bunting saved from the Coronation, a strangely moving detail. Camilla [Prince Charles’s wife] impressed me by turning up with a see-through umbrella, very good thinking.”

His PA, Jacky Matthews, and her family were in the party on the balcony. She has worked for him for even longer than he has lived in the building, almost 37 years, which speaks well of them both. She comes to London once a week and the rest of the time they communicate, as she puts it, by “phone, fax and telepathy”. He writes his scripts and everything else in longhand and Jacky puts it all on the computer, as well as helping with everything “from personal accounts to dealing with family matters to first-night presents, parties, travel,occasional shopping, diary, doctor, dentist...”

As a public figure and as a private person, Stoppard would have seemed no more or less comfortable in 1912 than he does in 2012. With his formal manners and whiff of deviance, he would fit right in with early-20th-century innovators such as H.G. Wells, Augustus John, or indeed Ford Madox Ford. “I am a small-c conservative.” He has said that before in interviews. It is about taste, culture and art, not politics: “If you exclude authentic genius from the landscape, the wilder shores of Beckett for example, coherence and narrative tensions and catharsis are the business of a playwright.”

The great point is that there has to be a story. “I am often in the position, as I am now, of being unable to find a story,” as opposed to a topic, or topics—his tend to go in pairs, from philosophy and gymnastics (“Jumpers”, 1972) to biography and chaos theory (“Arcadia”, 1993). “The main misapprehension people have is that a play is the end product of an idea, when the idea is the end product of the play.” He acknowledges how powerful theatre with a message can be, but “a play works or doesn’t work on an emotional level. I wrote ‘Rock’n’Roll’ about the events in Czechoslovakia between 1968 and 1989, and in the end I saw that the play as a whole worked as a love story, and I hadn’t realised.”

“Rock’n’Roll” (2006) is not his only play circling round dissent to the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia. But a political agenda is “not obligatory—I used to have arguments about this with Ken Tynan.” The joy of writing is “for writing’s sake”—a question of getting it right, as he described in the unforgettable cricket-bat speech in “The Real Thing”, when the ball, cleanly struck, makes a sound like “a trout taking a fly”. And yet “it is virtually impossible to write without social and philosophical layers.”

Since the 1970s, Stoppard has actively supported human rights and freedom-of-speech organisations, especially in connection with dissidents in eastern Europe. When the Belarus Free Theatre (BFT) contacted him and other theatrical luminaries asking for a message of support in 2006, his immediate response was: “Shall I come and see you?” So he went to Minsk, and got to know the founders of the theatre, Nicolai Khalezin and Natalia Kaliada. “At that point dissent was pretty much out in the open, even though students were harassed and people were murdered for standing against Lukashenko in politics.” Since the protests following the rigged 2010 election, there has been a brutal crackdown. The BFT leaders, now in exile, put on two shows in London this summer: a Belarusian “King Lear” as part of the World Shakespeare Festival at the Globe, and their own “Minsk, 2011” at the Young Vic. Their kind of theatre is not like Stoppard’s. “There are plays I love which I would not be capable of writing, and the essence of being part of a theatre culture is enjoying things which have nothing to do with one’s own creative impulses. The BFT’s work feels quite fresh, very serious, they are absolutely dedicated to their kind of theatre, struggling to survive as a company and to keep the issue of dictatorship alive internationally. They got to Hillary Clinton, but they ran up against international diplomacy. Ultimately, at the level of government, decisive acts are acts of self-interest.” Belarus has no oil, as Kaliada has said, just people.

In 1966 stoppard published a novel, “Lord Malquist and Mr Moon”, commissioned by the independent publisher Anthony Blond, a colourful creature and early backer of Private Eye. Novel-writing is attractive “for a good pragmatic reason. If you spend your life writing plays, you are in dangerous waters because a play is an event, never the same, even night after night. A novel stays the way you left it. I would like to have written ‘Flaubert’s Parrot’ [by Julian Barnes, 1984]. It’s a book which chimed for me, and I’ve often thought that I must reread it.” One can see why it chimed, even if he can’t now remember. Barnes is a fastidious stylist, and his narrator is preoccupied with the cultural past and its inconsequential quiddities: quite Stoppardian, in fact.

He won’t write another novel, but maybe “a book” as opposed to a play. “I am a bit fenced in by the conservatism of the way my thoughts go. My thoughts don’t get released into dangerous forms of play. But the well-told story is a form on its way to being spent.” He sounds sad, or resigned, about this.

He loves George Bernard Shaw, because “Shaw understands how theatre works. Theatre is storytelling.” This is wilful. The more usual view is that Shaw is the polemical playwright par excellence. Stoppard’s own plays would not normally be categorised primarily as “well-told stories” either, but as complex, language-led works of imagination. It seems to me that the creative tension in him between “topic” and “story” sends him round in circles.

His starting point for a new play is always “some particular area of interest. I have two or three. I have been keeping newspaper cuttings about journalism in a box for years. There is another box of cuttings about consciousness, and another about Russia. I relish all the reading which precedes a play.” He has already mined the journalism box for “Night and Day” (1978), and the Russia one for “The Coast of Utopia” (2002), but there’s more rummaging to be done.

He gets the old books he needs from the London Library, the open-stack treasure-house in St James’s Square. It was founded by Thomas Carlyle and others in 1841, and Stoppard has been its energetic president since 2005. “I get a big kick out of the very existence of the London Library. I’d say it was an ornament to society, only it is more than an ornament. The centre of gravity of our morality is our literary culture.”

His 1997 play “The Invention of Love” was about A.E. Housman, poet and classical scholar, and he became so immersed in Latin scholarship that he had to postpone his next work. “I make a lot of notes, but then forget to look at my notes...It doesn’t take very long to write a play. It takes a long time to get to the top of page one, the take-off point.”

Stoppard's body of work is alive and well. “Arcadia” returned to Broadway last year (“a half-terrific revival of [an] entirely terrific” play…"propelled by genuine, panting passion”—New York Times). “The Real Thing”, his provocative 1982 play about infidelity, toured England this summer. He has received countless awards—a knighthood, the Order of Merit (restricted to 24 members at a time), honorary degrees from Cambridge and Yale.

The adaptations are absorbing, but only partially satisfying for a playwright. “I do them the best I can possibly do them.” On some he is credited as co-author, and on others he gets no credit. “This could never happen in the theatre. Films have a different social history: 19 times out of 20 the director will want to change things. I don’t always expect a credit, if I’m doing something to help a friend.” But he gets paid? “Yes, though once or twice I’ve given someone a week of my time. And conversely, a job you wouldn’t really jump at, you do so as to have a chance to work with someone you admire,” on the condition of anonymity. “I don’t like to have my name on something that isn’t really mine.”

“I’ve never written a film from my own work when directors have asked me to, although I directed the film of ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’, and was free to meddle with the play text as I wished. I have never written a film from scratch.” Even “Shakespeare in Love” (1998)—the film that sounds most like him, with its dancing wit—“was almost entirely rewritten from an existing script by Marc Norman.” They shared the Oscar for best original screenplay.

“Parade’s End” is something of an exception, “in that I had to invent scenes for the characters to tell each other things which in the novels are thought privately.” Ford’s story is not chronological. “I have made it linear, fair enough, but we hope and believe that it still has the smell of modernism. The book is quirky, the characters don’t make sense, it wrong-foots the reader about the judgments one makes about any particular character. There is a complementary feeling in Waugh’s ‘A Handful of Dust’—a masterpiece too, and there too the moral standing of the characters is refracted through their ambiguities.” Stoppard, here, seems modernism incarnate, with both his work and himself refracted through moral ambiguities.

He offers cheese or fruit, and I opt for fruit. He brings two bowls of raspberries and strawberries, suggesting “a sprinkling of sugar”.

“I can’t bear travel,” he says. “I hate the airport experience. Partly because I no longer like going anywhere anyway, partly because it often doubles the journey time and partly because getting from the street to the plane has become dehumanising. Nobody is to blame. It is progress in operation.” Spoken like a true conservative.

He had a bucketful of travel last autumn. He wrote his adaptation of “Anna Karenina” for Working Title after delivering “Parade’s End”, finishing the last episode in September, then flying to Moscow for “Karenina”, then to Tokyo and on to LA to rendezvous with HBO to discuss the casting of “Parade’s End”. “I had someone in my mind’s eye, but I couldn’t put a name to her. But God was looking after us”—and Rebecca Hall is Sylvia, the beautiful, faithless wife of the main character, the country gentleman Christopher Tietjens, played by Benedict Cumberbatch of “Sherlock Holmes” fame.

The two adaptations were shot at much the same time, but the experiences were very different. “There was more flexibility with ‘Parade’s End’. Susanna wanted me with her a lot of the time,” whereas Joe Wright, directing “AnnaKarenina”, did not. “I am not a natural cinema-writer, and there were huge considerations because the story is a double helix—the love story of Levin and Kitty as well as that of Anna and Vronsky. I was worried about how much of it I could get into two and a quarter hours. But it panned out very well and I had a very nice time writing it. Ideally you would do two or three drafts, though sometimes you do 17. I like films which are dialogue-driven, and ‘Anna Karenina’ is definitely a talkie. After it had been written, Joe had a vision of how it could be, in film parlance he had a concept, and it’s not done as a classic BBC costume drama.” More than that he will not say, but, as with “Parade’s End”, we do not have long to wait.

Stoppard had wanted to have his son Ed in “Parade’sEnd” too, but Ed was busy with another period piece, “Upstairs, Downstairs”. Family is patently important: he has two sons from each of his two marriages. He tells me feelingly about each of them and what they do, and shows particular pride in the son who works for the Royal Mail in Norfolk, “living his own life”. He talks equally warmly about his seven grandchildren, six of whom are girls, to balance all these men. Stoppard the patriarch: another version of himself.

Parade’s End BBC2, starts Friday August 24th at 9pm. Anna Karenina opens in Britain September 7th; France, Italy and Germany in October; America, November 9th; Scandinavia, January-February

portrait nadav kander



斯托帕德的版本
现存最伟大的剧作家之一,同时也是一位受欢迎的编剧和保守的现代主义者

2012年8月20日



作者:维多利亚-格伦丁宁

今年夏天,汤姆-斯托帕德已经75岁了。在一些语录网站上有他的一句话:"我认为年龄是为成熟而付出的非常高的代价"。他还这样认为吗?他讲述了一个奇怪的故事:在20世纪60年代末的某个时候,他在摇滚音乐剧《头发》的后台,在化妆间的墙上为一个出演该剧的朋友写下了这些话。"然后,多年以后,我收到了一张照片,上面是写在夏威夷的一个招牌上的同样的话,那是在Twitter之前。这就像理查德-道金斯的备忘录之一,一种传播的文化基因"。

回到这个话题上。"我不喜欢变老"。暂时地,我认为这可能是因为当我们年老时,我们不再知道自己在别人眼中是怎样的。"他说:"我不认为我曾经向其他人展示过自己。"我们大多数人都在冒充一个版本的自己。" 斯托帕德向世界展示的自己的版本是有礼貌的、体贴的、认真的。如果一个评论引起了错误的注意,他就会像政治家或诗人一样,以某种角度作出回应,并带着一丝尖锐的意味。他的业余爱好是钓鱼,这需要安静和耐心。很难想象他真的会生气。"我对事情和人发脾气,但不是对人发脾气,也很少发脾气。"

他用手指捋了捋他的灰色长发,很频繁。他说话时经过深思熟虑,并不像其他人那样发字母r的音。它不是滚出来的,而是从他喉咙后面的某个地方发出来的。他穿着保守的深色长裤和条纹衬衫,没有外套。从侧面看,他是一个罗马皇帝。但就在拐角处,斗篷的闪光,飞舞的围巾的闪烁,所有波西米亚的时尚气息。他看起来就像乔恩-珀特维(Jon Pertwee)扮演的 "神秘博士"。他是戏剧中的 "博士",在平行的现实中盘旋,玩弄着时间。即使在谈话中,他自己的版本也在争夺首要地位,颠覆他刚才所说的话。他不可能像他的儿子埃德那样成为一名演员:"我太自觉了。" 此刻他没有自我意识--尽管他说,他正在 "扮演被采访的人"--"因为我没有假装成别人。我在别人的故事里会觉得很傻,是别人。"

然而,他确实是以别人的身份开始他的生活的--小捷克难民,"从纳粹和日本人手中被带走"。托马斯-施特劳斯勒与他的兄弟和父母一起,逃离了德国对捷克斯洛伐克的占领,前往新加坡。小男孩和他们的母亲玛莎又逃到了澳大利亚,这次是为了躲避日本对新加坡的占领。他的父亲是一名医生,留在了这里,没有活下来。玛莎和她的儿子们第三次流离失所,从澳大利亚到了印度,战争结束后,她在那里嫁给了英国人肯尼斯-斯托帕德少校。他给孩子们取了他的名字,并把他们一家带到了英国。斯托帕德少校对汤姆说,当时他还是个孩子。"你没有意识到我让你成为了英国人吗?" 因此,汤姆远没有怨恨这一点,他认为英国人的天赋是他所谓的 "迷人的生活 "的一部分。

他的魅力生活的一个方面是,"我在一个高度重视戏剧的文化中长大"。他是20世纪30年代出生的一批世界级英国剧作家之一,他们在阿诺德-威斯克、约翰-奥斯本和彼得-沙弗尔之后突然出现在舞台上;他可以和哈罗德-品特、迈克尔-弗雷恩和西蒙-格雷相提并论。但当你年轻时,几岁的差距是巨大的,品特比他大七岁,弗雷恩大四岁,格雷大一岁。"当我在布里斯托尔做新闻记者时,我很崇拜品特"--这是他从学校毕业后的第一份工作--"而我从50年代末就开始追随弗雷恩了。他在《卫报》上发表的电视评论是小精品"。

"西蒙[格雷]和我几乎同时出现"--斯托帕德的《罗森克兰兹和吉尔登斯特恩死了》(1966年),这是一部一夜之间成功的作品,现在具有经典地位。像约翰-伍德这样的大师级表演者,是他为之创作《悲剧》(1974)的朋友,使戏剧看起来像是作家和演员之间的合作。"我在1965年就认识了约翰,当时我们都是在皮姆利科结婚的年轻人,他参加了我写的一部电视戏剧。约翰-伍德去年去世了,在7月的纪念庆典上,斯托帕德告诉一屋子的演员,"他确实是我最喜欢的演员"。

没有一个艺术家认为自己是一个群组中的一员,无论它多么杰出,斯托帕德说他认为他的同时代人不只是作为剧作家,而是作为 "人和他们是什么样的"。但他有竞争力吗?停顿了很久。"我是偷偷摸摸地

我们在伦敦,在他俯瞰切尔西港的顶楼公寓。在电话里,我说我可以在十点前赶到。"哦,不,不要这样做。" 我以为这是因为他不能这么早凑合。但事实并非如此。我知道我住在两个小时路程的乡下,"我不想让你这么早开始。"

他在午夜时分从他的 "M3公路边的金发碧眼的小屋 "自己开车回到了伦敦,在我到达之前,他正在为编辑 "游行的终点 "第四集做笔记。这是他受BBC委托,根据福特-马多克斯-福特的小说改编的五集系列。Parade's End "是一部旋风式的作品,四部小说合二为一,在风格上也是一个挑战,有一个 "令人困惑的结构",斯托帕德说。"相对于电影而言,写一个系列的困难在于,每一集都必须有结果"。他在第三集遇到了麻烦,"我真的完全弄错了"。

作为一个从《三人行》(1975)到《太阳帝国》(1987)都改编过的老手,斯托帕德有他的改编技巧。对于《游行的终点》,他把小说缩减到一张A3纸上的单行摘要。"我随后在一张更大的卡片上画出了我认为它将如何分为五个部分。我们坚持这个方案,尽管我对每个部分的长度模糊不清。60分钟的长度是在没有计算的情况下得出的,之后我们就一直坚持这个长度。自然,我写得太多了,我们不得不做的一些削减是痛苦的。不得不放弃一些场景,把一些片段连接在一起,这是很残酷的。

这个项目在股票上已经有一段时间了。2008年,斯托帕德参加了巴西的一个文学节,之后在里约的科帕卡巴纳宫酒店入口处上方的套房里待了一周,俯瞰海滩,阅读这些非凡的小说。他回到家后写了一年。"苏珊娜(怀特,改编过《荒凉山庄》和《简-爱》等作品的获奖导演)读了剧本后,简单地决定无论发生什么事她都要做,尽管她面临着一部大电影的压力"。

这部作品需要国外渠道的共同资助,作为执行制片人,斯托帕德发现自己参与了与美国有线电视网HBO在选角和导演方面的长期谈判。"他们实际上成了联合制片人,在提供说明等方面与BBC和猛犸象[制作公司]有同样的投入,并且通常对成品施加影响。我对它会是什么样子非常天真。他们自然是以自己客户的利益为重,没有共同的典故网络"。

他不习惯于这种程度的合作。"我对电视的想法可以追溯到1977年,"当时迈克尔-林赛-霍格(Michael Lindsay-Hogg)在电子编辑之前的日子里导演了他的《职业犯规》。"我们做了我们想做的事,没有参与其他五六个人的会议,每件事都占用了它所需要的屏幕时间--如果你做了70分钟,它就会变成70分钟。

如果不是因为《游行的终点》即将上映,以及他为Working Title公司改编的托尔斯泰的《安娜-卡列尼娜》全长电影即将上映,他可能不会接受这次采访,该片由凯拉-奈特利和裘德-洛主演。他曾经为英国皇家文学学会的《评论》撰写了一篇具有轻度挑战性的采访,其中他问自己为什么接受采访,并回答说。"几乎无一例外地是为了满足某人的要求,通常是受雇宣传作品的人"。说 "不","让我看起来,或至少让我觉得,很无礼或很傲慢。但在我心里,我尊重那些不愿玩游戏的作家"。

于是我们玩起了这个游戏,在一张桌子上相对而坐--多年来的好朋友,但不是熟悉的朋友。我们都在抽烟,我们之间有一个肥大的陶瓷烟灰缸,我们把烟头放在上面。斯托帕德时不时地按一下顶部,烟头就会消失在下面的空隙中。

房间很舒适,但并不宏大,有宽大的沙发,安静的颜色,墙上挂着书、图片和家庭照片。它很整洁,但不是酒店式的整洁。这是家,是斯托帕德唯一的家。他卖掉了他在普罗旺斯的房子,而这个小屋是租的。"我喜欢它,但我的日记让我很难去那里。

他走进厨房取来一个盘子,里面有四片大的乳蛋饼,两片斯蒂尔顿和西兰花,两片烟熏三文鱼。它们丰富而深沉,所以我们每人只吃了一块。我问他乳蛋饼是从哪里来的,想象着他让人送来的,或者是一个看不见的厨师的作品。"不,"他说,"我自己买的,从我常去的那家食品店买的,因为它离约翰-桑德(John Sandoe)最近。这家食品店是Partridges,是一家拥有40年历史的家族企业,拥有女王御用杂货店的皇家授权。我说,我母亲过去常去那里。"啊,但你母亲去帕特里奇的时候,它应该是在斯隆街底。" 完全正确。

切尔西是他的地盘。在以各种方式错位的生活中,他以一种基石的连续性维持着,也被维持着。他在同一栋楼里住了20年,从一楼开始,当放书的地方用完后就搬到顶楼。这套公寓可以俯瞰码头,在庆典那天,女王乘坐一艘汽艇来到河边,将她带到几百码外的皇家驳船上(尽管她没有抬头)。"我的阳台上有18个孩子,加上他们的父母,还有Union Jacks,向女王和她的家人挥手。我的一个朋友带来了一些从加冕礼上保存下来的褪色的旗帜,这是一个奇怪的令人感动的细节。卡米拉[查尔斯王子的妻子]带着一把透明的雨伞出现,给我留下了深刻的印象,想得非常好。"

他的助理杰克-马修斯和她的家人也参加了阳台上的聚会。她为他工作的时间甚至比他住在这栋楼里的时间还要长,差不多有37年了,这对他们俩来说都是好事。她每周来伦敦一次,其余时间他们通过 "电话、传真和心灵感应 "进行交流,正如她所说。他用手写剧本和其他一切,而Jacky则将其全部输入电脑,并帮助处理一切 "从个人账户到处理家庭事务到第一夜的礼物、聚会、旅行、偶尔的购物、日记、医生、牙医......"

作为一个公众人物和一个私人人物,斯托帕德在1912年看起来并不比在2012年更舒服。凭借他的正式礼仪和一丝不羁,他将与20世纪初的创新者如H.G.威尔斯、奥古斯都-约翰,甚至是福特-马多克斯-福特相匹配。"我是一个小C的保守派。" 他以前在接受采访时曾这样说过。这是关于品味、文化和艺术,而不是政治。"如果你把真正的天才排除在风景之外,例如贝克特的狂野海岸,那么连贯性和叙事的张力以及宣泄就是剧作家的事。"

最重要的一点是,必须有一个故事。"我经常处于这样的境地,就像我现在这样,找不到一个故事,"相对于一个或多个主题--他的主题往往成对出现,从哲学和体操("跳跃者",1972)到传记和混沌理论("阿卡迪亚",1993)。"人们的主要误解是,戏剧是一个想法的最终产品,而想法是戏剧的最终产品"。他承认带有信息的戏剧可以有多么强大,但 "一部戏剧在情感层面上起作用或不起作用。我写的《摇滚》是关于1968年至1989年期间捷克斯洛伐克发生的事件,最后我看到该剧作为一个整体作为一个爱情故事发挥作用,而我并没有意识到。"

"摇滚"(2006年)并不是他唯一围绕着对捷克斯洛伐克共产主义政权的异议而创作的戏剧。但政治议程 "不是强制性的--我曾经和Ken Tynan在这方面有过争论"。写作的乐趣是 "为了写作而写作"--一个正确的问题,正如他在《真实的东西》中令人难忘的板球击球演说中所描述的那样,当球被干净地击中时,发出的声音就像 "鳟鱼在飞"。然而,"没有社会和哲学层面的写作几乎是不可能的"。

自20世纪70年代以来,斯托帕德积极支持人权和言论自由组织,特别是与东欧的持不同政见者有关。2006年,当白俄罗斯自由剧院(BFT)与他和其他戏剧界名人联系,要求提供支持信息时,他的直接反应是。"要不要我去看看你们?" 于是他去了明斯克,并认识了剧院的创始人尼古拉-哈雷津和纳塔利娅-卡利亚达。"在那个时候,异议是相当公开的,尽管学生被骚扰,有人因为在政治上反对卢卡申科而被谋杀。" 自2010年选举被操纵后的抗议活动以来,出现了残酷的镇压。现在流亡在外的BFT领导人今年夏天在伦敦上演了两场演出:一场是白俄罗斯的 "李尔王",作为环球剧院世界莎士比亚节的一部分,另一场是他们自己在青年维克剧院上演的 "明斯克,2011"。他们的戏剧与斯托帕德的戏剧不一样。"有些我喜欢的剧目,我是不可能写出来的,作为戏剧文化的一部分,其本质是享受与自己的创作冲动无关的东西。BFT的作品感觉相当新鲜,非常严肃,他们绝对致力于他们的那种戏剧,作为一个公司努力生存,并在国际上保持独裁问题的活力。他们找到了希拉里-克林顿,但他们遇到了国际外交。归根结底,在政府层面上,决定性的行为是自我利益的行为"。白俄罗斯没有石油,正如卡利亚达所言,只有人。

1966年,斯托帕德出版了一本小说《马尔基斯特勋爵和月亮先生》,受独立出版商安东尼-布隆德委托,他是一个丰富多彩的生物,也是《私家侦探》的早期支持者。小说创作是有吸引力的,"有一个很好的实用主义理由。如果你一生都在写剧本,你就会陷入危险的境地,因为剧本是一个事件,从不相同,甚至夜夜如此。小说则保持着你离开它时的样子。我想写《福楼拜的鹦鹉》[朱利安-巴恩斯著,1984]。这是一本对我来说很重要的书,我经常想,我必须重读它。人们可以看到它为什么鸣叫,即使他现在不记得了。巴恩斯是个严谨的文体家,他的叙述者专注于文化的过去和其无关紧要的琐事:事实上,他是个很好的Stoppardian。

他不会再写小说,但也许是 "一本书",而不是一出戏。"我有点被我的思想的保守主义所束缚。我的思想不会被释放到危险的游戏形式中。但讲好的故事是一种正在被花掉的形式"。他听起来很悲伤,或者说是不甘心,对此。

他喜欢萧伯纳,因为 "萧伯纳了解戏剧如何运作。戏剧就是讲故事"。这是故意的。更常见的观点是,肖是卓越的论战剧作家。斯托帕德自己的戏剧通常也不会被主要归类为 "讲好的故事",而是复杂的、由语言主导的想象力作品。在我看来,他在 "主题 "和 "故事 "之间的创作张力让他绕了一圈。

他的新剧的出发点总是 "一些特别感兴趣的领域。我有两到三个。多年来,我一直把关于新闻业的剪报放在一个盒子里。还有一盒关于意识的剪报,还有一盒关于俄罗斯的剪报。我津津乐道于戏剧之前的所有阅读"。他已经为《夜与日》(1978年)挖掘了新闻箱,为《乌托邦的海岸》(2002年)挖掘了俄罗斯箱,但还有更多的翻找工作要做。

他从伦敦图书馆得到了他所需要的旧书,这个位于圣詹姆斯广场的开放式宝库。它是由托马斯-卡莱尔等人于1841年创立的,斯托帕德自2005年以来一直担任其精力充沛的主席。"我对伦敦图书馆的存在感到非常兴奋。我想说它是社会的一个装饰品,只是它不仅仅是一个装饰品。我们道德的重心是我们的文学文化"。

他1997年的剧本《爱的发明》是关于诗人和古典学者A.E. Housman的,他沉浸在拉丁文的学术研究中,不得不推迟下一部作品。"我做了很多笔记,但后来忘了看我的笔记......写一部剧不需要很长时间。要花很长时间才能写到第一页的顶部,即起飞点"。

斯托帕德的作品还活着,而且很好。"去年,《阿卡迪亚》回到了百老汇("一个完全可怕的剧目的半可怕的复兴...... "由真正的、气喘吁吁的激情推动"--《纽约时报》)。他在1982年创作的关于不忠的挑衅性戏剧 "The Real Thing",今年夏天在英国巡演。他获得了无数的奖项--骑士勋章、荣誉勋章(每次仅限24人)、剑桥和耶鲁的荣誉学位。

这些改编作品很有吸引力,但对于一个剧作家来说,只能说是部分满足。"我尽我所能去做"。在一些作品中,他被记为共同作者,而在其他作品中,他没有得到任何荣誉。"这在剧院里是不可能发生的。电影有一个不同的社会历史。20次中有19次,导演会想改变一些东西。我并不总是期望有功劳,如果我做的事情是为了帮助一个朋友"。但他能得到报酬?"是的,虽然有一两次我给了别人一个星期的时间。而反过来说,一份你不会真的跳槽的工作,你这样做是为了有机会和你欣赏的人一起工作。"在匿名的条件下。"我不喜欢在不是真正属于我的东西上有我的名字。"

"当导演要求我写电影时,我从来没有根据自己的作品写过电影,尽管我执导了《罗森格兰茨和吉尔登斯特恩》的电影,并且可以按照自己的意愿自由地插手戏剧文本。我从来没有从头写过一部电影"。即使是《恋爱中的莎士比亚》(1998年)--这部听起来最像他的电影,其中的舞蹈机智--"也几乎完全是根据马克-诺曼的现有剧本改写的"。他们共同获得了奥斯卡最佳原创剧本奖。

"游行的尽头》是一个例外,"因为我不得不为人物编造场景,让他们彼此讲述在小说中被认为是私密的事情"。福特的故事不是按时间顺序进行的。"我把它做成了线性的,很公平,但我们希望并相信它仍然有现代主义的味道。这本书很古怪,人物没有意义,它让读者对自己对任何特定人物的判断产生错觉。在沃的《一捧灰》中也有一种互补的感觉--这也是一部杰作,在那里,人物的道德地位也通过他们的模糊性得到了折射。" 斯托帕德在这里似乎是现代主义的化身,他的作品和他本人都通过道德上的模糊性得到折射。

他提供奶酪或水果,而我选择了水果。他带来了两碗覆盆子和草莓,建议 "撒点糖"。

"我不能忍受旅行,"他说。"我讨厌机场的经历。部分原因是我不再喜欢去任何地方,部分原因是它经常使旅行时间翻倍,部分原因是从街道到飞机已经变得没有人性。这不能怪任何人。这是运行中的进步。" 说得像个真正的保守派。

去年秋天,他有一箩筐的旅行。他在交付《游行结束》后为Working Title撰写了《安娜-卡列尼娜》的改编作品,在9月完成了最后一集,然后飞往莫斯科拍摄《卡列尼娜》,然后到东京,再到洛杉矶与HBO会合,讨论《游行结束》的选角。"我的脑海里有一个人,但我无法说出她的名字。但上帝在照顾我们"--丽贝卡-霍尔是西尔维娅,主角的美丽、不忠的妻子,乡绅克里斯托弗-蒂特詹斯,由《福尔摩斯》的本尼迪克特-康伯巴奇扮演。

这两部改编作品的拍摄时间基本相同,但经历却非常不同。"《游行的尽头》有更多的灵活性。苏珊娜希望我在很多时候和她在一起,"而执导《安娜-卡雷尼娜》的乔-赖特却不这么认为。"我不是一个天生的电影编剧,而且有巨大的考虑,因为这个故事是一个双螺旋--列文和凯蒂的爱情故事,以及安娜和弗隆斯基的爱情故事。我很担心我能在两个半小时内完成多少内容。但结果非常好,我写得很开心。理想情况下,你会做两到三稿,尽管有时你会做17稿。我喜欢以对话为主导的电影,而《安娜-卡列尼娜》绝对是一部谈话片。写完后,乔对它有一个设想,用电影术语来说,他有一个概念,它不是作为一个经典的BBC古装剧来做的。" 更多的内容他不会说,但是,就像 "游行的终点 "一样,我们没有必要等待太久。

斯托帕德本来也想让他的儿子埃德出演《阅兵结束》,但埃德正忙于另一部时代作品《楼上楼下》。家庭显然是很重要的:他的两次婚姻都有两个儿子。他深情地告诉我他们每个人的情况和他们的工作,并对在诺福克郡为皇家邮政工作的儿子表现出特别的骄傲,"过着自己的生活"。他同样热情地谈论着他的七个孙子,其中六个是女孩,以平衡所有这些男人。斯托帕德这个家长:另一个版本的自己。

游行的尽头》BBC2,8月24日星期五晚上9点开始。安娜-卡列尼娜》9月7日在英国开演;10月在法国、意大利和德国开演;11月9日在美国开演;1月至2月在斯堪的纳维亚开演。

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