‘I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than half an hour of my life doing research’
Sir Tom Stoppard quoted in the Los Angeles Times (21 October 2016) regarding his last play The Hard Problem.
However the Czech born British playwright has spoken of the personal research he undertook for his current work Leopoldstadt, the story of a family set in the eponymous district of 20th century Vienna.
In March the run of Leopoldstadt in London was cancelled. Furthermore, the Second Generation workshop Writing Family History was cancelled.
Both were fully booked, casualties of the measures taken to combat the Covid 19 virus.
There is an opportunity to continue to research, reflect and write Family History in our own space, the Second Generation Network web pages.
This space is for your contributions.
Post your writing on your family history. We are open for contributions in whatever form – factual paragraphs, poems, micro fiction – of up to approximately 100 words.
What have you discovered concerning your family history? How? Did stories emerge from conversations with family members, have you received photographs, documents, diaries? Are there gaps in these stories you need to fill with your own research, by visiting places or working through real or virtual libraries and archives?
In the process of researching his play Sir Tom has spoken of how he discovered his own family history relatively late in life and his reactions in recognising this history in his own identity.
I too in later life explored through First, Second and Third Generation family conversation and contact with research institutes my connections to the past and present, my mother’s journey by Kindertransport from Vienna to Yorkshire, my uncle’s journey to Theresienstadt and Auschwitz.
Does this interest change as one’s own life progresses? Do you want to know ‘everything’ or ‘enough’? How would you create and structure your story? Have you seen, read or heard plays, films, books, pictures, music on these themes which resonate with you?
Please send your stories to us for our website www.secondgeneration.org.uk
As Second Generation meetings and events have been cancelled the network wishes to make this space available to all. This is a pilot scheme devised in response to the current cancellation of Network events. If it is successful further topics may be added. We are always open to suggestions for developing our online presence. Ideas welcome. In addition any members who can provide technical assistance please contact us.
Follow the same guidelines for contributing to this site as you would for our face to face meetings or the print magazine Voices:
All contributors are to be equally respected, no personal or political remarks.
We have limited resources so ask that everyone takes responsibility for ensuring the proper functioning of site content. The site will be moderated by (volunteer) members of the Second Generation Network and Voices Committee who reserve the right in extremis to remove postings considered to be beyond the guidelines.
Please Register here if you wish to comment on this article.