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Download Arcadia epub

by Jim Crace




As his assistant plans a baccanalian fete to celebrate his employer's eightieth birthday, Victor, a man who rose from dire poverty to immense wealth, makes plans of his own
Download Arcadia epub
ISBN: 068912158X
ISBN13: 978-0689121586
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Contemporary
Author: Jim Crace
Language: English
Publisher: Scribner (October 23, 1992)
Pages: 320 pages
ePUB size: 1799 kb
FB2 size: 1248 kb
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 770
Other Formats: rtf txt mobi azw

Vinainl
Arcadia is a play that takes place at Sidley Park, a stately country home in Derbyshire. The play shifts back and forth between the early 19th century and modern day Sidley Park. The action in both time periods takes place in a bare room with a large table.

In the 19th century, Thomasina, the daughter of the house, is working with her tutor, Septimus Hodge; there are books and Hodge’s tortoise. In the modern time, Hannah Jarvis, an author, is working on a book about the history of the gardens – or, more precisely, about the hermit-genius who lived in the 19th century gardens like a “garden ornament” or “pottery gnome”. She is joined by, among others, Valentine, a son of the house, and his tortoise.

In each time period, people come and go and dramas unfold. But the room and table remain constant. As the play proceeds, everything from both time periods remains on the table. The table and its contents are period neutral, and, by the end of the play, the table has become quite cluttered with objects.

There are striking parallels between the two time periods. Early on, questioning her tutor whether God is a Newtonian, Thomasina asks “[a]m I the first person to have thought of this?” (p. 9). In the modern time, Chloe asks her brother “Valentine, do you think I’m the first person to think of this?” (p. 77).

There is humor. Valentine explains to Hannah how her tea is getting cold – by itself. “Your tea will end up at room temperature. What’s happening to your tea is happening to everything everywhere….It’ll take a while but we’re all going to end up at room temperature.” (p. 82).

The modern day dramas involve the 19th century dramas – an attempt to sort out the past with meager historical evidence. There is poetry and duels; parks and a hermitage; heat exchange and Lord Byron.

And, there is Entropy. As the play progresses, so does the chaos. Toward the end of the play, the distinct time periods begin to bleed into one another. They proceed at the same time and intertwine. Chaos ensues.

The result is a fascinating, intellectual drama. Arcadia is a great read, and I hope one day to see it performed.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Forcestalker
Another reviewer began the review with this: "Arcadia is one of the most touching and enlightening works of literature I have ever read. The interweaving of ideas from physics, fractals, literature, architecture, history, psychology and many other fields of knowledge hidden in the play is just perfect." I agree with the sentiment. I adored the live play; saw it twice! I also read the play afterwards -- now twice, too. The reviewer I quoted, though, got bogged down later in the review of whether Stoppard is brilliant enough as Einstein or is just showing off. The play is not a Philosophical Inquiry of Great Rigor. The ideas, to me anyway, are like the proverbial unicorn story: see one (wow! is it real?; a couple folks see it: super-wow; but once everyone sees it: "so what? it's a horse with a horn in its head."). The delight for me was not in the "novel" ideas, but in the way in which they are used as another means of entertainment: much as characters in an Eric Rohmer (French) Film might discuss Kant's Synthetic A Priori. The characters are IMMENSELY entertaining and that they discuss philosophy or math just adds to what is entertaining about them -- specifically it adds variety. So you have the usual drama subjects, but more too. The main thing then is this: ALL is WONDERFULLY done and you derive your pleasure from all the very well-done VARIETY of fun and drama and topics ALL NICELY WOVEN TOGETHER, not hodge-podged at all.
cyrexoff
Tom Stoppard's famous play Arcadia takes place in the same English country estate across two eras: the early Nineteenth Century and the present day. The story divides between Thomasina, the owner's young daughter and her tutor Septimus, and the academics Hannah and Bernard, investigating a possible scandal caused by Lord Byron when he stayed there. The present-day researchers discover, among other things, Thomasina's mathematical gifts, the rise of the picturesque in landscaping, and the Romantic temperament, especially concerning love.

This is an extremely funny play, starting with Thomasina's opening line, "Septimus, what is carnal embrace?". At the same time, it also teaches us about science, math, and literature. It moves seamlessly between the two time periods, and gives all the information we need to understand the various topics in entertaining ways. It is a joy to read.
Samutilar
Arcadia should have been popular 10 years ago.

Today it is more important that it be performed.

It may be too late 10 years from now.

Tom Stoppard writes like George Bernard Shaw were still alive.

That came as a surprise to me.

I looked into it: He wrote my favorite movie "Shakespeare in Love".

To me Arcadia asks the question: " Can Chaos theory and fractals

bring back the days of reason and the greatness of the British Empire?"

To which I answer:" No. but that is no reason for us not to believe

that we can fight for a future where we control the rabbits and not the rabbits control us."

How can we believe in a genius named Thomasina or a fellow who grouses about grouses?

Arcadia was written while the history was very much in flux;

before Per Bak became the modern Darwin and gave nature a method for a purpose.

A monkey biting a man and a girl in ashes...this play should be made into a movie.

It's time travel sequences demand more than the stage can give.
Livina
One of my favorites
MARK BEN FORD
a moving and insightful play