am 23. April 2008
Stoppard''s play Rock 'n' Roll deals with Czechoslovakia and Cambridge in the time from 1968 to 1990. Stoppard presents a rather more than less intellectual crowd of Czechoslovakians who are watched over three generations. Most of the Czechoslovakians first study in Cambridge and later some of them live and work there. These people are mostly concerned with what has become of communism, how it should be or what to do for imprisoned comrades. They have intense discussions, that range from the intellectual, such as a discussion of Sappho's Fragment 130 (LP) to the absurd or humourous. - Rock music is present throughout the play and the rock group 'Plastic People' comes to stand for the seemingly only viable form of dissidence after the fall of Dubcek. I did not mind that, but I am only slightly interested in Rock at all so there might be some aspects of the play which escaped me.
All in all I found Rock 'n' Roll a play that is hard to read, especially when the absurd with its lack of open meaning stops one in one's tracks suddenly, which may be the intention of the author. On the other hand the play is worth reading because not only is it researched well, but Stoppard is able to flesh out his characters and enables the reader to identify with the figures, if sHe wishes to.