Are you ready for our final book club of the year? Well, ready or not here we go to cap off another year of reading and discussing together!
The Real Inspector Hound is a quick, funny play where Tom Stoppard takes aim at theatre, critics, reality, and fate. While its one act zips by in 50 pages or less, it still manages to have opinions about our place in the world around us.
Ground rules remain the same as before, discuss in the comments below, try to respond directly to someone’s ideas as suits your own ponderings, and refer to the numbered topics below by number, please, to help people find the conversation topics they are looking for.
In addition to the topics below I’ve saved a few for our Facebook group, Cannonball Read Book Chat so feel free to wander over there throughout the course of the day.
On to the topics:
- The New York Times called this play “a swipe at the enemy”. How do you feel about that categorization?
- What are your expectations when you see/read a comedy? How does “Hound” satisfy them (or not)? If you’ve watched the play, what affects did the creative choices have for you as a viewer?
- How does the presence of the body define this play?
- In the introduction to my copy of the play (Tom Stoppard: Plays 1) Stoppard discusses that the plot point that made the play most worth writing was the revelation around Higgs. What is your interpretation of this artistic statement?
- How does the theme of “not seeing” relate to the work (in the setting and the dramatic action)?
- The structural frame of the play is Birdboot and Moon interjecting between scenes, as critics, Birdboot and Moon consider themselves to be outside and above the action of the play. How does their relationship with the play onstage and each other change?
- What is reality and what is not?
- In what ways does the play address notions of fate and free will?
Well, what say you?