The Dialogue of Art and Science in Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia”, Liliane Campos


Title: The Dialogue of Art and Science in Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia

Author: Liliane Campos

Typology: Study

Language: English

Year: 2011

Publisher: Presses Universitaires de France – CNED (Centre National d’Enseignement à Distance)

ISBN: 978-2-13-059190-0

Synopsis: In a country house in Derbyshire in 1809, thirteen-year-old Thomasina Coverly decides to invent a new Geometry of Irregular Forms. Her mathematical discoveries are in advance of her time, but they match the transformations of Sidley Park, in which the Arcadian landscape of the 18th century is giving way to Romantic disorder. They also echo the irregular, unpredictable nature of sexual attraction which she observes around her, and the sentimental imbroglio that Hannah Jarvis and Bernard Nightingale will attempt to unravel 180 years later. In the comical entanglements that ensue, art and science engage in a witty dramatic dialogue, and sex is always part of the equation.

Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia plays with the traditional divisions between Classicism and Romanticism, art and science, order and disorder. This book focuses on close readings of the text, and will provide students with the necessary historical, critical and theoretical background to discuss these tensions and their relation to the key themes of time, desire and loss.