資料彙整   /   作家  /  Tom  Stoppard  湯姆•史達帕
Tom  Stoppard
湯姆•史達帕
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Tom Stoppard
英國劇作家
蘇子惠
 
 
 家庭背景
 
  湯姆•史達帕原名湯瑪斯•史特斯勒(Tomas Straussler),一九三七年七月三日出生於捷克共和國南摩拉維亞城市茲林(Zlin是哥特瓦爾多夫Gottwaldov舊稱),在一九三九年納粹入侵前夕,史特斯勒 舉家遷往新加坡,這一次逃亡僅帶給他們短暫的喘息空間。一九四一年日軍侵略新加坡,湯姆再度偕同母親及兄長疏散到印度東北部西孟加拉邦的大吉嶺(Darjeeling),他的父親尤金(Eugene)因故滯留新加坡,同年慘遭殺害。一九四六年母親瑪莎(Martha)再婚,嫁給駐守印度的英國軍官肯尼斯•史達帕少校(Major Kenneth Stoppard),全家移至英國西南部港市布里斯托(Bristol)定居。

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 新聞從業時期
 
  史達帕進入約克郡(Yorkshire)公立學校就讀,十七歲便輟學。一九五○至六○年間,他替布里斯托在地報社《西方日報》(Western Daily Press)和《世界晚報》(Evening World)工作,其後成為自由新聞工作者。一九六二年史達帕前往倫敦,替《風景》(Scene)雜誌撰寫劇評,靠著微薄薪餉度日,隔年他發表電視短劇《水上行走》(A Walk on the Water),廣播劇《The Dissolution of Dominic Boot》和《"M" is for Moon among Other Things》則於一九六四年推出,史達帕的劇作家生涯於焉展開。他尚未付梓的兩幕劇《賭徒》(The Gamblers)於一九六五年由布里斯托大學戲劇系演出,同年他與荷西•英格爾(Jose Ingle)結婚,育有二子奧利佛(Oliver)和巴納比(Barnaby)。

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 莎士比亞的靈感:獨幕劇《羅森克蘭茲和桂頓斯坦已死》
 
  史達帕接受柏林的福特基金會(Ford Foundation)邀請,一九六四年前往參加一場研討會,期間他發表了獨幕劇《羅森克蘭茲和桂頓斯坦遇見李爾王》(Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Meet King Lear),後改名為《羅森克蘭茲和桂頓斯坦已死》,取材自莎劇《哈姆雷特》(Hamlet)的二名小配角,主旨檢視命運和自由意志的概念。在莎翁筆下,弄臣羅森克蘭茲和桂頓斯坦為了打發等候上戲的空檔,不斷說笑和思考現實,與 二名流浪漢在愛爾蘭作家山謬•貝克特(Samuel Beckett,1906 ∼ 1989年)的劇作《等待果陀》(Waiting for Godot)中插科打諢有異曲同工之處。《羅森克蘭茲和桂頓斯坦已死》開宗明義指出生命的荒謬性,飾演小配角(bit part)並非二名主角自願,他們在劇中的命運已被安排妥當,困境令他們氣餒,當他們尋找存在的意義之際,也不得不面對死亡。 史達帕 筆下角色不僅沒骨少肉,他們的存在價值更是無足輕重,他並且 大量使用雙關語(pun)和吊詭辭令(paradox)呈現上述主題,也成為他後期劇作的統一風格。

一九六六年八月愛丁堡藝穗節(Edinburgh Festival Fringe)期間,牛津大學學生登台演出《羅森克蘭茲和桂頓斯坦已死》,而史達帕寄予厚望的唯一一部小說《馬爾奎斯特勛爵和月亮先生》(Lord Malquist and Mr. Moon,1966年)也於同年出版,前八個月慘澹賣出四百八十一本,僅在委內瑞拉(Venezuela)締造銷售佳績。而出乎史達帕的意料之外,《羅》劇甫一推出便深獲觀眾和劇評家讚賞,使他躋身知名劇作家之列,此劇在美國也造成迴響,接連拿下一九六八年 東尼獎(Tony Award)和紐約劇評人獎(New York Drama Critics Circle Award)最佳劇本。

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 其他重要作品
 
  史達帕其後十年的劇作中,最著名的有《跳躍者》(Jumpers,1972年)和劇中劇《諧謔》(Travesties,1974年)。《跳躍者》運用恐怖小說(thriller)體裁, 諧擬諷喻現代哲學,其中穿插許多插科打諢、雙關語以及大量機智對白,劇情描述一群雜耍哲學家藉由體能活動,反映出心智上的遲鈍,他們太過熱中探討現代哲學,當作是當務之急,反而忽略眼下某位同事離奇的死因。劇評家尤其對《跳》劇充斥的道德教誨,以及二名主角生動的性格塑造深感興趣;哲學家喬治•摩爾(George Moore)企圖證明上帝是存在的,他的老婆朵蒂(Dotty)則否,她在夜總會駐唱,沉溺於多愁善感的歌詞裡,丈夫崇高的道德理想對映出妻子的浪漫不切實際,兩造的價值觀以瓦解收場。雖然史達帕早期塑造的角色總是陷入無意義的虛無之中,《跳》劇則有別於以往,可以看見主角奮力反抗一切的荒誕不合理。

史達帕一九七四年發表的舞台劇《諧謔》,鞏固了他舉足輕重的劇作家地位。《諧》劇以一九一七年 瑞士的蘇黎世(Zurich)作為歷史背景,蘇維埃共黨領袖列寧(Lenin)、《尤里西斯》(Ulysses)作者詹姆斯•喬伊斯(James Joyce)以及達達主義先驅、羅馬尼亞詩人特里斯坦•查拉(Tristan Tzara)齊聚一堂,透過敘事者亨利•卡爾(Henry Carr)的回憶,描述三位名人互動的情形。英國官員亨利在當地圖書館巧遇列寧一行人,錯置的身分認同、一連串的誤會以及亨利的記憶謬誤,在在組成《諧》劇滑稽的元素,劇評家一方面讚揚劇本內容不乏深度,另一方面則注意到作者刻意減少舞台效果。《諧》劇也奠定了史達帕劇作的全新方向,其中對於政治議題和倫理道德的精闢見解,逐漸成為他後期劇作的重要特色。《諧》劇也於一九七六年獲頒東尼獎。

史達帕關心人權議題,尤其是東歐國家和前蘇聯政治異議份子的處境。一九七七年二月,他偕同一名國際特赦組織(Amnesty International)成員造訪蘇俄,六月在倫敦與異議人士拉迪米•步可夫斯基(Vladimir Bukovsky)會面,隨後赴捷克旅行,會晤捷克前總統瓦茨拉夫•哈維爾(V a clav Havel)。史達帕與國際知名言論自由機構「Index on Censorship」、國際特赦組織以及防治精神虐待委員會(Committee against Psychiatric Abuse)頗有淵源,也在報刊發表過各類文章,倡導人權議題。

史達帕隨後在四部「異議喜劇」(dissident comedies)中體現他的政治主張。他接受猶太裔美籍指揮家 安德列•普列文(Andre Previn)請託,發表舞台劇《每個好男孩都該得恩寵》(Every Good Boy Deserves Favour,1977年),寫作靈感源自他 與 俄羅斯流亡人士維克多•方伯格(Viktor Fainberg)某次會面,劇情是關於一名政治異議份子被監禁在蘇聯一間精神病院, 普列文親自替 史達帕 譜寫《每》 劇配樂,並交由管弦樂團演奏。《技術犯規》(Professional Foul,1977年)場景設定在捷克,生動描繪出異議人士在極權社會底下討生活的困境。

史達帕重要劇作尚包括《夜與日》(Night and Day,1978年)和《真情》(The Real Thing),後者在一九八二年首演,也是作者備受讚譽的作品之一。《夜與日》虛構出一個不存在的非洲國度,其子民揭竿起義,反抗獨裁政權,劇中也檢視媒體所扮演的角色。史達帕除了戲劇性地呈現新聞記者的內在矛盾,包括負責任的報導以及煽情聳人聽聞等負面傳播,主題也涵蓋婚外情、戰爭以及第三世界政權等議題。劇評家咸認史達帕在所謂的「異議」作品如《真情》中,愈來愈強調傳統喜劇的特色。《真情》大幅刪去鬧劇情節,以機智對白和作者自傳式的色彩為主,探討藝術、形而上議題和政治學,愛情主題更是作者關注的重點。一九八四年史達帕以《真情》再度榮獲東尼獎,隨後發表《諜變》(Hapgood,1988年)、《樂園》(Arcadia,1993年)以及《印度墨》(Indian Ink 改編 1991年廣播劇《在母國》,於 1995年發表)。

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 舞台之外:電影劇本、廣播劇的創作生涯
 
 

史達帕並不滿足於發表舞台劇,他的創作野心涵蓋了電影劇本、電視劇及廣播劇,並且改編舞台劇在電視播出,他於一九六四年發表的首齣廣播劇《 The Dissolution of Dominic Boot 》,成為電視劇《婚約》(The Engagement,1970年)作品雛型,而一九六七年由英國廣播公司製作的《亞伯特橋》(Albert's Bridge),更是史達帕最賣座的廣播劇。他和導演泰瑞•吉蘭(Terry Gilliam)、查爾斯麥可諾(Charles McKeown)合寫的電影劇本《巴西》(Brazil),也獲得一九八五年奧斯卡獎提名殊榮。

他家喻戶曉的電影劇本計有《太陽帝國》(Empire of the Sun,1987年),改編自英國作家詹姆斯•巴拉德(J. G. Ballard)原著小說;《俄羅斯大廈》(The Russia House,1989年)改編約翰•勒•卡雷(John Le Carre)的小說;《強者為王》(Billy Bathgate,1991年)則改編達特羅(E. L. Doctorow)的作品;《羅森克蘭茲和桂頓斯坦已死》一劇也躍上大銀幕。上述電影劇本為 史達帕贏得成功的掌聲,尤其一九九八年的《莎翁情史》(Shakespeare in Love)劇本榮獲奧斯卡獎,更是他畢生重要盛事。

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 文學評論
 
  許多劇評家視史達帕為當代英國劇場先驅,他的劇作不僅反映人類生存的荒謬性,更透過藝術和哲學領域,抨擊各種荒誕不經的現況。原本史達帕與政治分家,後來逐漸涉入人身及藝術自由等議題,作品風格也從早期的鬧劇,衍生到後期的傳統喜劇形式。由於他的作品熱中探討真理,積極呈現出互相衝突的觀點,劇評家咸認他具備道德操守,對於人性抱持正面積極的態度,史達帕於焉建立起嚴肅喜劇(serious comedy)作家的地位,在國際戲劇圈聲譽鵲起,其作品雖然處理嚴肅的哲學問題,卻揉合了機智對白和視覺幽默,戲劇語言充滿獨到的雙關語、玩笑、諷刺(innuendo)和文字遊戲,也是他不容小覷的劇作特色。

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References
 
 

"Tom Stoppard," in Contemporary Authors Online. (A profile of the author's life and works)

"Tom Stoppard," in Contemporary Literary Criticism-Select. (A brief review of the author's life, works, and critical reception)

"Tom Stoppard," in Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 13: British Dramatists Since World War II. A Bruccoli Clark Layman Book. Edited by Stanley Weintraub, Pennsylvania State University. The Gale Group, 1982, pp. 482-500.

"Tom Stoppard," in Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 233: British and Irish Dramatists Since World War II, Second Series. A Bruccoli Clark Layman Book. Edited by John Bull, University of Reading. The Gale Group, 2001, pp. 274-289.

"Tom Stoppard" in British Writers

 
 
 

Tom Stoppard
British playwright
蘇子惠
 
 
 
 Family Background
 
Tom Stoppard was born Tomas Straussler in Zlin (later Gottwaldov ), Czechoslovakia , on July 3, 1937. He lived in Czechoslovakia only until 1939, when his family moved to Singapore in advance of the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1939. The Strausslers' flight provided only temporary respite. Stoppard, his mother and his older brother were evacuated to Darjeeling , India shortly before the Japanese invasion of Singapore in 1941. His father, Eugene Straussler, remained in Japanese-occupied Singapore and was killed in the same year. In 1946, Stoppard's mother, Martha, married Major Kenneth Stoppard, a British army officer stationed in India , and the family moved to England , eventually settling in Bristol.

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 Early Years as a Journalist
 
  Stoppard was educated at Yorkshire public school but dropped out at the age of seventeen. During the 1950s and 1960s, he worked for the Western Daily Press and the Evening World in Bristol and then became a freelance reporter. Working for Scene magazine had brought Stoppard to London in 1962, where he made little money as a drama critic. His career as a playwright began with the staging of A Walk on the Water on television in 1963 and the radio broadcast in 1964 of The Dissolution of Dominic Boot and "M" is for Moon among Other Things. His still unpublished two-act play The Gamblers was presented by the University of Bristol Drama Department in 1965, the year in which he married Jose Ingle, with whom he later had two sons, Oliver and Barnaby.

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 Inspiration from Shakespeare: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
 
  While participating in a colloquium sponsored by the Ford Foundation in Berlin in 1964, Stoppard wrote a one-act play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Meet King Lear that later became Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. The play, which centers on two minor characters from Hamlet , examines the ideas of fate and free will. While waiting to act out their roles in Shakespeare's tragedy, the courtiers Rosencrantz and Guildenstern pass the time by telling jokes and pondering reality, much in the same way that the two tramps occupy themselves in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead depicts the absurdity of life through these two characters who have "bit parts" in a play not of their making and who are capable only of acting out their dramatic destiny. They are bewildered by their predicament and face death as they search for the meaning of their existence. Stoppard does not fill out their lives but rather extends their thinness. While examining these themes, Stoppard makes extensive use of puns and paradox, which have since become standard devices in his plays.

In August 1966, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead was performed by Oxford University students as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and, at the same time, Stoppard's only novel Lord Malquist and Mr. Moon (1966) was published. His novel sold only 481 copies in its first eight months, many of them in Venezuela. To Stoppard's surprise, it was the play that made an immediate popular and critical success, establishing his reputation as a playwright. The play received similar acclaim in the United States , winning the Tony Award as well as the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best new play of 1968.

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 Other Works
 
  Of Stoppard's plays written over the next ten years, Jumpers , produced in 1972, and Travesties , produced in 1974, are among the best known. Jumpers , a parody of modern philosophy and the "thriller" genre, is filled with running gags, puns and considerable wit. Farce is achieved by a team of acrobatic philosophers whose physical gymnastics reflect their intellectual stunts. These philosophers are more intent on discussing the preoccupations of modern philosophy than on solving the mystery surrounding the death of one of their colleagues. Critics were most impressed by the pervading moral sense of the play and found the two protagonists especially moving. George Moore, a philosopher attempting to prove the existence of God, and his wife Dotty, a nightclub singer who believes in the sentimental songs she sings, are stripped of their moral ideals and romantic notions in the course of the play. However, unlike some of the characters in Stoppard's earlier plays who were trapped in a meaningless void, these characters continue to strive against the absurd.

Stoppard's next stage production, Travesties (1974), solidified his reputation as a major dramatist. The play takes as its starting point the historical fact that Zurich in 1917 was inhabited by three revolutionaries: the communist leader Lenin, modernist writer James Joyce and Dadaist poet-critic Tristan Tzara. Their interactions are related through the recollections of Henry Carr, a British official who meets Lenin and the others at the local library. Mistaken identities, misunderstandings and the faulty recollections of Carr are among the play's farcical elements. However, critics praised its intellectual depth and noted that Stoppard relies less on theatrics than in his previous plays. Travesties also marks a new development in Stoppard's career: it involves his most detailed political and ethical analysis, an increasingly important characteristic of his later drama. Travesties won a Tony Award in 1976.

By 1977, Stoppard had become concerned with human rights issues, in particular with the situation of political dissidents in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. In February 1977, he visited Russia with a member of Amnesty International. In June, Stoppard met Vladimir Bukovsky in London and travelled to Czechoslovakia , where he met Vaclav Havel. Stoppard became involved with Index on Censorship, Amnesty International and the Committee against Psychiatric Abuse and wrote various newspaper articles about human rights.

Stoppard further examined political issues in his next four major plays, which have come to be known as his "dissident comedies." Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (1977) was written at the request of Andre Previn and was inspired by a meeting with Russian exile Viktor Fainberg. The play, about a political dissident confined to a Soviet mental hospital, is accompanied by an orchestra using a musical score composed by Previn. Professional Foul (1977) is set in Czechoslovakia and portrays the plight of dissidents in a totalitarian society.

Subsequent major stage plays by Stoppard include Night and Day (1978) and The Real Thing , which was first performed in 1982 and is one of his most highly acclaimed plays. Night and Day , set in a fictive African country during a rebellion against a dictatorial regime, examines the role of the press. In addition to dramatizing contradictory attitudes among journalists, ranging from responsible reporting to sensationalizing, Stoppard also presents the topics of marital infidelity, war and government in the third world. Many critics suggest that in The Real Thing Stoppard continues the inclination toward conventional comedy that they had noted in his dissident works. In this play, Stoppard further de-emphasizes farcical action, concentrating instead on witty dialogue and autobiographical elements. While The Real Thing characteristically examines art, metaphysical issues and politics, it also marks Stoppard's most significant treatment of the theme of love. The Real Thing won a Tony Award in 1984. Hapgood (1988), Arcadia (1993) and Stoppard's most recent play, Indian Ink (1995), based upon his radio play In the Native State (1991).

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 Out of Stage: Screenplays and Radio Plays
 
  In addition to his original stage plays, Stoppard has written original screenplays, teleplays, radio plays as well as adaptations for the stage and screen. The Dissolution of Dominic Boot (1964), Stoppard's first radio play, was the basis for his teleplay The Engagement (1970). Albert's Bridge , produced by the BBC in 1967, has been called Stoppard's finest radio play. His screenplay of Brazil , coauthored by Terry Gilliam and Charles McKeown, was nominated for an Academy Award in 1985. Other well-known screenplays by Stoppard include Empire of the Sun (1987, adapted from the novel by J. G. Ballard), The Russia House (1989, adapted from the novel by John le Carre) and Billy Bathgate (1991, adapted from the novel by E. L. Doctorow), as well as a film version of his own Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Stoppard has enjoyed considerable success with his many screenplays, most notably the Academy Award-winning Shakespeare in Love (1998).

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 Critical Reception
 
  Many critics rank Stoppard at the forefront of contemporary British theater. Stoppard's theater has moved from depicting the absurd view of existence to attacks on absurdity through art and philosophy; from political detachment to commitment for personal and artistic freedom; and from theatrical farce toward more conventional comedy. His ardent concern for truth and his willingness to present conflicting viewpoints have led critics to regard him as a moralistic playwright with a positive view of humanity. Stoppard has established an international reputation as a writer of "serious comedy"; his plays are plays of ideas that deal with philosophical issues, yet he combines the philosophical ideas he presents with verbal wit and visual humor. His linguistic complexity, with its puns, jokes, innuendo and other wordplay, is a chief characteristic of his work.

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References
 
 

"Tom Stoppard," in Contemporary Authors Online. (A profile of the author's life and works)

"Tom Stoppard," in Contemporary Literary Criticism-Select. (A brief review of the author's life, works, and critical reception)

"Tom Stoppard," in Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 13: British Dramatists Since World War II. A Bruccoli Clark Layman Book. Edited by Stanley Weintraub, Pennsylvania State University. The Gale Group, 1982, pp. 482-500.

"Tom Stoppard," in Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 233: British and Irish Dramatists Since World War II, Second Series. A Bruccoli Clark Layman Book. Edited by John Bull, University of Reading. The Gale Group, 2001, pp. 274-289.

"Tom Stoppard" in British Writers

 
 
 

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