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The Invention of Love

By Tom Stoppard

It is 1936 and A. E. Housman is being ferried around the river Styx, joyful to be useless ultimately. The river that flows via Tom Stoppard’s The Invention of Love connects Hades with the Oxford of Housman’s adolescence: excessive Victorian morality is lower than siege from the classy stream, and an Irish pupil named Wilde is getting ready to burst onto the London scene. On his trip the elder Housman confronts the more youthful model of himself and his stories of the fellow he enjoyed his complete existence, Moses Jackson –– the good-looking athlete who couldn't go back his feelings.

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I’m Pollard. i feel we've got the 2 open scholarships this yr. may possibly I provide my congratulations. Jackson   How do you do? good, congratulations to you, too. Pollard   the place have been you in class? Jackson   The Vale Academy. It’s in Ramsgate. really my father is the significant. yet I haven’t come from college, I’ve been years at college collage, London. I did a bit rowing there, truly. and also you? Pollard   King’s collage university. Jackson   You play rugby, don’t you? Pollard   definite. no longer individually. Jackson   I want rugby soccer to organization principles. i'm wondering if the varsity seems a powerful facet. I don’t count number myself a significant cricketer even though i will installed an invaluable knock sometimes. box athletics is perhaps what I’ll pay attention to within the Easter time period. Pollard   Ah. as long as it’s no longer trundling a ring. Jackson   No, I’m a runner initially, i guess. The quarter-mile and the half-mile are my top distances. Pollard   So you’re a fan of activity. Jackson   One is at Oxford to paintings, after all, yet because the poet stated – all paintings and no play … Pollard   (overlapping) Orandum est ut take a seat mens sana in corpore sano. Jackson   … makes Jack a lifeless boy. Pollard   I didn’t become aware of that the classics scholarship used to be open to school males. Jackson   Classics? No, that’s no longer me. i've got the technological know-how scholarship. Pollard   (happily) Oh … technological know-how! Sorry! How do you do? Jackson   I’m Jackson. Pollard   Pollard. Congratulations. That explains it. Jackson   What? Pollard   I don’t recognize. sure, trochus comes into Ovid, or Horace someplace, the Satires. Housman joins. Housman   The Odes. Sorry. Odes 3, 24, ‘ludere doctior seu Graeco iubeas trocho’ – it’s the place he’s asserting everything’s long past to the canines. Pollard   That’s it! Highborn younger males can’t take a seat on a horse and are afraid to seek, they’re higher at fiddling with the Greek hoop! Housman   truly, ‘trochos’ is Greek, it’s the Greek observe for hoop, so while Horace makes use of ‘Graecus trochus’ it’s a bit like announcing ‘French chapeau’. I suggest he’s laying it on thick, isn’t he? Jackson   Is he? What? Housman   good, to a Roman, to name anything Greek intended – quite often – sissylike, or effeminate. actually, a ring, a trochos, used to be a favorite present given via a Greek guy to the boy he, you recognize, to his favorite boy. Jackson   Oh, beastliness, you suggest? Pollard   this can be Mr Jackson, incidentally. Housman   How do you do, sir? Jackson   I say, I’m a freshman too, you recognize. have you ever visible there’s a board the place you place your identify down? I’m going to aim for the Torpids subsequent time period. possibly I’ll see you on the river. Pollard   (overlapping) – at dinner – river. Jackson is going. A technology student. Housman   turns out relatively first rate, although. Pollard   I’m Pollard. Housman   Housman. We’re at the comparable staircase. Pollard   Oh, spiffing. the place have been you in school? Housman   Bromsgrove. It’s in, good, Bromsgrove, in truth. It’s a spot in Worcestershire. Pollard   i used to be at King’s collage tuition – that’s in London. Housman   I’ve been to London. I went to the Albert corridor and the British Museum. the simplest factor was once the Guards, although.

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