Tom Stoppard quotes

  • A healthy attitude is contagious but don't wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Positive #Attitude #Inspiration

  • I don't really have a system or set of principles. It's kind of common sense mixed up with instinct.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Common Sense #Principles #Kind

  • It's no trick loving somebody at their best. Love is loving them at their worst.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Best Love #Baby #Love Is

  • Every exit is an entry somewhere else.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Travel #Inspirational Life #Adventure

  • It is a defect of God's humor that he directs our hearts everywhere but to those who have a right to them.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Heart #Defects

  • Because children grow up, we think a child's purpose is to grow up. But a child's purpose is to be a child
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Growing Up #Children #Thinking

  • Atheism is a crutch for those who cannot bear the reality of God.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Atheist #Reality #Atheism

  • I am not my body. My body is nothing without me.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Beauty #Body #Health Care

  • Words are sacred. If you get the right ones in the right order you can nudge the world a little.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Order #Littles #Sacred

  • Responsibilities gravitate to the person who can shoulder them.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Inspirational #Motivational #Responsibility

  • I write fiction because it's a way of making statements I can disown.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Writing #Way #Fiction

  • Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Art #Skills #America

  • Dying is not romantic, and death is not a game which will soon be over... Death is not anything... death is not... It's the absence of presence, nothing more... the endless time of never coming back... a gap you can't see, and when the wind blows through it, it makes not sound...
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Death #Blow #Wind

  • We do on stage things that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Integrity #History #Looks

  • I don't think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you might nudge the world a little or make a poem that children will speak for you when you are dead.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Children #Writing #Thinking

  • I write plays because dialogue is the most respectable way of contradicting myself.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Writing #Play #Way

  • I cannot say that I write with any social objective. One writes because one loves writing, really.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Writing #One Love #Social

  • Be happy -- if you're not even happy, what's so good about surviving?
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Optimistic #Surviving

  • Happiness is equilibrium. Shift your weight.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Happiness #Weight #Equilibrium

  • Autumnal -- nothing to do with leaves. It is to do with a certain brownness at the edges of the day ... Brown is creeping up on us, take my word for it ... Russets and tangerine shades of old gold flushing the very outside edge of the senses... deep shining ochres, burnt umber and parchments of baked earth -- reflecting on itself and through itself, filtering the light. At such times, perhaps, coincidentally, the leaves might fall, somewhere, by repute. Yesterday was blue, like smoke.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Fall #Yesterday #Light

  • It is better to be quotable than to be honest.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Witty #Truth #Honesty

  • A movie camera is like having someone you have a crush on watching you from afar - you pretend it's not there.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Crush #Afar #Cameras

  • We're actors. We're the opposite of people.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Opposites #People #Theatre

  • Good things, when short, are twice as good.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Writing #Editing #Good Things

  • I don't think I can be expected to take seriously any game which takes less than three days to reach its conclusion.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Sports #Thinking #Games

  • Pirates could happen to anyone.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Pirate

  • Theater is still a medium which attracts young writers. You'd think that it would be all over by now, with television and film. But it's not.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Thinking #Television #Would Be

  • Words... They're innocent, neutral, precise, standing for this, describing that, meaning the other, so if you look after them you can build bridges across incomprehension and chaos. But when they get their corners knocked off, they're no good any more... I don't think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little or make a poem which children will speak for you when you're dead.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Children #Thinking #Order

  • Eternity's a terrible thought. I mean, where's it all going to end?
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Time #Mean #Science

  • My whole life is waiting for the questions to which I have prepared answers.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Life #Waiting #Answers

  • I still believe that if your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Inspirational #Believe #Writing

  • The bad end unhappily, the good unluckily. That is what tragedy means.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Mean #Writing #Tragedy

  • If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Life #Children #Creativity

  • A man speaking sense to himself is no madder than a man speaking nonsense not to himself.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Men #Nonsense

  • Life in a box is better than no life at all, I expect. You'd have a chance at least. You could lie there thinking: Well, at least I'm not dead.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Life #Lying #Thinking

  • I think theater ought to be theatrical ... you know, shuffling the pack in different ways so that it's -- there's always some kind of ambush involved in the experience. You're being ambushed by an unexpected word, or by an elephant falling out of the cupboard, whatever it is.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Fall #Thinking #Elephants

  • There we were - demented children mincing about in clothes that no one ever wore, speaking as no man ever spoke, swearing love in wigs and rhymed couplets, killing each other with wooden swords, hollow protestations of faith hurled after empty promises of vengeance - and every gesture, every pose, vanishing into the thin unpopulated air. We ransomed our dignity to the clouds, and the uncomprehending birds listened. Don't you see?! We're actors - we're the opposite of people!
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Children #Men #Air

  • If you want to change something by Tuesday, theater is no good. Journalism is what does that. But, if you want to just alter the chemistry of the moral matrix, then theater has a longer half-life.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Tuesday #Half #Want

  • Maturity is a high price to pay for growing up.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Inspirational #Growing Up #Maturity

  • When we have found all the mysteries and lost all the meaning, we will be alone, on an empty shore.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Mystery #Empty #Lost

  • It's the best possible time to be alive, when almost everything you thought you knew is wrong.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Alive

  • I write scenes - often quite long scenes - mainly because I still get seduced into writing six lines where one and a half will do.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Writing #Long #Half

  • Comparing what we're looking for misses the point. It's wanting to know that makes us matter. Otherwise we're going out the way we came in. That's why you can't believe in the afterlife, Valentine. Believe in the after, by all means, but not the life. Believe in God, the soul, the spirit, the infinite, believe in angels if you like, but not in the great celestial get-together for an exchange of views. If the answers are in the back of the book I can wait, but what a drag. Better to struggle on knowing that failure is final.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Believe #Valentine #Struggle

  • He says his aim is poetry. One does not aim at poetry with pistols. At poets, perhaps.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Pistols #Doe #Poet

  • The universe is deterministic all right, just like Newton said, I mean it's trying to be, but the only thing going wrong is people fancying people who aren't supposed to be in that part of the plan.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Mean #People #Trying

  • Give us this day our daily mask.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Giving #Mask #This Day

  • He's never known anything like it! But then, he has never known anything to write home about, so this is nothing to write home about.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Home #Writing

  • We're better at predicting events at the edge of the galaxy or inside the nucleus of an atom than whether it'll rain on auntie's garden party three Sundays from now.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Rain #Party #Sunday

  • Each move is dictated by the previous one--that is the meaning of order
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Moving #Order

  • Death followed by eternity the worst of both worlds. It is a terrible thought.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #World #Eternity #Terrible

  • Carnal embrace is the practice of throwing one's arms around a side of beef.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Practice #Arms #Sides

  • Seduced her? Every time I turned round she was up a library ladder. In the end I gave in. That reminds me—I spotted something between her legs that made me think of you.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Thinking #Library #Ladders

  • For all the compasses in the world, there's only one direction, and time is its only measure.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #One Direction #World #Compass

  • I will take his secret to the grave, telling people I meet on the way.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #People #Secret #Way

  • You can't treat royalty like people with normal perverted desires.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #People #Desire #Normal

  • Rosencrantz: We might as well be dead. Do you think death could possibly be a boat? Guildenstern: No, no, no... Death is...not. Death isn't. You take my meaning. Death is the ultimate negative. Not-being. You can't not-be on a boat. Rosencrantz: I've frequently not been on boats. Guildenstern: No, no, no--what you've been is not on boats.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Thinking #Might #Negative

  • Whatever became of the moment when one first knew about death? There must have been one. A moment. In childhood. When it first occurred to you that you don’t go on forever. It must have been shattering, stamped into one’s memory. And yet, I can’t remember it.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Memories #Childhood #Forever

  • It's where we're nearest to our humanness. Useless knowledge for its own sake. Useful knowledge is good, too, but it's for the faint-hearted, an elaboration of the real thing, which is only to shine some light, it doesn't matter where on what, it's the light itself, against the darkness, it's what's left of God's purpose when you take away God.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Real #Light #Shining

  • When you stir your rice pudding, Septimus, the spoonful of jam spreads itself round making red trails like the picture of a meteor in my astronomical atlas. But if you stir backwards, the jam will not come together again. Indeed, the pudding does not notice and continues to turn pink just as before. Do you think this is odd?
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Thinking #Together #Jam

  • Carnal embrace is sexual congress, which is the insertion of the male genital organ into the female genital organ for purposes of procreation and pleasure. Fermat’s last theorem, by contrast, asserts that when x, y and z are whole numbers each raised to power of n, the sum of the first two can never equal the third when n is greater than 2.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Sex #Two #Numbers

  • I love love. I love having a lover and being one. The insularity of passion. I love it. I love the way it blurs the distinction between everyone who isn't one's lover.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Passion #Way #Lovers

  • The trouble is, I can't find a part of myself where you're not important. I write in order to be worth your while and to finance the way I want to live with you. Not the way you want to live. The way I want to live with you. Without you I wouldn't care. I'd eat tinned spaghetti and put on yesterday's clothes. But as it is I change my socks, and make money, and tart up Brodie's unspeakable drivel into speakable drivel so he can be an author too, like me.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Life #Writing #Order

  • When people discuss his plays, he says that he feels like he's standing at customs watching an official ransack his luggage. He cheerfully declares responsibility for a play about two people, and suddenly the officer is finding all manner of exotic contraband like the nature of God and identity, and while he can't deny that they're there, he can't for the life of him remember putting them there. In the end, a play is not the product of an idea; an idea is the product of a play.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Responsibility #Play #Ideas

  • Nowadays, an artist is someone who makes art mean the things he does.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Art #Mean #Artist

  • Rosencrantz: Shouldn't we be doing something--constructive? Guildenstern: What did you have in mind? ... A short, blunt human pyramid...?
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Pyramids #Mind #Blunt

  • The colours red, blue and green are real. The colour yellow is a mystical experience shared by everybody.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Real #Yellow #Blue

  • The truth is, we value your company, for want of any other. We have been left so much to our own devices—after a while one welcomes the uncertainty of being left to other people's.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #People #Want #Truth Is

  • ...Everything has to be taken on trust; truth is only that what is taken to be true. It's the currency if living. There may be nothing behind it, but it doesn't make any difference so long as it is honoured. One acts on assumptions. What do you assume?
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Taken #Differences #Long

  • Player: Relax. Respond. That's what people do. You can't go through life question your sitution at every turn.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Player #People #Relax

  • You think human nature is a beast, that it must be put in a cage. But it's the cage that makes the animal bad.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Thinking #Animal #Cages

  • Hotel rooms inhabit a separate moral universe.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Rooms #Moral #Hotel

  • Chater: You dare to call me that. I demand satisfaction! Septimus: Mrs Chater demanded satisfaction and now you are demanding satisfaction. I cannot spend my time day and night satisfying the demands of the Chater family.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Night #Satisfaction #Demand

  • There would be this algebraic equation with an equals sign in the middle, and all the components would have different letters of the alphabet. It would come out right with x+z^2+t/q=y+co, and the co would be clothes off!
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Science #Clothes #Letters

  • It was precisely this notion of infinite series which in the sixth century BC led the Greek philosopher Zeno to conclude that since an arrow shot towards a target first had to cover half the distance, and then half the remainder, and then half the remainder after that, and so on ad infinitum, the result was, as I will now demonstrate, that though an arrow is always approaching its target, it never quite gets there, and Saint Sebastian died of fright.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Distance #Arrows #Greek

  • There is presumably a calendar date a moment when the onus of proof passed from the atheist to the believer, when, quite suddenly, secretly, the noes had it.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Atheist #Calendars #Moments

  • It seems pointless to be quoted if one isn't going to be quotable ... it's better to be quotable than honest.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Honest #Pointless

  • Hell is very likely to be modernization infinitely extended.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Hell #Modernization

  • Art cannot be subordinate to its subject, otherwise it is not art but biography.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Art #Biographies #Subjects

  • Maybe Napoleon was wrong when he said we were a nation of shopkeepers... Today England looked like a nation of goalkeepers.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Today #England #Goalkeepers

  • I didn't feel good about cutting out parts of very famous speeches, ... You think you somehow need all of it or you get none of it, but that's not true.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Cutting #Thinking #Feel Good

  • What did you have in mind? A short, blunt human pyramid?
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Pyramids #Mind #Blunt

  • How the hell do I know what I find incredible? Credibility is an expanding field... Sheer disbelief hardly registers on the face before the head is nodding with all the wisdom of instant hindsight.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Nodding #Fields #Faces

  • A foreign correspondent is someone who lives in foreign parts and corresponds, usually in the form of essays containing no new facts. Otherwise he's someone who flies around from hotel to hotel and thinks that the most interesting thing about any story is the fact that he has arrived to cover it.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Thinking #Interesting #Stories

  • Junk journalism is the evidence of a society that has got at least one thing right, that there should be nobody with the power to dictate where responsible journalism begins.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Junk #Journalism #Responsible

  • If you took away everything in the world that had to be invented, there'd be nothing left except a lot of people getting rained on.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #People #World

  • If rationality were the criterion for things being allowed to exist, the world would be one gigantic field of soya beans!
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #World #Fields #Would Be

  • Theatre is a series of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Theatre #Obstacles #Disaster

  • Obviously, you would give your life for your children, or give them the last biscuit on the plate. But to me, the trick in life is to take that sense of generosity between kin, make it apply to the extended family and to your neighbour, your village and beyond.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Children #Giving #Generosity

  • You're familiar with the tragedies of antiquity, are you? The great homicidal classics?
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Art #Philosophy #History

  • A circle is the longest distance to same point.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Art #Distance #Philosophy

  • Public postures have the configuration of private derangement.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Posture

  • I know the British press is very attached to the lobby system. It lets the journalists and the politicians feel proud of their traditional freedoms while giving the reader as much of the truth as they think is good for him.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Thinking #Giving #Proud

  • The days of the digitals are numbered. The metaphor is built into them like a self-destruct mechanism.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Science #Technology #Self

  • Well I believe in the desirability of an optimal society.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Believe #Wells #Optimal

  • If enough things that are untrue are said about you, no one will know what really is true.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Enough #Said

  • "The [London] Times" has published no rumours; it's only reported facts, namely that other, less responsible papers are publishing certain rumours.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Art #Philosophy #History

  • Information is light. Information in itself, about anything, is light.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Light #Vision #Information

  • It's not the voting that's democracy; it's the counting.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Freedom #Voting #Democracy

  • I've lost all capacity for disbelief. I'm not sure that I could even rise to a little gentle scepticism.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Littles #Capacity #Lost

  • All your life you live so close to truth, it becomes a permanent blur in the corner of your eye, and when something nudges it into outline it is like being ambushed by a grotesque.
    -- Tom Stoppard

    #Eye #Nudge #Existentialism