Transcript: Non-fiction For The Win | Mar 02, 2017

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, pale blue shirt, and striped red and pink tie.

A caption on screen reads "Non-fiction for the win. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says ON MONDAY, MARCH 6, THE 2017
RBC TAYLOR PRIZE FOR LITERARY
NON FICTION WILL BE AWARDED FOR
THE 16th TIME.
THIS YEAR'S SHORT LIST INCLUDES
THREE MEMOIRES AND TWO
BIOGRAPHIES, AND AS IS OUR
TRADITION HERE ON THE AGENDA,
WE'VE GATHERED THE FIVE
FINALISTS IN OUR STUDIO FOR A
DISCUSSION ABOUT THEIR WORK AND
MAKING A LIVING AS A WRITER IN
CANADA.
AND WITH THAT WE WELCOME: MAX
EISEN, AUTHOR OF "BY CHANCE
ALONE: A REMARKABLE TRUE STORY
OF COURAGE AND SURVIVAL AT AUSCHWITZ..."

Max is in his eighties, clean-shaven, with short white hair. He's wearing a gray suit, blue shirt, and gray tie.
A picture of his book appears briefly on screen. The cover features a black and white picture of a boy around 12, on a striped background.

Steve continues MATTI FRIEDMAN, AUTHOR OF
"PUMPKINFLOWERS: AN ISRAELI
SOLDIER'S STORY" ABOUT HIS
COMBAT EXPERIENCES IN LEBANON IN
THE MID 1990s...

Matti is in his thirties, with short blond hair and a stubble. He's wearing a gray sweater and a blue shirt.
A picture of his book appears briefly on screen. The cover features a picture of soldiers walking away in a desert, under a blue sky.

Steve continues ROSS KING, AUTHOR OF "MAD
ENCHANTMENT: CLAUDE MONET AND
THE PAINTING OF WATER LILIES..."

Ross is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with tousled curly blond hair. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit, gray sweater, and blue shirt.
A picture of his book appears briefly on screen. The cover is blue, with a black and white picture of a man standing next to a slow-running river.

Steve continues MARK RABOY, AUTHOR OF "MARCONI:
THE MAN WHO NETWORKED THE WORLD..."

Mark is in his fifties, with short gray hair and a stubble. He's wearing a gray coat and t-shirt.
A picture of his book appears briefly on screen. The cover features a black and white portrait picture of Marconi, in his early forties, clean-shaven.

Steve continues AND DIANE SCHOEMPERLEN, AUTHOR
OF "THIS IS NOT MY LIFE: A
MEMOIRE OF LOVE, PRISON AND OTHER COMPLICATIONS"
ABOUT HER SIX-YEAR RELATIONSHIP
WITH A CONVICTED MURDERER...

Diane is in her sixties, with long curly white hair. She's wearing glasses, a bright blue cardigan over a black blouse, and a long beaded necklace.
A picture of her book appears briefly on screen. The cover is pale blue, with a picture of old-fashioned keys.

Steve continues BOY IF THAT DOESN'T GET YOU
SITTING ON THE EDGE OF YOUR
SEAT, WELL-DONE EVERYBODY, FIVE
FANTASTIC BOOKS AND WE ARE SO
GREATFUL TO CONTINUE THE
TRADITION AND HAVE YOU FIVE
FINALISTS IN OUR STUDIO WITH YOU
WITH US.
FIRST QUESTION IS SIMPLE DIANE,
THREE PERSONAL MEMOIRES ONE OF
WHICH IS YOURS, WHY DID YOU WANT
TO WRITE THIS BOOK THAT YOU HAVE
WRITTEN.
LET'S START WITH THIS.

The caption changes to "Diane Schoemperlen. Author, 'This is not my life.'"
Then, it changes again to "Why write?"

Diane says I MEAN, I FELT LIKE A REALLY
INTERESTING STORY.
I HAD JUST LIVED THROUGH AN
INTERESTING STORY, WHAT IS A
WRITER TO DO, BUT I ALSO HAD A
BIT MORE OF AN AGENDA THAN THAT.
I DID WANT TO EDUCATE CANADIANS
ABOUT HOW OUR PRISON SYSTEM
WORKS AND I ALSO HAD A FAIR BIT
TO SAY ABOUT HARPER'S
GOVERNMENT'S POLICIES.

Steve says HOW DID YOU BECOME AWARE OF
MARCONI.

The caption changes to "Marc Raboy. Author, 'Marconi.'"

Marc says I GREW UP IN MONTREAL WITHIN
SIGHT OF THE MARCONI FACTORY,
THERE, BUT I DISCOVERED HOW
IMPORTANT A FIGURE HE WAS IN THE
HISTORY OF COMMUNICATION AND
ESPECIALLY WITH REGARD TO THE
WAY WE LIVE TODAY.
BUT, WHAT REALLY HAD ME DECIDE
TO WRITE THE BLOCK IS WHEN I
FOUND OUT HOW INTERESTING HIS
LIFE WAS.
AND THAT REALLY WAS THE DECIDING
POINT.
THAT WAS REVELATION FOR ME, I
DIDN'T KNOW HE WAS A FACIST.

Steve says MORE ON THAT, ROSS KING, WHY DID YOU
WANT TO WRITE ABOUT CLAUDE MONET?

The caption changes to "Ross King. Author, 'Mad enchantment.'"

Ross says I HAD WRITTEN ABOUT CLAUDE
MONET I DISCOVERED LETTER HE
WROTE SEPTEMBER 1, 1914 HE WOULD
REMAIN IN HIS STUDIO AND WORK ON
LARGE WATER LILY PAINTING IN THE
GERMANS INVADED AND KILLED HIM
THEY WOULD HAVE TO DO IT IN
FRONT OF HIS LIFE'S WORK.
I THOUGHT WHAT A GREAT IDEA FOR
A BOOK, TO LOOK AT MONET AS AN
OLD MAN, HE WAS IN HIS MID 70s
BY THE TIME HE CAME TO START THE
PAINTING THE WATER LILIES.
LOOK AT HIM TOWARDS THE END OF
HIS LIFE WITH THE THREAT OF THE
GERMAN OCCUPATION OF FRANCE, THE
HO HORRORS ATROCITIES OF THE
FIRST WORLD WAR ET CETERA AND
UNPICK THEM, REVERSE ENGINEER
THE WATER LILY PAINTINGS TO SEE
WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN CLAUDE
MONET'S LIFE AND TIMES AS HE
WORKED ON THESE, WHAT ARE NOW
VERY FAMOUS PAINTINGS.

Steve says WAR IS ALSO A THEME IN YOUR
BOOK MATTI AND I WANTED TO KNOW
WHY YOU DECIDED TO WRITE ABOUT
YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCES FROM
TWO DECADES AGO IN LEBANON.

The caption changes to "Matti Friedman. Author, 'Pumpkinflowers.'"

Matti says I MOVED TO IS REAL FROM
TORONTO WHEN I WAS 17 AND IN
1995 I FOUND MYSELF IN A SMALL
AND VERY STRANGE GUERILLA WAR IN
SOUTH LEBANON AT AN ISOLATED
OUTPOST IN SOUTH LEBANON.
AS THE YEARS WENT BY AFTER I HAD
MILITARY SERVICE I REALIZED THAT
THE EXPERIENCES THERE,
EXPERIENCES OF MY FRIENDS AT ONE
STRANGE CORNER ABOUT WAR THAT NO
ONE REMEMBERS HAD A LOT TO TELL
BUS ISRAEL AND THE MIDDLE EAST
AND THE WORLD AND 21st
CENTURY I FIGURED IT WOULD BE
WORTH WRITING SOMETHING DOWN
YOU.

Steve says FIGURED RIGHT YOU ARE IN
JERUSALEM NOW?

Matti says I DON'T LIVE AT ISOLATED
MILITARY OUTPOST BUT LIVE IN
JERUSALEM AND HAVE SINCE 1995.

Steve says YES, MAX EISEN, YOU HAVE
CHOSEN TO WRITE ABOUT YOUR
APPALLING EXPERIENCES WITH THE
HOLOCAUST AND SO MANY PEOPLE
CHANTS OR WON'T GO THERE BECAUSE
IT IS JUST TOO HARD, WHY DID YOU?

The caption changes to "Max Eisen. Author, 'By chance alone.'"

Max says WELL, TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH
I'M A STORYTELLER AND I HAVE
BEEN TELLING MY STORY FOR 26
YEARS, TRAVELED THIS COUNTRY
FROM EAST TO WEST, I HAVE SPOKEN
TO HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF
STUDENTS AND EACH TIME THERE
WERE MANY QUESTIONS THAT THEY
ASKED ME, MR. EISEN, DID YOU PUT
THIS DOWN ON PAPER.
SO I KNEW THAT WHEN I SPEAK I
CAN SPEAK WHATEVER I WANT TO
SPEAK ABOUT, WRITING IS ANOTHER,
A TOTALLY DIFFERENT MATTER, YOU
KNOW, AND I FINALLY, FIVE YEARS
AGO, I STARTED TO WORK ON THIS
AND THE LAST TWO YEARS, I REALLY
PUT MY EVERY EFFORT INTO THIS
BOOK AND IT TOOK ME TWO YEARS TO
FINISH IT AND IT IS AMAZING
WHERE THIS BOOK HAS TAKEN ME
SINCE IT WAS PUBLISHED.

Steve says HOW SO?
WHERE HAS IT TAKEN YOU?

Max says IT HAS TAKEN ME EVEN TO A
YOUTH DETENTION CENTRE.
SPEAKING ABOUT WHAT IS LIFE, HOW
DIFFICULT LIFE IS IN A CAMP.
HOW DO YOU SURVIVE THESE DAYS.
IT HAS TAKEN ME TO THE MILITARY,
CANADIAN MILITARY.
CANADIAN MILITARY HAVE A LOT OF
PROBLEMS WITH PTSD, I HAVE
SPOKEN IN PETAWAWA TO HUNDREDS
OF TROOPS.
AND I HAVE SPOKEN TO PROVINCIAL
POLICE, TO THEIR CADETS, AND THE
TROOPS AND ALL OF THESE PLACES
ARE, IT SEEMS TO ME, WHEN I LOOK
AT IT THAT THERE IS MORE
INTEREST IN THIS STORY NOW THAN
THERE EVER WAS.
AND I WANT TO MENTION THAT I
LOVE THIS BOOK BY CHANCE ALONE
AND IT'S THROUGH THIS BOOK BY
CHANCE ALONE
THAT AFTER IT WAS PUBLISHED LAST
YEAR 2 MONTHS LATER I HAD A
PHONE CALL FROM NEW YORK. AND THIS FELLOW SAID YOU KNOW MY
NAME IS JOSH EISEN, SAID I BOUGHT THIS BOOK I WANT TO KNOW
IT LOOKS TO ME THAT WE COULD BE
RELATED.
SO I SAID TELL ME MORE AND HE
SAID HIS FATHERS NAME AND HE
TOLD ME HIS GRANDFATHERS NAME
JOSH EISEN IS IN HIS 50'S NOW.
SO HE TOLD ME THAT HIS
GRANDFATHERS NAME WAS DAVID
EISEN AND I SAID I KNEW A
DAVID EISEN. HE WAS A BROTHER OF MY GRANDFATHER.
YOU SEE WHAT I DIDN'T KNOW WHEN
ALL THIS THING HIT ME AT AGE 10
WE WERE GIVING TO HUNGARY AND OUR LIFE WAS TURNED UPSIDE DOWN
I HAD NO IDEA THAT MY GRANDFATHER HAD 7 SIBLINGS
5 OF THEM IMMIGRATED TO THE
UNITED STATES
AND THIS DAVID EISEN, JOSH'S GRANDFATHER, HE WAS AN AMERICAN
CITIZEN, HE WENT BACK TO HUNGARY IN THE 20'S AND HE STARTED A
WINERY BUSINESS. SO JOSH CAME TO
SEE ME, 2 DAYS LATER HE WAS IN
TORONTO, AND WE HAVE SUCH AN AMAZING CHEMISTRY.
WE ARE RELATED, WE HAVE THE SAME
GREAT GRANDFATHER.
SO IT'S A VERY HAPPY BI PRODUCT
AND 2 MONTHS AGO I RECEIVED ANOTHER CALL FROM NEW HAMSHIRE
A LADY MARY ELLEN COOPER EISENER
SO THE EISENS, SOME OF THEM
CHANGED THEIR NAME TO EISENER
SO THERE'S A VERY LARGE FAMILY HERE AND I GOT A FAMILY TREE
THAT I WAS NEVER ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THAT MY GRANDFATHER
HAD ANY SIBLINGS, I HAD NO IDEA

Steve says FOR THE THREE OF YOU WHO
WROTE MEMOIRES THE NEXT QUESTION
WILL BE OBVIOUS, YOU ARE
OBVIOUSLY BEST-POSITIONED TO
WRITE YOUR OWN STORY, MARK, LET
ME FOLLOW UP ON THIS NOTION OF
WHY YOU HAD TO BE THE GUY TO
WRITE ABOUT MARCONI.
LOTS OF PEOPLE COULD HAVE OR
SOME PEOPLE DID WRITE ABOUT MARKCONE.

The caption changes to "Delving into a life."

Marc says LOTS OF PEOPLE DID.
LOTS OF PEOPLE TRIED.
BUT WHAT I FOUND THAT THERE WAS
NO REALLY SATISFYING COMPLETE
BIOGRAPHY OF MARCONI.
AND I STARTED TO WONDER WHY THAT
WAS SO, BECAUSE THERE WAS SO
MUCH ABOUT HIM AND THERE WAS A
LOT OF ANECDOTAL OR A LOT OF
HALF-BAKED IDEAS ABOUT MARCONI.
AS YOU MENTIONED IN THE INTRO
WHAT ONE ITALIAN SCHOLAR
DESCRIBED AS HIS UNCANNY
RELATIONSHIP TO FASCISM AND IT
CAME FROM MANY DIFFERENT
DIRECTIONS.
MARCONI WAS A COSMOPOLITAN
FIGURE, HE WAS BYE CULTURAL, HIS
FATHER WAS ITALIAN, HIS MOTHER
WAS IRISH.
THAT IS NOT GENERALLY KNOWN.
HE GREW UP IN TWO CULTURES.
AND AFTER THINKS DEATH, HE DIED
CONVENIENTLY I SAY AT ONE POINT
IN 1937, BEFORE HE REALLY WOULD
HAVE HAD TO MAKE SOME VERY
DIFFICULT CHOICES, I MEAN,
MARCONI WENT BACK TO ITALY IN
1927 AND HE BECAME VERY CLOSELY
ALLIED WITH MUSSOLINI AND THE
REGIME, MARCONI WAS NOT
REMEMBERED, IT WAS FORGOTTEN
AFTER THE WAR, HE WAS NOT AN
IMPORTANT FIGURE IN IMMEDIATE
POST WAR ERA AND IN 1960s WHEN
SOME BIOGRAPHERS STARTED LOOKING
INTO HIS LIFE, OUTSIDE OF ITALY,
IT WAS EVEN... IT WAS DENIED.
IT WASN'T EVEN REMEMBERED THAT
HE HAD BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH
MUSSOLINI WHEN HE DIED IN THE
LONDON TIMES MUSSOLINI LOSES ONE
OF HIS CLOSEST COLLABORATORS IN
ITALY ITSELF WAS WELL-KNOWN AND
NO ONE WAS ABLE TO DEAL WITH
THIS, HOW WAS THIS HEROIC
ITALIAN FIGURE, GLOBAL
COSMOPOLITAN FIGURE ASSOCIATED
WITH DARKEST PART OF OUR HISTORY
AND NO ONE WAS WILLING OR ABLE
TO DEAL WITH THIS.
I SAID I CAN DO THAT, I DON'T
HAVE THAT KIND OF BAGGAGE THAT
AN ITALIAN SCHOLAR WOULD HAVE
HAD TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT.

Steve says ASK THE SAME QUESTION ABOUT
MONET, LOTS OF PEOPLE TRIED TO
WRITE ABOUT MONET IN THE PAST?

Ross says THEY HAVE NOT WRITTEN
BIOGRAPHIES, BEAUTIFUL
CATALOGUES THE LIFE OF CLAUDE
MONET IS SOMETHING THAT NOT TOO
MANY PEOPLE HAVE TACKLED.
THERE HAS NOT BEEN A DEFINITIVE
BIOGRAPHY IN ENGLISH.
THE LAST ATTEMPT MADE IN FRENCH
WAS OVER 30 YEARS AGO.
AND I THINK IN SOME WAYS THE
MONET IS NOT ALONE.
SOME OF THE OTHER IMPRESSIONISTS
HAVE ALSO BEEN SERVED BY THE
BIOGRAPHIES AS WELL.
NOT SURE THE REASON FOR THAT.
I HASTEN TO NOTE SKELETONS
LURKING IN MONET'S CLOSE NET
THAT WAY.
I THINK IT IS ALL OF THE WORKS
OF ART HAVE SOMEHOW OUTSTRIPPED
HIM.
THE PAINTINGS ARE VERY FAMOUS
AND THERE WAS MAYBE A CURIOSITY
ABOUT WHERE HE LIVED AND HOW HE
PAINTED, BUT I THINK THAT THE
NITTY-GRITTY OF HIS LIFE AND THE
SORT OF EVERY DAY LIFE THAT HE
LED IS SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE
HAVE NOT PARTICULARLY EXPLORED.
AND ALSO PUTTING HIM INTO THE
CONTEXT OF HIS TIMES.
BECAUSE ONE OF THE THINGS I
WANTED TO DO IS SHOW OW THE
WATER LILY PAINTINGS, WHICH WE
ASSOCIATE WITH BEAUTY AND
TRANQUILITY ARE WAR PAINTINGS AND
HE CONSIDERED THEM AS SUCH AND
THEY WERE PAINTED FOR THE MOST
PART DURING THE FIRST FOUR YEARS
OR DURING THE FOUR YEARS OF
WORLD WAR I.
SO I WANTED TO SORT OF BRING ALL
OF THIS TOGETHER IN A LAST DOZEN
YEARS OR SO OF HIS LIFE.

Steve says GOT YOU.
I'M NOT GOING TO ASK EVERYBODY
TO DO THIS, ASK DIANE TO DO THIS
AND THAT IS READ THE FIRST LINE
OF YOUR BOOK.
THE FACT IS THE FIRST LINE OF
YOUR BOOK SO BEAUTIFULLY SUMS UP
WHAT YOUR BOOK IS ABOUT.
AND OF COURSE PROVOKES A MILLION
FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS IF YOU WOULD
THE FIRST LINE.

Diane says I WOULD BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO.

The caption changes to "Writing personally."

She picks up the book and reads
IT IS SAFE TO SAY THAT NEVER
ONCE IN MY LIFE HAD I DREAMED OF
BEING IN BED WITH A CONVICTED
KILLER.
LET ALONE ONE WITH HIS TEETH IN
A MARGARINE CONTAIN MER THE
KITCHEN, HIS MOTHER IN THE NEXT
ROOM, AND THE WORD HI TATTOOED
IN TINY BLUE LETTERS ON HIS PENIS.

Steve says OKAY, THAT AS I SUGGEST
REQUIRES SOME FOLLOW-UPS.
DIANE, HOW DO YOU FALL IN LOVE
WITH A MURDERER?

Diane says WELL, YOU KNOW I HAVE BEEN
ASKED THAT QUESTION QUITE A LOT.
THE TRUTH OF IT IS YOU FALL IN
LOVE WITH A MURDERER THE SAME
WAY YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH
ANYBODY ELSE.
BUT THERE ARE A WHOLE LOT MORE
QUESTIONS YOU HAVE TO ASK
YOURSELF, THE INTERNAL DIALOGUE
OF CAN I DO THIS, WHAT ARE THE
IMPLICATIONS OF THIS, I WENT
THROUGH A LONG PERIOD OF
QUESTIONING MYSELF IN RETROSPECT
AS I PUT IT IN THE BOOK I DREW
LINES AROUND WHAT I WOULD AND
WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO ACCEPT.
PART OF WHAT MADE IT POSSIBLE
FOR ME HE HAD COMMITTED MURDER
31 YEARS BEFORE I MET HIM.
SO TO ME THAT WAS DIFFERENT THAN
IF HE HAD ACTUALLY KILLED
SOMEONE TWO WEEKS AGO.
HE HAD... THIS WAS LONG IN HIS PAST.
IT WAS WHAT THEY CALLED A
HISTORICAL CRIME.

Steve says AND THERE WERE SOME
EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH
YOU GO INTO.

Diane says YES, AND YES, INDEED, I SPENT
A LOT OF TIME WEIGHING IT ALL
OUT IN MY MIND.
I WASN'T SWEPT OFF MY FEET IN
SOME KIND OF ROMANTIC WAY.

Steve says IT TOOK A WHILE TO COME
TOGETHER FOR SURE.

Diane says IT DID.

Steve says BUT, YOU KNOW, USE OF HUMOUR
IN THE BOOK I FIND FASCINATING
YOU MIGHT THINK THERE IS NOTHING
FUNNY ABOUT MURDER AND THERE
ISN'T AND THERE WASN'T ANYTHING
FUNNY ABOUT THIS PARTICULAR MURDER.

Diane says NO.

Steve says BUT YOU EMPLOY HUMOUR
FREQUENTLY TO HELP TO TELL YOUR STORY.
HOW COME?

Diane says MOSTLY I THINK BECAUSE THAT
IS HOW I LIVE MY LIFE.

Steve says WITH A SENSE OF HUMOUR?

The caption changes to "Diane Schoemperlen, @dianesch."

Diane says I HAVE BEEN, MY SENSE OF
HUMOUR HAS BEEN COMMENTED ON A LOT.
I HAD A STUDENT ONCE WHO SAID TO
ME I'LL BET THAT SENSE OF HUMOUR
GETS YOU INTO TROUBLE AND
SOMETIMES IT DOES, BUT I ALWAYS
THINK THAT HUMOUR IS AN
IMPORTANT WAY OF GETTING THROUGH
DIFFICULT TIMES.
AND I MUST SAY THE MONTY
PYTHONNESQUE LOGIC OF THE
CORRECTIONAL SERVICE OF CANADA
SOMETIMES ALL YOU COULD DO IS
LAUGH.
WE LAUGHED A LOT.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Podcasts."

Steve says I'M GOING TO TRY TO TAILOR MY
QUESTIONS IN SUCH A WAY SO WE
DON'T GIVE AWAY TOO MUCH OF THE
PLOT OF YOUR BOOKS OBVIOUSLY WE
WANT PEOPLE TO BUY YOUR BOOKS
AND NOT GIVE IT ALL AWAY.
BUT WE DO WANT TO GET INTO
DETAIL, MATTI, THE TITLE OF YOUR
BOOK PUMPKIN FLOWERS IS IS A BIT
OF A CODE FOR A PUM OF DIFFERENT
THINGS.
IS IT OKAY FOR ME TO ASK YOU THE
CRACK THE CODE HERE OR IS THAT
REVILING TOO MUCH.

The caption changes to "Matti Friedman, @MattiFriedman."

Matti says NO, NOT AT ALL.
IT IS NOT A GARDENING GUIDE OR
COOKBOOK.
THE LANGUAGE OF ISRAELI MILITARY
I DISCOVERED AS A YOUNG SOLDIER
IS BIZARRELY BOTANICAL, THE CODE
WORDS THAT THE MILITARY EMPLOYS
TO CONCEAL, I GUESS, THE NASTY
REALITY THAT SOLDIERS HAVE TO
DEAL WITH IS LARGELY FLORAL.
THE AMERICAN MILITARY FOR
EXAMPLE A LOT OF THE LANGUAGE IS
QUITE AGGRESSIVE, SO YOU WILL
HAVE A WEAPON SYSTEM CALLED
HELLFIRE FOR EXAMPLE OR APACHE.

Steve says OPERATION DESERT STORM.

Matti says CALL SIGNS ON RADIO WILL BE
COUGAR OR FALCON AND IN THE
CANADIAN MILITARY OR NATO SYSTEM
IN GENERAL, THINGS ARE SIMILAR
THE ISRAELI MILITARY WORKS
DIFFERENTLY AND THE LANGUAGE WE
SPOKE IN THIS WAR IN LEBANON WAS
A LANGUAGE OF BOTANY AND SO ALL
OF THE OUTPOSTS IN SOUTH LEBANON
HAVE NAMES OF PLANTS MY OUTPOST
WAS OUTPOST PUMPKIN AND NEARBY
WAS OUTPOST RED PEPPER AND
OUTPOST BASIL AND OUTPOST CITRUS
AND OUTPOST CYPRESS.

Steve says DID ANYBODY FIND THAT ODD?

Matti says NOT MADE PERFECT SENSE AT THE
TIME THAT MANY THINGS DID.
IN RETROSPECT YOU REALIZE THE
SITUATION WAS ODD, CODE WORD ON
THE ISRAELI MILITARY FREQUENCIES
FOR CASUALTIES IS FLOWERS, IF
YOU HAVE A CASUALTY YOU DON'T
SAY SOLDIER SO AND SO HAS BEEN
WOUNDED YOU WOULD SAY WE HAVE A
FLOWER.
AND YOU MIGHT CALL IN A
HELICOPTER ON THE RADIO IS
CALLED A THISTLE.
AND WE HAD SYSTEM TO WARN US OF
INCOMING MORTAR SHELLS CALLED
BUTTERCUP.
I DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT MARINE
CORPS BY I DOUBT THERE IS SYSTEM
CALLED BUTTERCUP.
ISRAELI MILITARY HAD TENDENCY TO
YOU'VE PEOPLIZE THINGS USING
BEAUTIFUL PASTORAL TERMS IN
STARK CONTRAST TO WHAT THEY ARE HIDING.

Steve says YOU WANTED TO TELL THIS STORY
OF A SMALL AND FRANKLY WHEN YOU
THINK ABOUT THE SIGNIFICANT
HISTORIC BATTLES IN ISRAELI
HISTORY, THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM
AND YOU THINK IT OUGHT TO BE A
FULCRUM POINT IN HISTORY FOR
REASONS YOU GO INTO.
SHARE A BIT OF THAT.

Matti says BUT IT BEARS EXPLANATION
UNLIKE THE MORE FAMOUS EPISODES
IN ISRAELI HISTORY, 6 DAY WAR,
PEOPLE REMEMBER THESE THINGS AND
PEOPLE HAVE IDEA THAT IMPORTANT
EVENTS IN ISRAEL'S HISTORY
TAPERED OFF AROUND THE TIME OF
THE RAID IN 1977 AND IF YOU LOOK
FOR BOOKS ABOUT THESE EPISODES
YOU WILL FIND MANY BOOKS ON
EPISODES IN ISRAELI HISTORY
UNTIL THAT TIME, AND IN
SEARCHIES MANY IMPORTANT THINGS
HAPPENED AFTER THAT AND FOR MY
GENERATION OF ISRAELIS,
DEFINITIVE EXPERIENCE IN
NINETIES WAS THIS WAR IN LEBANON
THAT NO ONE REMEMBERS OUTSIDE
OF ISRAEL AND ALSO IN ISRAEL AS
WELL, ALMOST NOTHING IS WRITTEN
ABOUT IT WHAT PUMPKIN FLOWERS IS
AN ARGUMENT FOR IMPORTANCE OF
THAT EXPERIENCE NOT ONLY FOR THE
LIVES OF THE YOUNG MEN CHANGED
BY IT BUT FOR THE COUNTRY AND
FOR THE REGION.
WHAT I THINK I SAW OF COURSE
UNWITTINGLY AS A 19-YEAR-OLD WHO
DIDN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT HE WAS
SEEING WHAT I SAW WAS FIRST WAR
OF 21st CENTURY IF YOU
FOLLOWED WAS IN IRAQ AND
AFGHANISTAN THEY LOOK FAMILIAR
AND BECOME MUCH EASIER TO
UNDERSTAND IF YOU UNDERSTAND
OUTPOST PUMPKIN.

Steve says HOW OLD ARE YOU NOW?

Matti says 39.

Steve says ARE YOU STILL IN THE ID IF?

Matti says I WAS RESERVIST AS IS THE
CASE IN ISRAEL, THREE YEARS OF
REGULAR SERVICE IF YOU ARE A MAN
AND CONTINUE IN RESERVES.
THE RESERVES ENDS MORE OR LESS
IN YOUR LATE 30s AND I WAS
DISCHARGED A FEW MONTHS AGO.

Steve says YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO ONE
MONTH OF SERVICE.

Matti says NO NOT ANYMORE.

Steve says WHAT WAS TEXT MESSAGE.

Matti says SAID BASICALLY THANK YOU FOR
YOUR SERVICE.

Steve says AND YOU'RE DONE.

Matti says THAT'S THAT.

Steve says GOTCHA.
AS WE LOOK AT THE TABLE,
MR. DIRECTOR TAKE A WIDE SHOT,
THANK YOU SEE THAT ONE OF THESE
BOOKS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHERS IN
SO MUCH AS IT IS VERY BIG...

A wide shot shows the whole table, all the guests, and each of their books.

Steve continues MARK,
I'M COMING TO YOU NEXT, MARK,
WHAT MADE YOU THINK THERE WERE
700 PAGES WORTH OF STUFF TO SAY
ABOUT MARCONI.

Marc says I WROTE 1,000 PAGE MANUSCRIPT
AND CUT IT.

Steve says AND CUT IT DOWN.

The caption changes to "Marc Raboy, @marc_raboy."

Marc says I KNEW IT WAS GOING TO BE A
BIG BOOK BECAUSE OF HOW MUCH
MATERIAL THERE WAS.
AND AS A BIOGRAPHER I HAD IDEA
WHICH MAY NOT BE SHARED BY OTHER
BIOGRAPHERS CURIOUS TO KNOW WHAT
ROSS THINKS ABOUT THIS, IF I
WRITE A BIOGRAPHY I LEAVE NO
STONE UNTURNED.
I HAVE TO LOOK AT EVERYTHING.
I HAVE TO LOOK AT EVERY ASPECT
OF HIS LIFE, PEOPLE ASKED ME
WHAT IS RELEVANCE OF SPENDING SO
MUCH TIME ON HIS WIVES AND
MISTRESSES AND LOVERS AND
RELATIONSHIPS WITH CHILDREN AND
SO ON.
TO ME IT IS FUNDAMENTAL.
I MEAN, IT IS LIKE A NO-BRAINER.
AND BECAUSE MARCONI WAS INVOLVED
IN SO MANY OF THE REALLY
FUNDAMENTAL EVENTS AND MOVEMENTS
AND CURRENTS OF THE FIRST 30 OR
40 YEARS OF THE 20th CENTURY,
THERE WAS SO MUCH THAT I JUST
HAD TO OR I FELT I HAD TO GET
INTO, I HAVE TO SAY I HAD A
WONDERFUL PUBLISHER AT ONE POINT
I SAID YOU KNOW THIS IS GOING TO
BE LONG, ALL HE SAID WAS TRY TO
KEEP IT UNDER 1,000 PAGES.

The caption changes to "The moral of the story."

Steve says TWO MARRIAGES AND A BUNCH OF
KIDS, FROM WHAT I CAN RECALL,
ALL OF THE KIDS EXCEPT THE
PRINCESS ARE DEAD, IS THAT RIGHT.

Marc says RIGHT.

Steve says IS PRINCESS STILL ALIVE?

Marc says YES, SHE IS VIGOUROUS, SHE WILL
BE 87 THIS YEAR.
CALLED ME A COUPLE OF TIMES
SINCE THE BOOK COMES OUT WHEN
THERE IS REVIEW IN ITALY AND
HONESTLY I DON'T THINK SHE HAS
READ THE BOOK BUT SHE IS HAPPY
THAT IT IS THERE AND.

Steve says PRINCESS BECAUSE SHE MARRIED
A PRINCE?

Marc says YES, THAT IS ANOTHER, ANOTHER
BY-PRODUCT.

Steve says FROM WHOM SHE IS NOW DIVORCED?

Marc says HE PASSED AWAY.
BUT SHE WAS FROM MARCONI'S
SECOND WIFE WAS FROM A VERY
ARISTOCRATIC ROMAN FAMILY,
HER FAMILY WAS WHAT THEY CALLED
IN ITALY BLACK NOBILITY, REFERS
TO HOW HELP DRESSED CERTAIN
GROUP THAT REMAINED FAITHFUL TO
THE POPE AFTER THE FOUNDING OF
ITALIAN STATE IN 1870 AND SO I
MEAN, THEY WERE AN ARISTOCRATIC
ITALIAN FAMILY AND MARCONI IN
FACT FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS OF
HIS LIFE IN ROME HE LIVED WITH
IN-LAWS.
MARCONI DID NOT HAVE A FIXED
ADDRESS.
THIS IS AN INTERESTING THING WE
MAYBE CAN GET INTO MOBILE
COMMUNICATION.
I MEAN HE LIVED A LIFE OF MOBILE
COMMUNICATION.
LIVED THE LAST 20 YEARS OF HIS
LIFE PRIMARILY ON A YACHT THAT
WAS EQUIPPED WITH
STATE-OF-THE-ART RADIO EQUIPMENT
BECAUSE HE WANTED TO KEEP IN
TOUCH WITH PEOPLE AS WELL AS
PURSUING HIS RESEARCH.

Steve says FOR THE KIDS WATCHING HE IS
STEVE JOBS OF HIS DAY, SHALL I
PUT IT THAT WAY.

Marc says YEAH, YOU KNOW, HE IS A
COMPOSITE REALLY OF BILL GATES,
STEVE JOBS AND MARK ZUCKERBERG.
HE HAS CHARACTERISTICS OF THOSE
THREE PEOPLE AND WHAT IS
INTERESTING ABOUT MARCONI IS
THAT IN HIS DAY HE WAS NOT ONE
OF THREE OR FIVE OR SEVEN HE WAS
MARCONI HE WAS IT.

Steve says FOLLOW UP OVER HERE, ROSS, NO
STONE UNTURNED WITH THIS BOOK,
YOURS IS A BIG BOOK AS WELL, NOT
AS BIG AS THE MARCONI BOOK DID
YOU TAKE THE SAME APPROACH.

Ross says VERY MUCH SO.
AGREE WITH YOU COMPLETELY, WIVES
AND MISS STRESSES THAT IS THE
FUN STUFF, NO REASON TO LEAVE
THAT OUT.
BUT I WAS CHEAT WHEN I DO
BIOGRAPHIES I DON'T TAKE THE
ENTIRE LIFE OF THE PERSON.
CLAUDE MONET LIVED TO BE THE AGE
OF 86 AND I PROBABLY WOULD HAVE
RIVALED MARK'S SIZE IF I HAD
TAKEN MONET FROM CRADLE TO GRAVE
BUT JUST TAKE HIM FROM 74 TO 86
THE LAST DOZEN YEARS OF HIS LIFE
WITH THE KIND OF OVERVIEWS AS
THEY BECOME RELEVANT FOR WHAT HE
WAS DOING IN 1865 WHEN HE BECAME
PART OF THE IMPRESSIONIST
MOVEMENT, ET CETERA.
BUT I GUESS MY APPROACH IS VERY
SIMILAR.
I VERY HAPPILY READ MARK'S BOOK
WHICH I PASSED A COUPLE OF
TRANS-ATLANTIC FLIGHTS VERY
PLEASINGLY READING IT AND I
THINK OUR STYLES ARE QUITE
SIMILAR INSOFAR IT IS MATTER OF
DIGGING DOWN AND GETTING BOTH
THE NITTY-GRITTY OF EVERY DAY
LIFE AND ALSO TRYING TO PLACE
THEM WITHIN THE LARGER CONTEXT
OF THE CURRENT THOUGHT AT THE
TIME AND POLITICAL MOVEMENTS
BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL PART OF IT.
NO ONE IS UNTOUCHED BY THAT.
IF YOU AS A BIOGRAPHER WANT TO
BE TRUE TO YOUR SUBJECT MATTER,
YOU HAVE TO TAKE ALL OF THESE
THINGS IN TO ACCOUNT.
THAT IS, THOUGH, WHEN YOU NEED
THE EDITOR TO SAY 750 WORDS YES,
1,000 WORDS NO, YOU NEED SOMEONE
TO HOLD YOUR BACK A BIT AND MAKE
IT BEARABLE RESEARCH IS A KIND
OF MONSTER THAT CAN CONSUME BOTH
THE AUTHOR AND ALL OF HIS OR HER
READERS AS WELL.

Diane says WELL THE SAME IS ALSO TRUE
WRITING ABOUT REAL LIFE.
MY FIRST DRAFT WAS 500 PAGES.
I HAD THE SAME THING.
OF JUST THERE SEEMED TO BE SO
MUCH MATERIAL.
OF COURSE I WAS WRITING ABOUT MY
LIFE.
SO IT WAS IMPORTANT DESPITE THE
TITLE.
BUT WHEN I THINK ABOUT MY
MEMOIRE IS ABOUT A SIX-YEAR
PERIOD OF MY LIFE AND I HAD
TROUBLE KEEPING IT WITHIN THE
GUIDELINES OF PAGES.
SO TO BE WRITING ABOUT A WHOLE
LIFE IS HUGE, REALITY IS BIG.
SO MUCH TO COVER.

Steve says IS IT A BETTER BOOK AT 300
AND SOME PAGES THAN 500.

Diane says YES, ABSOLUTELY, THANK YOU TO
MY EDITOR YES.

Steve says MAX I NEED TO ASK YOU AN
UNCOMFORTABLE AND DIFFICULT
QUESTION I SUSPECT SOME OF OUR
VIEWERS ARE THINKING ABOUT THIS
AND I'M THEIR PROXY SO I'M GOING
TO ASK IT.
THERE IS A LOT OF CONCERN ABOUT
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO STORIES OF
THE HOLOCAUST AND THE EFFORTS TO
EDUCATE PEOPLE ABOUT THE
HOLOCAUST ONCE THE SURVIVORS ARE
ALL GONE.
AND I WONDER HOW MUCH OF A
MOTIVATING FACTOR THAT WAS FOR
NEW WRITING YOUR BOOK?

Max says THAT IS A VERY IMPORTANT
QUESTION.
THAT WAS PART OF THE REASON.
AND BY THE WAY, THEY HAVE NOW
HOLLOW GRAPHED OF SURVIVORS, SO
IT IS BEING PERFECTED, IT IS
ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.
AND.

Steve says ARE YOU ONE OF THEM?
HAVE THEY DONE YOU?

Max says NO, THEY HAVEN'T DONE ME.
ABOUT 1 MILLION AND THEY ARE
STILL WORKING ON IT, IT IS
ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.
SO, BUT, YOU KNOW, I HAVE HAD
CONTACT FOR MANY YEARS WITH
SCHOOLS, SCHOOLBOARDS AND I BET
ON A YEARLY BASIS, 17 OR 18
YEARS, I COVER UNIVERSITIES, SO
HIGH SCHOOL IN TORONTO MARY
WHARTON NOT ONLY ONE HIGH
SCHOOL, THERE ARE MANY OTHERS, I
WAS THERE ABOUT A MONTH AGO.
AND I'M GREETED LIKE THEY
PRACTICALLY CARRY ME IN THE
PALMS OF THEIR HANDS AND I WAS
GIVEN A BLESSING BY THE ENTIRE
SCHOOL BODY THERE AND STUDENTS,
ABOUT 700 STUDENTS AND I HAD A
LETTER FROM MY FRIEND, THIS
TEACHER MARK MOREHAM AND MENTION
THE NAME OF THE SCHOOL, MARY
WHARTON HIGH SCHOOL IN TORONTO
IN EAST END.

Steve says OKAY.

Max says AND HE WROTE ME A LETTER, HE
SAID MAX, THIS PLACE IS NOT THE
SAME PLACE AS IT WAS YESTERDAY.
HE SAID EVERYBODY IS STILL
TALKING ABOUT IT.
EVERY TEACHER, PRINCIPAL AND
EVERYBODY WAS THERE.
HE SAID THIS IS WHAT WE WILL DO.
WE ARE GOING TO MAKE SURE THAT
YOUR STORY WILL BE TOLD TO OUR
CHILDREN, GRAND CHILDREN AND
GREAT GRANDCHILDREN.
AND WE ARE USING YOUR BOOK AS
PART OF THE CURRICULUM OF OUR
HIGH SCHOOL.
AND THIS IS HAPPENING IN A LOT
OF OTHER HIGH SCHOOLS RIGHT NOW.

Steve says I WANT TO FOLLOW UP ON THIS,
MAX CONVENTIONAL WISDOM IS YOUNG
PEOPLE DON'T HAVE THE INTEREST
OR THE ATTENTION SPAN TO FOCUS
ON SOMETHING AS TRAGIC AS THE
HOLOCAUST EVEN IF SOMEBODY WHO
SURVIVED IT COMES TO THEIR
SCHOOL TO TALK TO THEM ABOUT IT.
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE ON THAT?

Max says I CAN TELL YOU THAT I GO TO A
SCHOOL LIKE MARY WARD.
I'M THERE, I SPEAK ABOUT AN HOUR
AND A HALF AND THERE ARE
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.
AND THEN THERE IS ABOUT ANOTHER
HOUR THAT EVERYBODY WANTS TO
TAKE A PICTURE WITH ME AND SAY
HELLO.
SO IT IS A LONG, YOU KNOW, ABOUT
A FOUR-HOUR DEAL.
AND I'M TOLD THAT THEY HAVE
NEVER SEEN SOMEBODY GAVE ME A
LIFT, A PRIEST FROM A HIGH
SCHOOL TO MY HOME, HE SAID, YOU
KNOW, I WOULD HAVE NEVER THOUGHT
THAT STUDENTS WOULD SIT FOR AN
HOUR AND A HALF AND NOT BAT AN
EYELASH.
AND I FIND THIS IN MANY MANY
SCHOOLS AND YOU KNOW SCHOOLS ARE
DIFFERENT. I FIND THIS ESPECIALLY IN THE CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL
SYSTEM THE STUDENTS ARE VERY WELL AWARE AND THEY'RE VERY
MINDFUL THAT THERE'S A SPEAKER
THAT THEY HAVE TO RESPECT
SOME WHAT, I DO SEE SOMETIMES I GO TO A SCHOOL AND STUDENTS ARE
SPACED OUT AND THEY FALL ASLEEP ON THE TABLE
BUT AS IT MAY, THIS IS WHAT I'M
GETTING FROM ALL THIS HERE.

Steve says TEENAGERS WOULD BE A LOT
HAPPIER IF THE SCHOOL DAY
STARTED AT 11AM, TRUST ME.
WELL LET ME GO TO DIANE HERE WITH THIS
NEXT PART.
YOU DID HINT AT THIS EARLIER,
THAT BOTH YOU AND THE LOVE OF
YOUR LIFE WERE NOT TOO PLEASED
WITH THE WAY THAT THE
CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT UNDER
STEPHEN HARPER HANDLED THE
PRISON SYSTEM AND THEY DON'T
CALL THEM PRISONS, INSTITUTIONS
NOW.

Diane says INSTITUTIONS YES THEY DON'T
USE THE WORD PRISON.

Steve says WHAT WAS THE THING THAT UPSET
AND-OR DISAPPOINTED THE TWO OF
YOU THE MOST ABOUT THE WAY THAT
OPERATED.

Diane says WELL THE WHOLE INTENTION OF
THE TOUGH ON CRIME POLICIES WERE
SUPPOSED TO BE IN THE INTERESTS
OF PUBLIC SAFETY.
MAKE PRISON A MORE PUNITIVE
PLACE, HARSHER PLACE.
AND SOMEHOW THIS IS GOING TO
PROTECT THOSE OF US ON THE
OUTSIDE.

Steve says AND DETER CRIME IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Diane says WELL AND IT DOESN'T DETER
CRIME THAT IS PROVEN OVER AND
OVER AGAIN.
SO MANY OF THE CUTS THAT THE
HARPER GOVERNMENT MADE TOOK
ATWAY SUPPORTS THAT THE INMATES HAD.
AND IT SEEMED TO ME THAT IT WAS
A SHORT-SIGHTED DECISION-MAKING,
BECAUSE OF THE WAY OUR PRISON
SYSTEM WORKS, 99 percent OF THE PEOPLE
WHO ARE IN PRISON RIGHT THIS
MINUTE WILL GET OUT SOME DAY AND
IF THEY HAVEN'T HAD SUPPORT,
PROGRAMMING AND THAT... WHILE
THEY ARE IN THERE LET ALONE
AFTER THEY GET OUT, THERE WILL
BE MORE CRIMES.
THERE WILL BE MORE VICTIMS.
SO THIS IS THE OPPOSITE OF BEING
IN THE INTERESTS OF PUBLIC SAFETY.

Steve says DO YOU HAVE ANY REASON TO
BELIEVE THAT THE CRIMINAL
JUSTICE AGENDA WILL BE ANY
DIFFERENT NOW UNDER THE CURRENT
LIBERAL GOVERNMENT THAN IT WAS
UNDER THE PREVIOUS CONSERVATIVE ONE.

Diane says I'M HOPEFUL.
I AM HOPEFUL.
THERE WERE A LOT OF PROMISES
MADE.
MARK GERRITSON CURRENT MP AND
FORMER MAYOR OF KINGSTON MADE
REOPENING PRISON FARMS A
PRIORITY.
THERE IS A LOT OF WORK BEING
DONE IN THAT DIRECTION.
IT ALL TAKES TIME, SOME PEOPLE
ARE ALREADY DESPAIRING SAYING IT
IS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.
AS WITH ANYTHING IT SEEMS LIKE
IT DOESN'T TAKE VERY LONG TO DO
THE DAMAGE.
BUT IT TAKES A LOT LONGER TO
REPAIR AND PUT THINGS BACK.
WE USED TO BE KNOWN AS HAVING
ONE OF THE BEST MOST HUMANE
PRISON SYSTEMS IN THE WORLD.
A LOT OF WHAT THE HARPER
GOVERNMENT DID WAS ACTUALLY
AGAINST THE UNITED NATIONS
STANDARDS FOR THE HUMANE
TREATMENT OF PRISONERS.
SO THERE IS A LOT OF REPAIR WORK
TO BE DONE.
BUT I DO FEEL HOPEFUL.

Steve says LET ME ASK ONE MORE FOLLOW-UP
THAT IS DIANE, I KNOW SO MUCH
MORE ABOUT YOUR PRIVATE LIFE
THAN I FEEL I SHOULD.

[LAUGHTER]

Steve says YOU REALLY DON'T HOLD, WELL I
DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU HELD BACK...

Diane says WELL YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT I
HELD BACK.

Steve says I KNOW WHAT YOU PUT IN THERE.
AND YOU KNOW, I KNOW YOU HAVE
GOT TO BE HONEST WHEN YOU DO A
MEMORY WORRY BUT YOUR REALLY,
REALLY, REALLY HONEST AND I
WONDER IF THERE WAS A SMALL PART
OF YOU THAT WAS A BIT SQUEAMISH
ABOUT WHAT YOU PUT IN THERE?

Diane says SURE, THERE WAS.

Steve says HOW DID YOU NEGOTIATE YOUR
WAY AROUND ALL OF THAT.

Diane says YOU DON'T KNOW THE THINGS I
DIDN'T PUT IN.
SO.

Steve says DO YOU WANT TO SHARE ANYTHING HERE?

Diane says NO THAT IS OKAY.
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I
REALIZED SORT OF AS I WAS
GETTING INTO THE WRITING OF THE
BOOK IS IT IS NOT ALL ABOUT HIM.
I USED TO SAY THIS TO HIM A LOT.
IT IS NOT ALL ABOUT YOU.
THE BOOK COULD NOT BE ALL ABOUT
HIM EITHER, AFTER ALL IT WAS A
RELATIONSHIP.
SO I HAD TO TAKE SOME TIME TO
REALLY LOOK LONG AND DEEP INTO
MYSELF AND, YEAH, IT WAS
DIFFICULT.
BUT I'M QUITE PROUD OF IT.
IT DOES LEAD TO SOME AWKWARD
MOMENTS SOMETIMES, IT IS A SMALL
TOWN.

Steve says EVERYBODY KNOWS EVERYBODY'S
BUSINESS.

Diane says NOW THEY KNOW A WHOLE LOT OF
MINE IN KINGSTON I'M VERY PROUD
OF THE BOOK.
I HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE.

Steve says GOTCHA.
MATTI, MUCH OF WHAT WE KNOW,
PROBABLY ALMOST ALL OF WHAT WE
KNOW TODAY ABOUT ISRAEL IN
PARTICULAR AND ITS NEIGHBOURS IN
GENERAL AND THE WAY THEY EITHER
DO OR DO NOT GET ALONG IS FROM
THE NEWS MEDIA.
AND I JUST WANTED TO ASK YOU, I
MEAN, YOU HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT A
CERTAIN PLACE AND TIME IN MIDDLE
EASTERN HISTORY.
DO WE HAVE THE WRONG IMPRESSION
IN YOUR VIEW OF ALL OF WHAT IS
GOING ON OVER THERE?

Matti says IF I HAVE TO ANSWER WITH ONE
WORD I WOULD SAY YES.

Steve says YOU HAVE TO ANSWER WITH MORE
THAN ONE WORD.

Matti says IN THAT CASE THE STORY OF
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE MIDDLE
EAST RIGHT NOW AND WHAT HAS BEEN
HAPPENING IN THE MIDDLE EAST
OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF DECADES
IS SO INCREDIBLY COMPLICATED
THAT THE CHALLENGE OF BOILING IT
DOWN TO 800 WORD NEWS STORY OR
90 SECOND TV SPOT OR A TWEET IS
IMPOSSIBLE.
SO PEOPLE ARE GETTING SERIES OF
LARGELY I THINK SIMPLISTIC
IMPRESSIONS FROM THE MIDDLE EAST
THAT TEND NOT TO BE HELPFUL IN
TERMS OF PUTTING TOGETHER A
PICTURE OF WHAT IS GOING ON.
FOR EXAMPLE, ISRAEL STORY IS
LARGELY REPORTED AS IF IT HAD
NOTHING TO WITH THE SYRIA STORY.
AND EVEN THOUGH THE DRIVE FROM
WEST BANK TO SYRIAN BORDER IS
ABOUT 90 MINUTES DRIVE.
SO OF COURSE THOSE STORIES ARE
LINKED AND ISRAEL HAS A BORDER
WITH EGYPT AND ISIS IS WITHIN A
FEW HOURS DRIVE OF MY HOUSE AND
ALL PART OF ONE VERY, VERY
COMPLICATED STORY THAT PEOPLE
ARE GETTING IN SIMPLE LIFT
IRRELEVANT BINARY TIDBITS THAT
COULD NOT ADD UP TO COHERENT
PICTURE IT IS HARD TO UNDERSTAND
WHAT IS GOING ON WHICH IS
IMPLICATED AND EVEN THOSE OF US
WHO LIVE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
GRAPPLE WITH IT AND FIND IT
DIFFICULT AND TO EXPLAIN TO IT
PEOPLE WHO ARE FAR AWAY IT IS A
TOUGH JOB AND MOST DON'T DO IT
VERY WELL.

Steve says HELP WITH US THE COMPETING
NARRATIVES.
NARRATIVE NUMBER ONE ISRAEL ON
ITS WAY TO BECOMING APARTHEID
SOCIETY BECAUSE OF THE WAY IT IS
TREATING PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
UNDER ITS CONTROL ISRAEL IS
SMALL BEACON OF DEMRY SURROUNDED
BY 300 MILLION ANGRY ARABS TO
WIPE IT OFF THE MAP.

Matti says BOTH OF THOSE NARRATIVES ARE
KIND OF TWEETS IF YOU KNOW WAY
MEAN.
LIVE IN ISRAEL AND THE MIDDLE
EAST AND TRY TO PUT THE WHOLE
PICTURE TOGETHER YOU WILL FIND
SOMETHING THAT DOESN'T FIT INTO
EITHER AND SOMETHING THAT YOU
MIGHT BE ABLE TO CONDENSE INTO
3,000 TWEETS.
OR ABOUT THE SIZE OF MARC'S
BIOGRAPHY OF MARCONI.
THE FACTS IS THAT THE MIDDLE
EAST, NEEDS TO BE SEEN AS A
WHOLE.
IT IS A REGION, UNDERGOING
CERTAIN UNFORTUNATE CURRENTSES
OF COURSE IN SYRIA, HALF A
MILLION PEOPLE DEAD IN FIVE
YEARS AND MORE PEOPLE DISPLACED
IN SYRIA THAN ARE STILL IN THEIR
HOMES IN SYRIA ALL OF THAT GOING
ON A FEW HOURS DRIVE FROM MY
HOME IN JERUSALEM.
IN SINAI, TWO HOUR DRIVE WHERE I
LIVE ISIS ENCLAVE AND ALEPPO IN
BAGHDAD, THESE ARE ALL IN A
DAY'S DRIVE WHEREOF I LIVE.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Podcasts."

Steve says IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN THERE
YOU CAN NOT APPRECIATE HOW CLOSE
TOGETHER THINGS ARE.

Matti says PEOPLE DON'T APPRECIATE HOW
CLOSE TOGETHER AND HOW CONNECTED
EVERYTHING IS.
TRY TO VIEW THE
ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT IN
ISOLATION YOU REACH A SERIES OF
MISTAKEN CONCLUSIONS HAVE YOU
EVER HEARD OF THE AMERICA ITALY
WAR OF 1944?

Steve says NO.

Matti says RIGHT.
AMERICAN SOLDIERS WERE FIGHTING
AND DYING IN ITALY IN 1944.
IF YOU TRY TO UNDERSTAND
AMERICAN ITALIAN WAR YOU WON'T
GET FAR IT WAS CALLED SECOND
WORLD WAR AND UNDERSTAND WHY
AMERICANS ARE DYING IN ITALY IN
1944 UNDERSTAND PEARL HARBOUR
WHICH HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH
ITALIANS AND UNDERSTAND DOZENS
ARE GLOBAL ACTORS MOVING IN A
PICTURE AND ONCE YOU UNDERSTAND
ACTORS YOU UNDERSTAND WHY THE
AMERICANS ARE IN IT REAL.
ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN THINGS IS
SIM ALREADY UNDERSTAND RUSSIANS
AMERICANS ADECIDIS AND AMERICANS
AND ASSAD REGIME AND MILITARY
REGIME IN EGYPT AND HAMAS AND
ISLAMIC JIHAD YOU UNDERSTAND WHY
ISRAELIS AND PALESTINIANS HAVE A
CONFLICT THEY WANT WORK OUT.
TRY TO UNDERSTAND IN IT
ISOLATION YOU CAN NOT GET FAR
AND IT CAN NOT BE CONDENSED IN
TO A TWEET OR ARTICLE.

Steve says ROSS, THE MAN THAT YOU HAVE
WRITTEN ABOUT IS ONE OF THE MOST
IMPACTFUL ARTISTS IN THE HIS ORE
OF THE WORLD.
IN YOUR VIEW, WOULD IT BE
POSSIBLE FOR ANOTHER ARTIST TO
COME ALONG TAKE AND HAVE THE
KIND OF IMPACT THAT YOUR GUY HAD
ALL OF THOSE YEARS AGO?

Ross says NO.
AND IN MANY WAYS I SAY THAT WITH
THE FISH HOOK OF PAIN CATCHING
MY ARM, I THINK NO ARTIST TODAY,
NOT DIMMAN HURST NOT JEFF COOMBS
OR FRANCIS BACON, NONE OF THE
TOP PAINTERS MONEY WISE IN THE
LAST GENERATION HAVE APPROACHED
KIND OF CELEBRITY THAT HE HAD.

Steve says ANDY WARHOL?
MAYBE ONE THERE?

Ross says CLOSE.
CLOSE.

Steve says OKAY.

Ross says I SUPPOSE HE WOULD BE THE
LAST.
OF SOMEONE WHO HAD, WHO IS
VISUALLY RECOGNIZABLE WHEN HE
WALKED DOWN THE STREET.
AND I WOULD ARGUE THAT WARHOL
WAS NOT, HE WOULD NEVER HAVE
ARGUED IN SOME WAYS, THAT HE WAS
DOING THE SORT OF WORK THAT
MONET DID BECAUSE HE WANTED TO
GET AWAY FROM PAINTERLY APPROACH
OF ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST
ESPECIALLY IN IN SOME WAYS DID
HAVE DEBTS TO MONET.
HIS PAINTING WE WOULD SPECULATE,
BUT CULT OF CELEBRITY HE WOULD
BE THE LAST REPRESENTATIVE.
I THINK IT IS TRUE FOR POETS AS
WELL F YOU WENT INTO A COMA IN
1917 AND AWAKENED TODAY, WHAT
YOU WOULD ASK WOULD BE
CULTURALLY WHO ARE YOUR POETS
AND YOUR PAINTERS, POETS
ELLIOTT, BATES, PAINTERS CLAUDE
MONET, THESE ARE AMONG MOST
FAMOUS PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.
SOMEHOW WE LOST THAT, LOOK FOR
CELEBRITY ELSEWHERE OTHER THAN
IN THE ARTS PERHAPS.

Steve says LET ME JUST CONCLUDE BY
ASKING MARC, ASK YOU TO SPEAK ON
BEHALF OF THE GROUP HERE AND
THAT IS, YOU HAVE ALL WRITTEN
FIVE FANTASTIC BOOKS.
WHICH I HAVE NO HESITATION IN
SAYING WILL CHANGE THE LIVES OF
THE PEOPLE WHO LEAD THESE BOOKS.
AND YET I SUSPECT NONE OF YOU
WILL BECOME A MILLIONAIRE HAVING
WRITTEN THIS BOOK.
AND I WANT TO KNOW WHAT IT IS
LIKE TRYING TO MAKE A LIVING
WRITING IN THIS BOOK.

The caption changes to "The life of a writer."

Marc says ACTUALLY I MAY NOT BE THE
RIGHT PERSON TO ASK THIS, I HAVE
A DAY JOB.

Steve says YOU DO, AT McGILL.

Marc says I THINK THAT IT MUST BE VERY,
VERY DIFFICULT.
I MEAN, THERE ARE SOME WONDERFUL
PROGRAMS IN CANADA LIKE THE
PAYMENT FOR PUBLIC LENDING
RIGHTS WHICH MADE WRITERS COUNT
ON BUT COUPLE OF THOUSAND
DOLLARS A YEAR FROM THAT.
AND AGAIN I WAS FORTUNATE IN THE
SENSE THAT YOU KNOW, BECAUSE I
HAD A GLOBAL PUBLISHER, YOU
KNOW, MY BOOK IS BEING SOLD ALL
OVER WORLD, BUT, AGAIN, NO, I
WOULDN'T LIKE TO BE COUNTING ON
THIS TO FOR A LIVING.

Steve says MAYBE DIANE.

Diane says ASK ME.
IT IS HARDER NOW THAN IT HAS
EVER BEEN.
I PUBLISHED MY FIRST BOOK IN
1984, HERE WE ARE 30 PLUS YEARS
LATER AND I THINK IN MOST
PROFESSIONS YOU CONTINUE TO DO
WELL AND I WON A COUPLE OF BIG
PRIZES MOST PROFESSIONALS THINGS
GO LIKE THIS, RIGHT?
NOT IN WRITING, PROBABLY WORSE
OFF FINANCIALLY NOW THAN I WAS
20 YEARS AGO.

Steve says WHY IS THAT?

Diane says THROUGH NO FAULT OF MY OWN.
BOOK BUSINESS CHANGED, INTERNET
CHANGED EVERYTHING, SO
PUBLISHING HAS CHANGED
EVERYTHING.
SO IT IS GETTING HARDER AND
HARDER.
AND WE DO, AS YOU SAY, COUNT
MORE AND MORE ON THINGS LIKE
PUBLIC LENDING RIGHT, ACCESS
COPYRIGHT THAT IS GOING DOWN
BECAUSE OF COPYRIGHT
DIFFICULTIES IT IS TOUGH.
IT IS REALLY TOUGH AND I AM
FORTUNATE NOW TO BE ON THE
FACULTY OF THE HUMBER COLLEGE
CORRESPONDENCE PROGRAM WHICH IS
NOT FULL-TIME JOB, BUT IT
CERTAINLY HELPS.
AND MOST WRITERS THAT I KNOW
NOW, WHO AT ONE POINT, WE DID
LIVE OFF OF OUR WRITING, ARE
DESPERATELY SEEKING TEACHING
JOCKS AND OTHER THINGS TO
SUPPORT OURSELVES.

Steve says I CAN NOT IMAGINE THAT THERE
IS NOT A HOLLYWOOD PRODUCER OUT
THERE WHO WOULD NOT PAY HALF A
MILLION BUCKS FOR THAT THAT IS A
FANTASTIC MOVIE AS WELL.

Diane says THANK YOU STEVE COULD YOU
CALL THEM.

Steve says NOT A BOOK AGENT HAVE NO IDEA
HOW TO DO IT.
YOU MUST HAVE A BOOK AGENT.

Diane says I DO.

Steve says GET THEM ON IT.

Diane says I WILL DO THAT.

The caption changes to "Producer: Carla Lucchetta, @carrletta."

Steve says THANKS TO ALL FIVE OF YOU FOR
COMING IN TONIGHT AND CONTINUING
TRADITION ON THE AGENDA OF
HAVING RBC TAYLOR PRIZE NOMINEES
WITH US CONGRATULATIONS ON
NOMINATIONS TO WHOMEVER WINS I
HOPE YOU DON'T GET MOONLIT OR
LA-LA LANDED ON MONDAY.

Diane says I THOUGHT ABOUT THAT.

Steve says THANKS SO MUCH EVERYBODY.

All the guests say THANK YOU.

Watch: Non-fiction For The Win