Stoppard acknowledged being apprehensive as the Big Night approached -- but it wasn't due to nerves over how his play, Arcadia, would be received by French audiences. Rather, it was for a very different reason. The achievement, after all, was for the first-ever living writer. "I knew that I had to stay alive until the play opened for this to really count," Stoppard said. "So, for the weeks leading up to it, I found myself crossing the street with extreme caution."
Later in the interview, Stoppard mentioned the remarkable poster for the Comedie Francaise that year, which promoted that season's full repertoire. It included the names of such historic playwrights as Moliere, Racine, Gogol, Feydeau, Corneille and Goethe -- and Tom Stoppard amid them. With sort of an awkward laugh, since he knew Stoppard had long-since dealt with great fame himself and might well be immune to such seeming trivialities, Rose asked Stoppard if he had perhaps gotten at least one of the posters with his name among all those historic legends, simply as a keepsake. "Oh, no," Stoppard answered, in great seriousness, and then his eyes brightened. "I got six of them."