"Travesties" was born out of Stoppard's noting that in 1917 three of the twentieth century's most crucial revolutionaries -- James Joyce, the Dadaist founder Tristan Tzara, and Lenin were all living in Zurich. Also living in Zurich at this time was a British consula official called Henry Carr, a man acquainted with Joyce through the theater and later through a lawsuit concerning a pair of trousers. Taking Carr as his core, Stoppard spins this historical coincidence into a masterful and riotously funny play, a speculative portrait of what could have been the meeting of these profoundly influential men in a germinal Europe as seen through the lucid, lurid, faulty, and wholly riveting memory of an aging Henry Carr.
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About the Author
Tom Stoppard is the author of such seminal works as Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Travesties, Every Good Boy Deserves a Favor, Arcadia, Jumpers, The Real Thing, and The Invention of Love.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What makes Tom Stoppard one of my favorite writers, beyond his wit and wonderful use of language and knowledge of history (literary and otherwise), is how much he seems to adore his subjects. 'Travesties' is a treat of a play, a fictional crossing of paths of three wildly different and influencial historical figures in Zurich during the Great War. It's fascinating, educational (I knew nothing of Dadaism before reading this), often laugh out loud funny, always alive and stimulating. Excuse the digression, but I have a similar reaction to Tom Stoppard's writing as I used to watching Michael Jordan play basketball; both bring joy and poetry to what they do, and both made me smile with amazement watching them do it.