Tom Stoppard: Travesties

(3075 words)
  • Paul Smethurst (University of Hong Kong)

Tom Stoppard's Travesties fictionalises a meeting between three important revolutionary characters who happened to be in Zurich in 1917: the communist leader Lenin, the Dadaist poet Tristan Tzara and James Joyce, the modernist writer. Henry Carr, a minor official at the British Consulate, relates the three men's interactions and conversations through his erratic memory. Carr was in real life associated with Joyce through acting the part of Algernon Moncrieff in Joyce's production of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest in Zurich in March 1918. Afterwards, there was a one-year lawsuit brought by Carr against Joyce for the reimbursement of expensive trousers and other accessories Carr had bought for the production. E…

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Smethurst, Paul. "Travesties". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 July 2004
[, accessed 30 June 2015.]