It is easily and often overlooked that when Thomas Jefferson asserted that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were inalienable human rights, he did so on the ground that they had been endowed by God, our Creator.
If you associate enough with older people who do enjoy their lives, who are not stored away in any golden ghettos, you will gain a sense of continuity and of the possibility for a full life.
I was an awful critic. I operated on the assumption that there was an absolute scale of values against which art could be measured. I didn't trust my own subjective responses.
In January 1962, when I was the author of one and a half unperformed plays, I attended a student production of 'The Birthday Party' at the Victoria Rooms in Bristol. Just before it began, I realised that Harold Pinter was sitting in front of me.
I've never really worked out this thought, and I don't know if I'm really conscious of it, but I can see there's an attraction about writing about a period that's over and isn't going to change colour while you look at it.
One of the attractions of translating 'Heroes' is that it's not the kind of play that I write. If it had been, I probably wouldn't have wanted to translate it. There are no one-liners. It's much more a truthful comedy than a play of dazzling wit.
Theater is still a medium which attracts young writers. You'd think that it would be all over by now, with television and film. But it's not.
I was interested by the idea that artists working in a totalitarian dictatorship or tsarist autocracy are secretly and slightly shamefully envied by artists who work in freedom. They have the gratification of intense interest: the authorities want to put them in jail, while there are younger readers for whom what they write is pure oxygen.
If Beethoven had been killed in a plane crash at the age of 22, it would have changed the history of music and of aviation.
I am not a mathematician, but I was aware that for centuries, mathematics was considered the queen of the sciences because it claimed certainty. It was grounded on some fundamental certainties - axioms - that led to others.
If you let the plot be determined by what you feel is in the character's mind at that point, it may not turn out to be a very good play, but at least it will be a play where people are behaving in a kind of truthful way.
The idea that anybody might be allowed to use their common sense when clearly no harm is being done is part of history now.
I'm good at being funny.
The idea that being human and having rights are equivalent - that rights are inherent - is unintelligible in a Darwinian world.
Writing a new play shouldn't be seen as a mystery belonging to a priesthood, but as a challenge, a technical challenge, just to get into it.
I don't believe that we evolved moral psychology; it just doesn't seem plausible to me as a biological phenomenon.
A great production of a black comedy is better than a mediocre production of a comedy of errors.
In Chekhov, everything blends into its opposite, just fractionally, and this is sort of unsettling. And that's why you end up 100 years later asking, 'Is that moment tragic or comic?'
My brain cells are dying in their trillions.
When I was a reporter in Bristol, which I was between the years 1954 and 1960, the newspaper would get tickets for whoever showed up to play a gig at the big hall down the road, so I saw some wonderful people. The Everly Brothers, for example.