Transcript: Marta Tikkanen | Jan 17, 1989

(violin music plays)

In animation, a marble entrance with two columns floating on misty mountains opens up to reveal a small bookshelf. Book covers from the collection flash by, including Cat’s eye by Margaret Atwood and The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie.
The title of the show appears as a book cover with a picture of the marble entrance: “Authors at Harbourfront.”

The Narrator says THE FESTIVAL OF AUTHORS AT
TORONTO'S HARBOURFRONT IS ONE
OF THE WORLD'S FOREMOST
LITERARY EVENTS.
NOW ENTERING ITS TENTH YEAR,
THE FESTIVAL ANNUALLY ATTRACTS
50 OF THE WORLD'S BEST AUTHORS
TO THE STAGE, TO READ FROM
THEIR WORKS AND PARTICIPATE
IN INTERVIEWS AND DISCUSSIONS
WITH THEIR PEERS.

The screen turns as if it were a book page and a male narrator speaks as clips of different authors speaking at Harbourfront flash by.

The Narrator continues MARTA TIKKANEN, OF FINLAND,
CAME TO WORLDWIDE ATTENTION
WITH THE PUBLICATION OF
MANRAPE, THE NOVEL ABOUT
A RAPE VICTIM WHO, IN
TURN, RAPES HER ATTACKER.
IN THIS PROGRAM, TIKKANEN
READS FROM A NEW WORK IN
PROGRESS, AND FROM
LOVE STORY
OF THE CENTURY, WHICH WAS
FIRST PUBLISHED IN 1978.
IT TELLS THE TALE OF HER
20-YEAR STRUGGLE WITH HER
HUSBAND, ARTIST,
GEORGE HENRY TIKKANEN,
A CHRONIC ALCOHOLIC.

A caption reads “Marta Tikkanen. Manrape (1975). Love Story of the Century (1978).” On the top right corner of the screen, a paused clip featuring Marta zooms out.

Marta Tikkanen sits in a chair. She’s in her early fifties, with short wavy gray hair. She’s wearing a dark gray shirt and a big ring on her left hand.

Marta says GIVE THE IMPRESSION OF
BEING VERY AGGRESSIVE TO MEN
BECAUSE I LOVE MEN VERY MUCH.
AND THAT'S WHY I CARE
SO MUCH ABOUT THEM.
THAT'S WHY I JUST WANT
TO TRY TO TALK IN A WAY
THAT THEY LISTEN TO ME.

(classical music plays)

A male host says NOW PLEASE WELCOME, FROM
FINLAND, MARTA TIKKANEN.

[applause]

Wearing glasses and a purple jersey, Marta comes to the stage and says ONLY TWO OF MY BOOKS HAVE
BEEN TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH.
MANRAPE
IS HAPPILY OUTSOLD,
OR UNHAPPILY MACULATED.
I DON'T KNOW WHICH, AND I
DON'T WANT TO KNOW BECAUSE
I HAVE MY SUSPICIONS.
BUT I WILL READ SOME OF THE
TEXTS FROM
THE LOVE STORY OF
THE CENTURY, TRANSLATED
BY STINA KATCHADOURIAN.
She reads “I LOVE YOU SO
IMMENSELY, YOU SAID.
NO ONE HAS EVER BEEN
ABLE TO LOVE LIKE ME.
I HAVE BUILT A PYRAMID
OF MY LOVE, YOU SAID.
I HAVE PLACED YOU ON A
PEDESTAL, HIGH ABOVE THE CLOUDS.
THIS IS THE LOVE STORY
OF THE CENTURY, YOU SAID.
IT WILL LAST FOREVER.
IN ETERNITY, IT WILL
BE ADMIRED, YOU SAID.
I HAD DIFFICULTY SLEEPING,
THE FIRST 730 NIGHTS.
AFTER, I'D REALIZED HOW
IMMENSELY YOU LOVE YOUR LOVE.
YOU'RE ASKING ME,
WHAT YOU MEAN TO ME?
AND SUDDENLY, IT SEEMS
DIFFICULT FOR ME TO ANSWER.
YOU WERE MY YEARNING
TO TAKE AND TO GIVE.
ONE SINGLE HUGE ANSWER
TO MY NEED TO BE NEEDED.
YOU WERE THE ONE I WANTED
TO STAND EQUAL WITH,
AND TO HAVE CONFIDENCE IN.
THE ONE I WANTED TO TRUST
AND NEVER LET DOWN,
WHATEVER HAPPENED.
YOU WERE A CHALLENGE, SO
ENORMOUS, IT SEEMED INEVITABLE.
YOU WERE A TASK WHICH
WAS TOO DIFFICULT,
AND THEREFORE, NECESSARY.
AND YOU WERE THE ONE I WANTED
MY CHILDREN TO BE LIKE.
YOU WERE EVERY POSSIBILITY
AND DEVELOPMENT AND FUTURE.
YOU WERE MUTUAL STRUGGLE, AND
THE IMPOSSIBLE HOPE FOR CHANGE.
YOU WERE FATHOMLESS, AND I
WAS FATHOMLESS, AND WE WOULD
DROWN TOGETHER.
BUT SOMEWHERE, ALONG THE
YEARS, SOMETHING HAS HAPPENED.
TODAY, YOU ARE THE
PERSON I LIVE WITH.
AND, OF COURSE, YOU
MIGHT ASK WHAT HAPPENED?
SO I WILL READ A COUPLE OF THE
POEMS FROM THE FIRST PART OF
THIS BOOK CALLED
WIFE
OF AN ALCOHOLIC.
THIS IS NOT THE MAIN THEME OF
THE BOOK, BUT IT CERTAINLY IS
THE ONE THAT GAVE THIS
FIGHT FOR LOVE AND FOR LIFE
ITS CONTOURS.
AT FIRST, IT FEELS GOOD, QUITE
INCREDIBLY AND TREMENDOUSLY
GOOD, THAT IN SPITE OF
EVERYTHING, THERE ALSO ARE
PEOPLE WHO SEE BEHIND THE
FACADE, WHO KNOW AND REALIZE.
BUT THEN EVERYTHING GETS
ONLY MORE DIFFICULT.
THEN, THE QUESTION COMES.
WHY DON'T YOU LEAVE?
INNUMERABLE TIMES,
I'VE BEEN ON MY WAY.
IF THIS DRINKING BOUT ISN'T
THE LAST, THEN I LEAVE.
IF HIS MALICE AFFECTS THE
CHILDREN, THEN I LEAVE.
IF HE ALSO STARTS TO
LIE, THEN I'LL LEAVE.
AND IF HE EVER USES FORCE
ON ME, THEN I'LL LEAVE.
WHEN THE CHILDREN CAN
NO LONGER TAKE IT,
THEN I'LL SIMPLY HAVE TO.
AND ALL OF IT HAPPENED,
STILL, I DIDN'T LEAVE.
WHY?

[applause]

(music plays)

Back in the interview, Marta says YOU KNOW, WE HAVE FOR, WELL,
I ALMOST CENTURIES, HAVE VERY
STRONG WOMEN WRITERS IN
THE NORTHERN COUNTRIES.
IN FINLAND, WE WERE THE FIRST
ONES TO BE ABLE TO VOTE IN 1906.
SO WE HAVE THESE
TRADITIONS, ACTUALLY.
THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT WE
COULD SAY WE ARE QUITE EQUAL.
WE ARE NOT.
BUT ANYWAY, WE HAVE OUR RIGHT
TO SPEAK, AND SPEAK OUT,
AND WE CERTAINLY DO.
AND WOMEN WRITERS HAVE A VERY
STRONG POSITION IN FINLAND,
MAYBE MORE THAN IN THE
OTHER NORTHERN COUNTRIES.
AND EVEN IF FEMINISM HAS NEVER
BEEN SO STRONG IN FINLAND AS
IN SWEDEN, DENMARK AND NORWAY,
WE NEVER GOT THAT FAR BEFORE
THE WIND STARTED TO BLOW
FROM THE OTHER DIRECTION,
JUST IN THE OPPOSITE.
BUT, ANYWAY, I SHOULD SAY MAYBE
THAT WE ARE PAST THIS FIRST
WAVE OF WOMEN'S WRITING, THAT
WAS MAYBE I COULD SAY THE
RELIEVING AND THE
CHALLENGING PART.
FOR INSTANCE, WRITING ABOUT
A WOMAN WHO RAPES A MAN.
AND MANY MORE OTHER
THINGS AND TOPICS.
AND NOW WE HAVE COME, I SHOULD
SAY, TO SOMETHING THAT IS MUCH,
MUCH MORE INTERESTING.
THAT IS WHEN WE ARE VERY,
VERY AWARE OF HOW WE WRITE,
NOT ONLY WHAT WE ARE TELLING,
BUT THE WAY OF TELLING.
THE FEMININE WAY OF FINDING
A WRITTEN, FINDING A TONE,
FINDING WORDS THAT
WERE NEVER USED BEFORE.
AND SOMEBODY PUT IT VERY
BEAUTIFULLY ONCE IN A SEMINAR,
WE HAVE THESE SEMINARS
TOGETHER FOR NORTHERN
WOMEN AUTHORS.
A WOMAN FROM
ICELAND, HELGA KRESS,
SAID THAT WE ARE GOING OUT
INTO THE WILDERNESS, TRYING
TO FIND OUR WAY, WHERE THERE
ARE NO PATHS FOR US TO GO.
AND THAT IS, I THINK,
WHAT WE ARE DOING NOW.
WE ARE TRYING TO FIND A NEW
RHYTHM, NEW WORDS, NEW STYLE,
A FORM THAT HASN'T
BEEN THERE BEFORE.
AND IT'S VERY,
VERY INTERESTING.

Standing on the stage, Marta says IN SCANDINAVIA, YOU KNOW, AND
MAYBE ESPECIALLY IN FINLAND,
WE HAVE GOT THIS
PROBLEM OF ALCOHOL.
AND THERE ARE QUITE MANY
BOOKS, ESPECIALLY IN FINLAND,
WRITTEN ABOUT
ALCOHOL PROBLEMS.
BUT FOR SOME REASON, MOST
OF THEM, OR I SHOULD SAY,
ALL OF THEM, ARE WRITTEN BY
THE PERSON WHO SITS THERE
WITH THE EMPTY BOTTLE.
AND THIS POEM THAT I'M
NOW GOING TO READ IS A
VERY ANGRY POEM.
WHEN I HAD READ SOMETHING THE
NEWSPAPERS WROTE ABOUT ONE OF
THOSE BOOKS.
AND THIS IS A VERY AWFUL POEM.
She reads SUCH AN HONEST ACCOUNT OF
ALCOHOLISM, SAY THE WISE MEN
IN THE BOOK REVIEW SECTIONS.
STRANGE THAT NONE OF THEM FEEL
THERE IS SOMETHING MISSING.
LIKE THE SMELLS, FOR EXAMPLE.
THE SHARP PENETRATING BRANDY
SMELL THAT STABS YOU IN THE
GUT AS SOON AS YOU
COME THROUGH THE DOOR.
THE LUKEWARM BULGING STENCH
OF COGNAC, DILUTED BY GASTRIC
JUICES, WHEN YOU'VE
VOMITED IT ALL UP.
ROUGH RED WINE INK, WHITE
WINE BELCH, SWEET SLUSH OF
SHERRY, GOOEY VERMOUTH, BUT
MOST DISGUSTING OF ALL,
THE SMELL OF PUTRID HOPS YOU
BREATHE OVER ME, WHEN FOR THE
5,000th TIME, YOU THINK BEER
ENHANCES YOUR SEXUAL POWER.
THE SMELL OF RANCID DREGS
HOVERING ABOVE EVERYTHING IN
THE BEDROOM, AFTER YOU HAVE
PASSED OUT WITH YOUR CLOTHES
ON, ACROSS BOTH BEDS.
THE SALIVA THAT BEER BROWN
RUNS DOWN ACROSS YOUR CHIN.
THE DIARRHEA THAT FOLLOWS
WITHOUT FAIL, CAN BE FELT IN
THE HOUSE FOR SEVERAL DAYS,
ALONG WITH THAT GASTRIC PURGE,
WHICH MAKES YOUR
TEETH SO WHITE.
JUST THAT.
JUST THE SMELLS.

[applause]

(music plays)

Marta says OF COURSE YOU COULDN'T COMPARE
THE WOMEN OF INDIA WITH
SCANDINAVIAN WOMEN
BECAUSE OUR POSITION IS
SO MUCH DIFFERENT.
BUT, ANYWAY, I THINK ANY OF US
SITTING HERE HAVE SOME SORT
OF THE SAME RESPONSIBILITY.
JUST BECAUSE WE HAVE HAD THE
EDUCATION, WE HAVE THE VOICE,
WE HAVE MAYBE THE STRENGTH,
WE HAVE THE POWER, WE HAVE,
WELL, ALL PRIVILEGES
IN THE WORLD.
SO WE REALLY SHOULD TALK FOR
THOSE WHO HAVEN'T GOT THE SAME
POSSIBILITIES AS WE.
AND I THINK, REALLY, THAT IS
SOMETHING YOU NEVER FORGET.
YOU SHOULD TALK
FOR OTHER PEOPLE.
NOT ONLY WOMEN, OF COURSE, BUT
WOMEN, TOO, AND MAYBE MOSTLY
WOMEN BECAUSE WE ARE WOMEN,
AND MAYBE WE UNDERSTAND BETTER
THAN MEN DO.

On the stage, Marta reads IN SLOW MOTION, YOU RAISE YOUR
HAND THAT WILL STRIKE ME.
MANY THOUGHTS PASS THROUGH
MY MIND BEFORE YOUR HAND
REACHES ME.
THE THOUGHT OF ALL WOMEN IN
ALL TIMES WHO HAVE KNOWN
THIS SECOND,
THE ONE BEFORE
THE HAND STRIKES.
THE FEAR THAT PARALYZES,
MAKING ME UNABLE TO GET AWAY,
BITE, KICK, FLEE.
I CAN'T OPEN MY MOUTH.
I DON'T SCREAM.
THE FEELING OF BEING DESERTED,
WITH NO TURNING BACK, BACK
WITH NO OPTIONS, NOT TO HAVE
STRENGTH, NOT TO HAVE CONTROL,
NOT TO BE ABLE TO DO ANYTHING.
NOT TO BE ABLE TO DO ANYTHING.
AND, FINALLY, THE INCREDIBLE
IN WHAT'S HAPPENING TO US.
IT IS INCONCEIVABLE.
IT WON'T HAPPEN.
IT CAN'T HAPPEN.

Stressing every word, she reads YOU CANNOT HIT ME.
She continues EVEN BEFORE YOUR HAND REACHES
ME, I ALREADY KNOW THIS COMES
TO US, NOT FROM LACK OF LOVE,
BUT FROM LOVE'S DESPAIR.
STILL, IT IS HARD
TO COMPREHEND.
IMPOSSIBLE TO FORGET.
AND THESE LINES, I THINK
ARE THE CENTRAL LINES OF
THE VERY BOOK.
AND I'LL READ THEM
IN SWEDISH ALSO.
[speaking Swedish]
THIS COMES TO US, NOT
FROM LACK OF LOVE,
BUT FROM LOVE'S DESPAIR.
She turns the page and says AND THEN, ANOTHER
VERY, VERY ANGRY POEM.
ONE THAT IS READ QUITE OFTEN
IN SCANDINAVIA AND IN MOST
FUNNY CONNECTIONS.
SOMETIMES, YOU DON'T KNOW
IF YOU SHOULD LAUGH OR CRY.
AT MOTHER'S DAY, AND SO ON.
She reads KEEP YOUR ROSES, CLEAR
THE TABLE, INSTEAD.
KEEP YOUR ROSES, LIE A
LITTLE LESS, INSTEAD.
KEEP YOUR ROSES, LISTEN
TO WHAT I SAY, INSTEAD.
LOVE ME LESS,
RESPECT ME MORE.
KEEP YOUR ROSES.
[laughter]
[applause]

In the interview, Marta says IT ALWAYS TURNS OUT THAT I
THINK EVERY BOOK I'VE DONE
ALWAYS FELL BETWEEN CHAIRS, I
DON'T KNOW IF YOU SAY SO IN
ENGLISH, WHEN I TRY TO
WRITE PROSE, IT'S POETRY.
WHEN I WRITE SHORT LINES SO IT
LOOKS LIKE POETRY, IT'S VERY
REALISTIC AND NOT
POETIC -- LYRICAL AT ALL.
AND I DON'T KNOW, I MEAN, I
DON'T INTEND TO DO SO, BUT I
THINK MAYBE THAT IS SOMETHING
THAT GOES TOGETHER WITH,
WELL, BEING FEMININE, THAT
YOU DON'T WANT THIS, YOU
KNOW, VERY NARROW, SMALL,
PIECES TO CUT THE WORD INTO.
YOU WANT EVERYTHING.
YOU WANT AN ENTIRETY.
YOU WANT THE WHOLENESS
OF EVERYTHING.
AND MAYBE, I DON'T KNOW IF I'M
DRAWING THIS TOO HARD NOW,
BUT MAYBE THAT IS SOMETHING
THAT IS REALLY FEMININE THAN
ALL THE WORLD, YOU KNOW?
LIKE THIS, EMBRACING,
EVERYTHING.
AND NOT ALWAYS HAVING THIS,
YOU KNOW, VERY NARROW THINGS.
WHEN I THINK OF TIME, FOR
INSTANCE, AND THIS LAST BOOK
THAT I WROTE CALLED
RED
RIDING HOOD, IF IT WILL BE
TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH,
COMPLETELY, IT'S TALKING VERY
MUCH ABOUT TIME.
AND I'VE BEEN DISCUSSING THIS
THING WITH QUITE A LOT OF
PEOPLE IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES.
AND IT IS SO INTERESTING TO
SEE HOW PEOPLE ACTUALLY, WHAT
THEY UNDERSTAND WITH TIME.
I DON'T SEE TIME AS, YOU KNOW,
FROM A TO, WELL, WHAT DO YOU
SAY IN ENGLISH, W OR
SOMETHING, U IN SWEDISH.
[laughter]
I SEE IT SOMETHING LIKE THIS,
Moving her hand in the air, she continues GOING AROUND AND AROUND AND
AROUND, MAYBE LIKE
THIS, AND LIKE THIS.
AND YOU COME BACK, AND YOU
GO FORTH, AND YOU REMEMBER
YOUR OLD DREAMS, AND THEY COME
BACK TO YOU, YOU UNDERSTAND
THEM IN ANOTHER WAY.
SO THEY GO AROUND AND AROUND
AND AROUND IN A WAY, LIKE THIS.
CARRYING EVERYTHING WITH YOU.
NEVER LEAVING ANYTHING BEHIND.

Back in the reading, Marta says AND THEN I WOULD LIKE TO READ
SOME PAGES OF MY MOST RECENT
BOOK, THAT PERHAPS IS A
NOVEL, I DON'T KNOW
WHAT IT ACTUALLY IS.
IT'S PROSE.
AT LEAST IT'S NOT POETRY.
AT LEAST IT'S NOT A POEM.
I DON'T KNOW, POEMS.
THE NAME OF IT IS
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD.
RODLUVAN, IN SWEDISH.
AND SO FAR IT HAS NO
PUBLISHER IN ENGLISH.
NOT IN GREAT BRITAIN NOR IN
UNITED STATES NOR IN CANADA.
BUT STINA KATCHADOURIAN
HAS MADE A TRANSLATION
OF SOME OF THE PASSAGES.
MAYBE IT IS A NOVEL, BUT IT'S
NOT A CHRONOLOGICAL ONE.
IT CONSISTS OF FRAGMENTS,
FEELINGS, ASSOCIATIONS,
DREAMS, MEMORIES, ABOUT LOVE,
DEATH, TIME, ALL THOSE VERY
SMALL AND VERY SIMPLE THINGS.
She pauses and reads MEN SMELL SO MUCH, AND MAKE SO
MUCH NOISE, SAYS THE MOTHER
OF LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD.
AND I MUST SAY THIS
IN SWEDISH, TOO.
[speaking Swedish]
[laughter]
FATHER IS SO CONSIDERATE,
MOTHER SAYS.
AND THEN SHE SIGHS.
ONE WOULD NEVER BELIEVE IT, SHE
SAYS, BUT HE CAN GET VIOLENT.
I WAS NOT ALLOWED
TO MOVE AT ALL.
I HAD TO STAY COMPLETELY
STILL IN THE GRASS.
IT WAS THE SPRING
WE WERE ENGAGED.
WE HAD GONE FAR
OUT FOR A WALK.
IT WAS HOT.
WE HAD WALKED WAY
OUT OF THE CITY.
I FELT LIKE SITTING DOWN
ON THE GRASS FOR A WHILE.
I SAT COMPLETELY WITHOUT
MOVING, JUST AS HE TOLD ME,
SAYS LITTLE RED
RIDING HOOD'S MOTHER.
I DIDN'T MOVE AT ALL.
IMAGINE, SHE SAYS, HE KNEW
HOW VIOLENT HE COULD GET,
EVEN THOUGH HE'S SUCH A
CONSIDERATE PERSON.
AND THEN SHE DRAWS
ANOTHER SIGH.
VIOLENT AND CONSIDERATE.
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD, AND
HER LITTLE SISTER, TIPTOEING,
AND TAKE A PEEK AT FATHER WHO
SITS THERE AT HIS DESK,
THE WAY HE ALWAYS DOES
AS SOON AS HE GETS HOME.
THERE HE SITS AT HIS
TYPEWRITER IN THE LIGHT
OF THE DESK LAMP.
THE CLATTERING REVERBERATES
WEIGH INTO THEIR DREAMS.
THEY SLEEP IN THEIR FATHER'S
STUDY, LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
AND HER SISTER.
THE WAR IS OVER, AND THERE
IS NO LONGER A SUBTENANT
IN THE STUDY.
IN THE AFTERNOON, THE DOOR
TO THE STUDY REMAINS CLOSED.
THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO WALK
IN AND WATCH FATHER AND
DISTURB HIM WHEN
HE IS WORKING.
A CONSTANT CLATTER
COMES FROM HIS ROOM.
IF THEY HAVE TO ENTER, IF
IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT,
THEY KNOCK ON THE DOOR, THEY
CURTSY, AND THEY SAY, EXCUSE
ME FOR INTERRUPTING, BUT
COULD YOU SHARPEN MY PENCIL?
NO ONE SHARPENS PENCILS
THE WAY FATHER DOES.
THOSE EVEN, SMOOTH CUTS
DOWN TOWARD THE TIP.
THE LEAD GETS SHAVED
OFF, EVENLY TOO.
ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE POINT
WHICH IS SHARP AS A NEEDLE.
NO PENCIL SHARPENER
CAN SHARPEN SO WELL.
IN PENCIL SHARPENERS,
THE LEAD OFTEN BREAKS.
FATHER KEEPS A PUUKKO KNIFE --
THAT'S FINNISH -- FATHER
KEEPS A PUUKKO KNIFE IN HIS
MIDDLE DESK DRAWER.
HE TAKES IT OUT AND UNSHEATHES
IT WHEN THEY ASK HIM TO
SHARPEN THE PENCIL.
IT IS VERY SHARP
AND DANGEROUS.
THEY MAY NEVER
TOUCH FATHER'S KNIFE.
BUT VIOLENT, HE DOES NOT
SEEM WIGGLING SMALL AND
EVEN PIECES OF WOOD INTO
THE WASTE PAPER BASKET.
THEN HE PUTS THE KNIFE AWAY
AND CLOSES THE DOOR, AND THEY
CURTSY AND THANK HIM, AND
LEAVE, CLOSING THE DOOR
QUIETLY BEHIND THEM.
THERE IS NOTHING EXCITING
IN FATHER'S DRAWERS.
WHAT'S EXCITING IS THAT
THEY BELONG TO FATHER.
THAT YOU MAY NOT TOUCH
FATHER'S DRAWERS.
IS THERE A REVOLVER DEEP
DOWN IN THE SECOND DRAWER
FROM THE TOP?
IN CASE SOME VIOLENT PERSON
WOULD TRY TO ENTER.
SOME
OTHER
VIOLENT
PERSON THAN FATHER.
[laughter]
BUT THEY NEVER SEE ANYONE.
THERE IS ONLY MOTHER SIGHING.
She drinks a glass of water and continues LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD'S
MOTHER TELLS LITTLE RED RIDING
HOOD TO BEWARE OF MEN.
SHE'S NOT TO GO ANYWHERE WITH
STRANGE MEN WHO SAY THEY WANT
TO OFFER CANDY AND LOLLIPOPS.
THERE ARE DIRTY OLD MEN, SAYS
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD'S MOTHER.
AND THEY CAN HURT
LITTLE GIRLS.
THEY ENTICE THEM TO FOLLOW,
AND THEN THEY HURT LITTLE
GIRLS, SAYS LITTLE RED
RIDING HOOD'S MOTHER.
THAT MAKES LITTLE RED RIDING
HOOD A BIT SCARED AND VERY
INTERESTED IN STRANGE MEN.
[laughter]
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD IS
WRITING NOVELS TOGETHER WITH
HER BEST FRIEND, LISA.
THEY ARE IN SECOND GRADE.
LISA HAS TURNED EIGHT, AND
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD WILL
TURN EIGHT IN THE SPRING.
THEY WRITE NOVELS
EVERY DAY AFTER SCHOOL.
SOMETIMES, THEY ARE
WORKING ON THE SAME NOVEL.
THEY TAKE TURNS WRITING AND
SHOWING EACH OTHER WHAT THEY
HAVE WRITTEN.
IN LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD'S
AND LISA'S GRADE, THERE IS A
RED-HEADED BOY BY
THE NAME OF STORBIA.

A view of the auditorium appears.

Marta continues reading THERE IS A SCAR ON HIS FACE,
AND HE IS INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL.
THEY BOTH ARE IN LOVE WITH
STORBIA, AND NOW THEY ARE
WRITING A NOVEL ABOUT BOTH
OF THEM AND ABOUT STORBIA.
THEY BOTH MARRY STORBIA.
[laughter]
FIRST LISA WRITES A CHAPTER.
SHE'S WEARING A WHITE VEIL AND
A LONG WHITE DRESS, AND AFTER
SHE HAS SAID YES TO STORBIA,
THEY LEAVE FOR THEIR HONEYMOON.
THEN LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
WRITES A CHAPTER, AND SHE HAS
A WHITE VEIL AND A LONG WHITE
DRESS, AND SHE TOO, SAYS YES,
TO STORBIA.
I LOVE YOU, HE SAID, AS HE
KISSED ME, LITTLE RED RIDING
HOOD WRITES.
STUPID, LISA THEN SAYS.
HOW CAN YOU TALK WHILE
YOU ARE KISSING SOMEONE?
THAT'S NOT EVEN POSSIBLE.
NEITHER OF THEM REALLY
KNOWS WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.
BUT LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
WRITES, WHEN ROGUES ENTICE
THEE, DO NOT FOLLOW,
BUT RUN AHEAD.
BECAUSE THAT IS ALSO
WHAT HER MOTHER HAS SAID.
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD DOES
NOT QUITE KNOW WHAT KIND
OF PEOPLE ROGUES ARE.
TREACHEROUS, DANGEROUS
CHARACTERS, SHE THINKS,
ENTICING, SUCKING, PANTING,
DANGEROUS CHARACTERS.
WOLVES, LITTLE RED
RIDING HOOD THINKS.
STRANGE, DANGEROUS WOLVES.
BETTER NOT FOLLOW THEM IF
THEY OFFER YOU LOLLIPOPS.
BUT SHOULD YOU RUN AHEAD?
ONE MORNING, WHEN LITTLE RED
RIDING HOOD GOES TO SCHOOL
WITH LISA, A STRANGE MAN
APPEARS BETWEEN THE WOODPILES.
THERE ARE LOTS OF SKY HIGH
WOODPILES IN THE PARK AFTER
THE WAR, AND NARROW PATHS
BETWEEN THEM WHERE LITTLE RED
RIDING HOOD AND LISA WALK
ON THEIR WAY TO SCHOOL.
SOMETIMES THEY PLAY HIDE
AND SEEK THERE WITH STORBIA
AND THE OTHER BOYS.
THEY WALK BETWEEN THE
WOODPILES EVERY DAY,
AND SUDDENLY, ONE DAY,
THAT MAN STANDS THERE.
AND HE IS A TOTAL STRANGER.
AND IN HIS HAND, HE HAS A
RED AND TERRIBLY HUGE THING,
WHICH IS STICKING
OUT FROM HIS PANTS.
HE IS STARING AT LITTLE
RED RIDING HOOD AND LISA.
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD SEES
THAT HE WANTS THEM TO LOOK AT
THAT HUGE RED THING
THAT HE'S SHOWING THEM.
HE WANTS THEM TO LOOK
STRAIGHT AT THAT VERY THING.
AND THAT'S WHY SHE
WON'T LOOK AT IT AT ALL.
SHE LOOKS HIM
STRAIGHT IN THE EYE.
HE WON'T BE ABLE TO FORCE
HER IF SHE DOESN'T WANT TO.
HE WON'T BE ABLE TO FORCE
THAT RED THING ON HER.
SHE LOOKS HIM IN THE EYES.
ONLY IN THE EYES.
UNTIL HE LOWERS HIS GLANCE.
AT THAT POINT, LITTLE RED
RIDING HOOD TOSSES HER HEAD.
THERE HE STANDS.
AND HE IS A STRANGE MAN.
BUT HE DOESN'T FEEL AT ALL
THE WAY SHE HAD THOUGHT
HE WOULD FEEL.
IF HE IS A ROGUE, SHE
DOESN'T WANT TO FOLLOW HIM.
AND SHE HAS NO INTENTION
OF RUNNING AHEAD.
VERY SLOWLY, SHE TURNS AROUND,
AND THEN SHE WALKS AWAY FROM
HIM AND HIS LOLLIPOP.
THE NEXT DAY, LISA IS SICK,
AND LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
WALKS TO SCHOOL BY HERSELF.
THE WHOLE WAY, SHE KEEPS
THINKING SOON SHE WILL REACH
THE PARK WITH THE WOODPILES,
AND HOW IS SHE GOING TO DARE
WALK THERE ALL BY HERSELF?
SHE WALKS MORE AND MORE
SLOWLY, BUT SHE KNOWS THAT SHE
HAS GOT TO WALK THAT WAY.
IF SHE MAKES A DETOUR NOW,
SHE WILL HAVE TO MAKE DETOURS
ALL HER LIFE.
HE IS STANDING THERE, AGAIN,
TODAY BUT HE DOESN'T
COME OUT NOW EITHER.
HE JUST STANDS THERE, EXACTLY
LIKE YESTERDAY, WITH THAT
HUGE RED THING IN HIS HAND.
AND HE'S STARING AT HER.
AND SHE LOOKS HIM IN THE EYES.
SHE LOOKS HIM
STRAIGHT IN HIS EYES.
AND SUDDENLY, SHE FEELS HE
IS THE ONE WHO IS AFRAID.
SEE, HE DOESN'T DARE TO TAKE
ONE SINGLE STEP TOWARDS HER.
JUST STANDS THERE AND LURKS
BETWEEN THE WOODPILES.
APOLOGETIC IS WHAT
HE LOOKS LIKE.
HE WANTS TO RUN AWAY.
HE IS BLEEDING.
HE IS AFRAID.
THEN SHE LAUGHS,
STRAIGHT IN HIS FACE.
YOU ARE BIG, YOU ARE STRONG,
YOU ARE GROWN-UP, AND A
STRANGE, DANGEROUS MAN.
BUT YOU ARE AFRAID.
YOU ARE AFRAID OF ME.
HE'S NO ROGUE, NO DANGEROUS
AND PANTING, SUCKING,
ENTICING CHARACTER.
HE IS NO WOLF AT ALL.
HE AMOUNTS TO NOTHING AT ALL
FOR LITTLE GIRLS WHO ARE
OUT EXPLORING.
SHE IS RELIEVED AND
THOROUGHLY DISAPPOINTED.
[laughter]
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD HAS
TO WAIT MANY YEARS, STILL.
BUT AS SOON AS SHE CATCHES
THE SCENT OF A REAL WOLF,
SHE QUICKLY SCALES THE FENCE
AND TAKES OFF FOR A FOREST
FAR AWAY, DEEP INTO
THE DEEPEST FOREST.
AND SOMEWHERE, WITHIN HERSELF,
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD IS
CERTAIN THAT SHE IS DOING
IT FOR MOTHER'S SAKE, TOO.
OH, SING ME A SONG,
FAR, FAR IN THE FOREST.
[speaking Swedish]
[applause]

She says AND THEN FINALLY BECAUSE
I CAN'T GO FURTHER,
THERE IS NOT MORE TRANSLATED.
She reads WHEN DOES THE DREAM
ABOUT THE FIRE START?
ABOUT THE FIRE THAT BURNS
AROUND LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
AND THE WOLF, THAT NO ONE CAN
CONTROL, AND NO ONE CAN PUT OUT.
NO ONE CAN SAVE THEM FROM
THE BURNING HOUSE WHICH
THREATENS TO COLLAPSE ON
TOP OF THEM EVERY SECOND.
THE WHOLE HOUSE IS IN FLAMES,
AND THE WOLF REFUSES TO SEE IT.
REFUSES TO LET THEM ESCAPE
FROM IT AS LONG AS IT MIGHT
STILL BE POSSIBLE.
HE REFUSES TO SEE THE DANGER
THAT IS THREATENING THEM.
LITTLE RED RIDING
HOOD PLEADS AND BEGS.
SHE CRIES AND IMPLORES.
SHE SCREAMS AND THREATENS
AND SHOUTS AT HIM, SOBS AND
CRIES, WHIPS HIM
AND BITES HIM.
FINALLY, WHISPERS TO HIM,
DEEPEST DOWN IN HIS DREAMS,
DOESN'T REACH HIM.
THE WOLF DOESN'T HEAR HER.
DOESN'T BELIEVE HER.
DOESN'T WANT TO LISTEN TO HER.
FINALLY, DOESN'T EVEN SEE HER,
BUT SEES A MONSTER, SHOWING
ITS TEETH, AND
SINGING FALSE SONGS.
SHE WANTS TO TEAR OFF HIS
GLASSES SO HE'LL SEE AGAIN,
AND HEAR.
SHAKES HIM AND PULLS
HIM, AS LONG AS SHE CAN.
WRENCHES HIM SOME MORE.
BUT ONE DAY, SHE FEELS THE
FLAMES LICKING HER, THE
HOWLING OF THE BLAZE
RIGHT NEXT TO THEM.
THAT'S WHEN SHE SWEEPS HER
CUBS INTO BLANKETS, AND THROWS
HERSELF OUT OF THE BURNING
HOUSE, WITH THE CUBS IN HER
ARMS, THE FIRE HOWLING
ALL AROUND HER.
THE WOLF REMAINS INSIDE,
AND BURNS TO ASHES.
THE HOUSE CAVES IN AROUND
HIM AND BURIES HIM UNDER THE
RUINS OF WHAT USED TO BE.
FOR A LONG TIME, AND FAR FROM
THERE, LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
AND THE CUBS LIE COMPLETELY
STILL IN THE DAMP MOSS.
THE SMELL OF THE
FIRE IN THEIR NOSES.
SOOT THAT'S SLOWLY
FALLING DOWN.
DARKNESS DESCENDS ON THEM,
AND NONE OF THEM MOVES.
ALL THE DREAMS THEY DREAM ARE
COVERED BY DEEP, WHITE SNOW,
AS THE YEARS ARE PASSING BY.
THANK YOU.

[applause]

(classical music plays)

The end credits roll.

Produced and Directed by Tracey Fisher.

Executive Producer, Michael Vaughan.

A Production of TV Ontario.

Copyright The Ontario Educational Communications Authority 1988.

Watch: Marta Tikkanen