Tom Stoppard, beneficiary of the subconscious

Thu Feb 2, 2012 5:54am EST
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By Henry Foy

JAIPUR (Reuters) - From time-bending drama to the absurd adventures of Shakespeare's supporting cast, almost 50 years of work has brought playwright Tom Stoppard popular, critical and even royal acclaim.

Acclaim, he says, shrugging, for "lucky" plays inspired by the realms of his subconscious.

The Academy Award-winning Stoppard, who was born in the former Czechoslovakia and was sent as a refugee to Singapore and India, found fame on British radio before seeing his name in lights in the West End, and, later, on the silver screen.

Knighted in 1997, he is known by many for the screenplay of 1998's "Shakespeare in Love," which won seven Oscars.

But it is works such as his 1966 play "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead," and "Arcadia" in 1993 that has earned him a reputation among critics as one of the world's greatest living playwrights.

Stoppard, 74, spoke with reporters on the sidelines of the Jaipur Literature Festival in India last month.

Q: You're seen as one of the world's best at what you do. How do you deal with that as you keep writing?

A: "I don't look at my work in a critical or analytical way, I just don't think of myself objectively. It doesn't interest me.   Continued...

<p>British playwright Tom Stoppard (R) speaks as British director David Hare watches during the annual Literature Festival in Jaipur, capital of India's desert state of Rajasthan January 22, 2012. REUTERS/Altaf Hussain</p>