Stoppard Wins A Big Prize

The playwright Tom Stoppard has won the David Cohen prize for a lifetime’s achievement in literature, hailed as a “giant of 20th-century British drama” with an “outstanding and enduring body of unfailingly creative, innovative and brilliant work.” On hearing the news, Stoppard, who is 80, said: “Winning a lifetime achievement award, one’s first thought is: ‘Surely not yet.’ And one’s second is: ‘Just in time, mate’ … Quite frankly, it has always meant a lot to me, the idea that one is writing for the future as well. I’m never convinced it will work out that way. We still don’t know in the long run, it’s impossible to say. History is full of the names of writers who at one time seemed to be permanently established and who slowly disappeared from view. I’ll own up to writing for the present and for posterity – but as Lytton Strachey said: ‘What has posterity ever done for me?’”

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