Transcript: Morley Callaghan 1 | Mar 14, 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 MORLEY CALLAGHAN HAS BEEN
WRITING NOVELS FOR 60 YEARS.
AMONG HIS MANY
LITERARY AWARDS,
HE'S RECEIVED THE
GOVERNOR GENERAL'S AWARD,
THE GOLD METAL OF THE
ROYAL SOCIETY OF CANADA,
CANADA COUNCIL MEDAL,
AND IN 1982
WAS APPOINTED A COMPANION
OF ORDER OF CANADA.
HIS LATEST
NOVEL, THE 20TH,
IS “A WILD OLD
MAN ON THE ROAD.”
IN THIS PROGRAM,
MORLEY CALLAGHAN,
NOW IN HIS 85TH YEAR, IS
PAID TRIBUTE BY A HOST
OF LITERARY FIGURES,
AND INTERVIEWED
FOR THE FIRST
TIME BY HIS SON,
WRITER BARRY CALLAGHAN.

The author’s five books appear one next to the other. A caption reads “Morley Callaghan. Canada.” On the top xxx corner of the screen, a paused clip featuring Morley zooms out.

Morley Callaghan sits on a chair. He’s clean-shaven with receding white hair. He’s wearing black-rimmed glasses, a black turtleneck and a blue and red cardigan. He holds a cane.

Morley says FUNNY STORY ABOUT
ERNEST HEMINGWAY.
YOU KNOW, THE LEGEND HAS
ALWAYS BEEN THAT IT WAS
MY VERY GOOD FRIEND
HEMINGWAY IN THOSE DAYS
WHO WAS MY ONLY REAL
ADMIRER OF MY WORK,
I THOUGHT, THE ONLY
ONE IN THE WORLD.
HE WAS TAKEN UP
BY SCRIPT.
BECAME A BIG STAR
VERY SUDDENLY
BY “THE SUN ALSO RISES,”
AND I HADN'T
HEARD FROM HIM -
HE WAS CARRYING AROUND
EUROPE ABOUT EIGHT STORIES
OF MINE AND I HADN'T
HEARD ANYTHING FROM HIM.
THEN THE NEXT THING
I KNEW, MAX PERKINS,
THE GREAT EDITOR AT
SCRIBNER'S WANTED TO SEE ME,
AND I WENT DOWN TO
NEW YORK TO SEE HIM.
HE TOLD ME HE WANTED
TO PUBLISH A BOOK
OF MY STORIES AND A
NOVEL AND SO ON.
BUT HE TOLD ME THAT SCOTT
FITZGERALD HAD BROUGHT
THESE STORIES, EUROPEAN
STORIES I HAD WRITTEN,
IN TO HIM, YOU SEE,
AND SAID YOU BETTER
TAKE A LOOK AT
THESE, MAX.
WELL, ALL RIGHT,
I WAS SHOCKED.
I THOUGHT,
FITZGERALD.
I THOUGHT HEMINGWAY
WOULD BE WALKING INTO
SCRIBNER'S
WITH MY STORY.
I DIDN'T HEAR ANYTHING
FOR - I WAS PUBLISHED
AND ALL THAT KIND - THEN I
GOT A LETTER FROM ERNEST.
AND HE SAID, I NEVER SPOKE
TO SCRIBNER'S ABOUT YOU.
I WANT TO CONFESS FRANKLY,
NOW HERE WE COME TO IT.
HE DIDN'T SAY BECAUSE
YOU WERE ON A ROLL.
BUT HE SAID, THINGS
WERE GROWING GREAT.
YOU WERE REALLY PRODUCING
AND I KNEW YOU WERE PRODUCING,
AND I KNOW THAT
IT'S VERY DANGEROUS
TO INTERRUPT A WRITER
WHEN HE'S GOING SO GOOD.
YOU SEE?

Barry sits in front of Morley. He’s in his forties, with curly dark hair and clean-shaven. He’s wearing a dark blue jacket, white trousers and a light patterned sweater.

Barry says I'LL TAKE YOUR
WORD FOR IT.

Morley continues YEAH, THAT'S
IT EXACTLY.
I GOT THE LETTER, SELL IT
TO YOU IF YOU WANT IT.
[laughter]

A caption appears on screen. It reads “David Staines. General Editor of the New Canadian Library.”

David Staines stands on the stage. He’s in his late thirties, clean-shaven with wavy blond hair. He’s wearing a gray suit, a white shirt and a dark gray tie.

David says WHEN I JOINED THE
ENGLISH DEPARTMENT
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
OTTAWA IN 1978,
ALREADY ESTABLISHED THERE
WAS AN ANNUAL SPRING
SYMPOSIUM DEVOTED TO A
RE-APPRAISAL OF A MAJOR
CANADIAN LITERARY FIGURE.
UNTIL THAT TIME ONLY
DECEASED FIGURES HAD
EVER BEEN CONSIDERED AS
SUBJECTS FOR STUDY.
CALLAGHAN BECAME THE
FIRST LIVING WRITER TO BE
SO EVALUATED AND HE REMAINS,
INTERESTINGLY TO THIS DAY,
THE ONLY LIVING WRITER TO
BE ACCORDED THE SYMPOSIUM.
IT WAS THAT SYMPOSIUM
WHICH I CHAIRED
THAT FIRST INTRODUCED ME
TO MORLEY CALLAGHAN,
AND IF I CAN BE FORGIVEN
ONE PERSONAL ANECDOTE,
WHICH I WOULD
RATHER FORGET,
IT MAY EXPLAIN WHAT I
THINK IS HIS UNIQUE PLACE
IN OUR CULTURE,
AND THE PROPRIETY
OF TODAY'S TRIBUTE.
BACK IN 1977, I TRAVELLED
TO TORONTO TO MEET
CALLAGHAN AND OBTAIN
HIS AGREEMENT THAT
THE SYMPOSIUM TAKE PLACE.
IF HE DIDN'T AGREE,
WE WOULDN'T DO IT.
I MEAN, I THINK THAT
WOULD ONLY BE RIGHT,
AND DURING OUR EVENING
CONVERSATION AT HIS HOME,
HE WAS ATTENTIVE, POLITE,
ANECDOTAL, ENCOURAGING.
HE EVEN ACCEPTED MY
INVITATION TO ATTEND
THE SYMPOSIUM'S
CLOSING BANQUET,
BUT AGREED WITH MY
SUGGESTION THAT
HE NOT ATTEND THE
PAPERS THEMSELVES.
AS I WAS ABOUT TO TAKE
MY LEAVE THAT EVENING,
HE RECALLED THAT HE HAD
RECENTLY READ A STUPID -
I CAN STILL HEAR HIM
SAYING THAT WORD -
OBSERVATION ABOUT HIS
FICTION IN AN AMERICAN
COLLECTION OF
ESSAYS ON CANADA.
IN THIS BOOK, HE NOTED,
THE EDITOR MAINTAINED
THAT BECAUSE TORONTO WAS
NEVER IDENTIFIED BY NAME
IN HIS EARLY FICTION, CALLAGHAN
WAS WRITING PRIMARILY
FOR AN AMERICAN AUDIENCE.
DID I KNOW THIS
BOOK? HE ASKED,
WHICH THAT EVENING HE
COULD NOT THANKFULLY RECALL.
YES, I ADMITTED.
I DID KNOW IT BECAUSE
I HAD EDITED IT AND
I HAD ACTUALLY WRITTEN THE
STATEMENT HE WAS QUOTING.
I TRIED TO SUMMON SOME
SUPPORT BY NOTING
THAT THE DISTINGUISHED
CRITIC E.K. BROWN,
CALLAGHAN'S
OWN FRIEND,
HAD MADE A SIMILAR
OBSERVATION.
NO, HE INFORMED ME,
STERNLY BUT POLITELY.
HE NEVER MENTIONED
TORONTO BY NAME FOR
HE WAS FOLLOWING, LET'S
SAY, THOSE RUSSIAN WRITERS
WHO OFTEN BEGAN TALES
WITHIN THE CITY OF X.
IN THIS WAY, HE
MAINTAINED, AND RIGHTLY,
HE MADE HIS FICTION
INTERNATIONAL WHILE
LOCATING IT WITHIN THE
LANDMARKS AND THE VERY STREETS
OF HIS OWN UNNAMED
CITY OF TORONTO.
AND SO IT SEEMS TO ME
SINGULARLY APPROPRIATE,
AS I SAID AT
THE BEGINNING,
THAT ENGLISH CANADA'S
FIRST FULL-TIME WRITER,
A NOVELIST WHO WROTE
INTERNATIONALLY IN
AND THROUGH TORONTO, BE
HONOURED WITH THIS FIRST
TRIBUTE, AT TORONTO'S
INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL.

[applause]

The caption changes to “Graeme Gibson. President of the Canadian Centre of PEN (English Canada).”

Now, Graeme Gibson stands on the stage. He’s in his mid-fifties, with a moustache, sideburns and receding gray hair. He’s wearing glasses and a striped blue and white sweater over a blue shirt.

Graeme says AS A RESULT, AND HE
SHOULD, CARL KLINK
BECAME MY THESIS
SUPERVISOR WHILE
THE VICTIM OF MY
ATTENTION WAS NONE OTHER
THAN OUR GUEST OF HONOUR
HERE THIS AFTERNOON,
MORLEY CALLAGHAN.
I HAD INTENDED TO
EXPLORE, AS I RECALL,
THE TWO WORLDS OF
MORLEY CALLAGHAN.
BUT IN ONE OF THOSE
MELANCHOLY AND MYSTERIOUS
DEVELOPMENTS, MY THESIS
TOPIC ENDED UP BEING
MORLEY CALLAGHAN AND THE
SHERWOOD ANDERSON CIRCLE.
IN THE EVENT, ALTHOUGH
I READ COPIOUSLY,
I NEVER GOT AROUND
TO THAT THESIS,
I WROTE MY OWN
NOVEL INSTEAD.
IN PASSING, A NUMBER
OF YEARS LATER,
WHEN I FIRST MET MORLEY
AT THE HOME OF AILEEN
AND JACK HARRIS, WHO
ARE LOVELY PEOPLE,
JACK WAS AT THAT POINT
WRITING A MYSTERY NOVEL
CALLED “THE WEIRD
WORLD OF WES BEATTIE,”
OR WES BAILEY,
ONE OR THE OTHER.
THE NAME WAS CHANGED
BY THE PUBLISHER.
ONE OF THEM, EITHER
AILEEN OR JACK SAID,
WHATEVER YOU DO,
FOR GOD SAKES,
DON'T TELL MORLEY THAT
YOU'RE GOING TO WRITE
A THESIS ON HIM.
HE HATES MEETING PEOPLE
WHO DO THAT SORT OF THING.
WHEREUPON THE OTHER ONE,
EITHER JACK OR AILEEN,
INTRODUCED ME TO
MORLEY BY SAYING,
GRAEME WAS ONCE GOING TO
WRITE A THESIS ON YOU.
[laughter]
MORLEY WAS POLITE
BUT EXCUSED HIMSELF
A SHADE QUICKLY,
I THOUGHT.
BE THAT AS IT MAY, WHAT
DREW ME TO MORLEY'S WORK
AS A GRADUATE STUDENT,
MORE IMPORTANTLY,
IT HELPED TO SUSTAIN ME AS
I LEARNED HOW TO WRITE
MY FIRST NOVEL, AND THEN
MY SUBSEQUENT BOOKS,
AND IT CONTINUES
TO DO SO.
IT IS HIS
PROFESSIONALISM.
THE MAN HAS INSISTED UPON
BEING A WRITER THROUGH
GOOD TIMES AND BAD,
AND IN DOING SO,
HE HAS NOT ONLY CREATED
WHAT THE GRADUATE STUDENT
IN ME WOULD HAVE
CALLED AN OEUVRE,
BUT HE DEMONSTRATED
TO ALL OF US,
AT A TIME WHEN IT DID
NOT SEEM SO POSSIBLE
AS IT DOES TODAY,
THAT ONE COULD BE A
FULL-TIME, PROFESSIONAL
WRITER IN CANADA.

[applause]

The caption changes to “Mordecai Richler. Author of The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz.”

Mordecai Richler is in his late fifties, clean-shaven with wavy gray hair. He’s wearing glasses, a dark jacket, white shirt and pink tie.

On the stage, Mordecai says CANADIANS NOT ONLY EXPECT
BUT CELEBRATE FAILURE.
WE HAVE A GIFT -
[laughter]
WE HAVE A GIFT FOR
PLUCKING THE FEET
OUT OF THE JAWS
OF VICTORY.
[laughter]
IF, FOR INSTANCE, BABE
RUTH HAD BEEN A CANADIAN
RATHER THAN AN
AMERICAN, HE WOULD NOT
BE REMEMBERED AS THE
SULTAN OF SWAT,
THE GIANT WHO HIT
1,714 HOME RUNS
DURING HIS LEGENDARY
CAREER; INSTEAD,
HE WOULD MOURNED
AS YET ANOTHER INADEQUATE
CANADIAN, A FLUNK
WHO STRUCK OUT AN
EMBARRASSING
1,330 TIMES.
[laughter]
SO, THIS TRIBUTE
ORGANIZED BY GREG GATENBY
IS NOT ONLY A HAPPY OCCASION,
BUT ALSO AN UNUSUAL ONE.
FOR ONCE WE HAVE
GATHERED TOGETHER,
NOT TO SLAM EACH OTHER,
BUT TO HONOUR ONE OF OUR
PIONEERING WRITERS OF
CONSIDERABLE DISTINCTION.
MY FIRST THOUGHT AFTER I
AGREED TO COME HERE
WAS THAT I HAD BETTER
EXERCISE A LITTLE CAUTION,
WATCH WHAT I HAD
TO SAY FOR ONCE.
AFTER ALL, WE ALL KNOW
VERY WELL WHAT MORLEY
DID TO HEMINGWAY IN
THAT PARIS GYM -
[laughter]
SO MANY YEARS AGO, AND
HOW MUCH MORE RECENTLY
HE TOOK OUT A BURGLAR
IN HIS OWN HOME.
BUT THINKING IT OVER,
I GRASPED THAT CAUTION
WOULDN'T BE NECESSARY.
IT'S A PLEASURE TO STAND UP
HERE AND SAY A FEW WORDS
IN PRAISE OF
MORLEY CALLAGHAN,
A MAN I TAKE TO BE
THE FATHER OF MODERN
CANADIAN WRITING.
A BURGEONING COTTAGE
INDUSTRY, I MUST SAY.
[laughter]
IN MORLEY'S PRIME, YOU
COULD HAVE LOADED
THE CANADIAN WRITERS
OF QUALITY,
SAYING GABRIELLE ROY,
HUGH MACLENNAN,
AND ROBERTSON DAVIES,
AND MORLEY INTO A TAXI-
IF THEY COULD HAVE
AFFORDED ONE.
[laughter]
BUT NOW, WE'D NEED A
CANADA COUNCIL MINIBUS.
[laughter]
AND THAT'S
CERTAINLY PROGRESS.
[laughter]
IN MORLEY'S TIME,
OR MORLEY'S PRIME,
I SHOULD REMIND YOU,
THERE WAS NO CANADIAN
WRITERS' UNION WITH THE
ALARMING POSSIBILITY
OF A GENERAL STRIKE.
[laughter]
NOVELISTS PUTTING
DOWN THEIR PENS
OR WORD PROCESSORS
OR WHAT HAVE YOU,
THE COUNTRY BROUGHT
TO ITS KNEES,
PLEADING WITH US TO
GET BACK TO WORK.
[laughter]
[applause]
WHEN I THINK OF TORONTO
WITH AFFECTION,
WHICH ISN'T VERY OFTEN -
[laughter]
IT IS OF THE MID-'50s WHEN
WE USED TO MEET AT ONE
OF JACK McCLELLAND'S PARTIES,
OR THE PARK PLAZA ROOF BAR,
OR GATHER AT MORLEY'S HOUSE
IN ROSEDALE LATE AT NIGHT.
LORETTA WOULD BE THERE,
BARRY, SOMETIMES MICHAEL,
AND BOB WEAVER, AS WELL,
MORE OFTEN THAN NOT.
AT THE TIME BOB WAS
PRODUCING ANTHOLOGY,
AND ONCE, IF
MEMORY SERVES,
HE LOOKED AROUND THE
ROOM AND VENTURED,
WITH ALL OF US
GATHERED THERE,
OBVIOUSLY NOBODY WAS
AT HOME LISTENING
TO HIS PROGRAM.
[laughter]
I'M TALKING OF A TIME WHEN
SERIOUS CANADIAN NOVELISTS
DIDN'T SELL 20 OR 30
OR EVEN 40,000 COPIES.
BUT WHEN WE HAD PROBABLY
MET ALL OF OUR READERS
AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER, AND
THEY DIDN'T MIND TELLING YOU
WHAT WAS WRONG
WITH YOUR LAST NOVEL,
A COPY OF WHICH THEY HAD
USUALLY BORROWED FROM A FRIEND.
[laughter]
IN THE EARLY '50s, THERE
WERE ONLY SOME 50 BOOKSHOPS
FROM COAST TO COAST IN
THIS FABLED COUNTRY,
AND MOST OF THEM GOT BY
BY SELLING STATIONERY
AND CHRISTMAS CARDS.
BUT I'D LIKE TO TAKE YOU
BACK TO AN EARLIER TIME,
THE LATE '40s, WHEN I WAS
A STUDENT IN MONTREAL
WITH THE DREAM OF
BECOMING A WRITER,
A DREAM I NECESSARILY
KEPT SECRET BECAUSE,
AT THAT TIME, IT SEEMED
TO MOST OF US THAT
YOU COULDN'T BE BOTH
CANADIAN AND A WRITER.
I WAS A STUDENT AT SIR
GEORGE WILLIAMS COLLEGE
IN MONTREAL, AN
ENGLISH MAJOR NO LESS.
COME EXAMINATION TIME,
WE WERE ASKED IF
SONS AND LOVERS
BY H.G.
WELLS, D.H. LAWRENCE,
OR ELLERY QUEEN,
WAS A THRILLER,
PSYCHOLOGICAL,
OR COMIC NOVEL?

A close-up shot features a woman smiling in the audience.

[laughter]

Mordecai continues reading OBVIOUSLY STANDARDS AT
CONCORDIA HAVE IMPROVED
ENORMOUSLY SINCE 1949,
BUT AT THE TIME IT WAS
A PATHETIC PLACE, A SORT OF
LOSERS' FINISHING SCHOOL.
WE WERE TAUGHT GRAMMAR BY
SUPERANNUATED HIGH SCHOOL
TEACHERS AND POETRY BY
GOOD-NATURED BUT INADEQUATE
LADIES WHO FLUSHED AT
THE MENTION OF KEATS.
[laughter]
WE DID HAVE A
COURSE IN CANADIANA.
IN THOSE DAYS THERE WERE
NO CANADIANA TEXTBOOKS.
IN FACT, IT WAS OUR
PIONEERING TASK TO SEARCH OUT
CANADIAN WRITTEN
BOOKS IN THE LIBRARY
AND TO LIST THEIR
DIMENSIONS, NUMBER OF PAGES,
AND WHETHER OR NOT THERE
WERE ANY PHOTOGRAPHS.
[laughter]
I DEVOUTLY HOPE OUR
CATALOGUE IS STILL NOT
IN CIRCULATION ANYWHERE, FOR
AT THE TIME WE FOUND IT
FAR MORE FUN TO INVENT
TITLES, AUTHORS,
AND NUMBER OF PAGES,
THAN TO ACTUALLY
HUNT DOWN THE BOOKS.
I ALSO MADE THE MISTAKE
OF CONSULTING A STUDENT
GUIDANCE OFFICER AT
SIR GEORGE WILLIAMS
AND HE ASKED ME WHAT
I WANTED TO DO.
AND I SAID I WANTED
TO BE A WRITER.
HE HAD ME SUBMIT TO
AN INTELLIGENCE TEST,
A TEST I STILL REMEMBER
BECAUSE OF HOW CUNNINGLY
ITS QUESTIONS WERE PUT.
ONE OF THEM, THE
MOST MEMORABLE WENT,
GIVEN THE CHOICE, WOULD YOU
RATHER GO OUT TO DINNER WITH
A) A FOUR-STAR GENERAL,
B) A NOBEL PRIZE
WINNING WRITER,
C) A HOLLYWOOD STARLET?
[laughter]
I COULD SEE WHAT THEY
WERE GETTING AT.
[laughter]
BUT AS ALWAYS I HAD TO PUT
APPETITE BEFORE AMBITION.
THE GUIDANCE OFFICER,
SHAKING HIS HEAD OVER
MY TEST RESULTS,
SUGGESTED I THINK OF
AN ALTERNATIVE CAREER.
I THANKED HIM AND THEN
ONE DAY I STUMBLED
ON A SHORT STORY COLLECTION
BY MORLEY CALLAGHAN.
IT IS DIFFICULT FOR ME TO
EXPLAIN NOW HOW MUCH
IT MEANT TO ME, BUT LET
ME PUT IT THIS WAY,
FOR THE FIRST TIME
I GRASPED THAT
IT WAS POSSIBLE TO BE
CANADIAN AND A WRITER,
THAT IF YOU WROTE WELL
ENOUGH ABOUT YOUR TIME
AND PLACE, THAT
PEOPLE OUT THERE,
READERS BEYOND CANADA
WOULD PAY ATTENTION.
FOR THE FIRST TIME
EVERYTHING SEEMED POSSIBLE.
MORLEY, A MERE CANADIAN,
HAD PUBLISHED HIS FINE STORIES
IN
THE NEW YORKER
AND
ESQUIRE
AND ELSEWHERE,
AND WAS SOMETHING
OF AN ICON FOR ME,
EVEN BEFORE I MET HIM
AND WE BECAME FRIENDS.
IN LATER YEARS,
WHEREVER I TRAVELLED,
I WAS ASKED
ABOUT MORLEY.
THE LAST TIME I HAD
DRINKS WITH IRWIN SHAW,
ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS
HE SAID TO ME WAS,
WHAT'S CALLAGHAN
UP TO THESE DAYS?
TRUMAN CAPOTE ONCE TOLD ME
THE FIRST CANADIAN WRITER
HE HAD EVER READ WITH
PLEASURE WAS MORLEY CALLAGHAN.
MORLEY IS NOT ONLY ONE
OF THE STURDY FOUNDATION
PILLARS OF CANADIAN
LITERATURE,
HE ALSO REPRESENTS
THE KIND OF WRITER
I STILL MOST ADMIRE.
HE DOESN'T MARCH IN
EVERY PARADE OR SIGN
EVERY PETITION THAT
COMES DOWN THE PIKE.
HE STAYS HOME AND
WORKS AT HIS CRAFT,
AN EXAMPLE TO
THE REST OF US.
HE HAS WRITTEN STORIES
THAT WILL ENDURE AND THAT
YOU WILL FIND AND CONTINUE
TO FIND IN ANY ANTHOLOGY
OF THE BEST SHORT STORIES
IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
HE'S ONE OF THE FEW WHO
HAS MAPPED OUR TERRITORY.
WE ARE ALL IN HIS DEBT
AND I AM GRATEFUL
TO HAVE BEEN INVITED
HERE TO SAY AS MUCH.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

[applause]

Back in the interview, Morley says I ASSUME THIS IS TO TAKE
THE NATURE OF A FIRESIDE CHAT.
[laughter]
[applause]

The caption changes to “Barry Callaghan.”

Barry says LET ME PUT THIS TO YOU.
WE'LL PRETEND THAT WE
ARE BY THE FIRESIDE.
IT SEEMS TO ME, LOOKING AT
ALL OF YOUR CHARACTERS,
THAT IT'S AS IF ALL THE
MALES WERE BORN INTO
A SEASON, THAT IS,
THEY HAVE A SEASON.
THEIR WHOLE LIFE
IS A SINGLE SEASON.
THE WOMEN, ON
THE OTHER HAND,
SEEM TO HAVE
MANY SEASONS.
SO HOW ABOUT IF I ASK
YOU, HOW MANY SEASONS
DOES A WOMAN HAVE
IN HER LIFE?

Morley says WELL, THAT
DEPENDS ON HER AGE.
[laughter]
I'LL TELL YOU ABOUT
WOMEN AND MY ATTITUDE.
YOU KNOW, SOME WOMEN DO
NOT LIKE THE CHARACTERS -
THE FEMALE CHARACTERS
IN MY BOOK.
I WAS READING REALLY A
SPLENDID FULL-PAGE REVIEW
OF
WILD OLD MAN ON THE
ROAD
BY PATRICIA MORLEY
IN
THE OTTAWA CITIZEN
AND
SHE SAID - AND I SORT OF -
I KNOW PATRICIA MORLEY.
I KNEW SHE WOULD SAY IT,
THAT THE WEAKEST CHARACTER
IN THE BOOK WAS
THE WOMAN.
NOW I KNOW THAT PATRICIA
MORLEY WANTS THE WOMAN
TO BE A STRONG CHARACTER.
I THOUGHT SHE WAS STRONG.
I THOUGHT SHE
WAS VERY STRONG.
I KNOW THAT SHE IS
COMMANDING AND COMPELLING,
BUT YOU SEE, THESE ARE
STRANGE TIMES FOR WOMEN.
IT'S VERY HARD FOR A
GIRL TO KNOW WHAT TO BE,
THAT IS, HOW TO SEE
HERSELF OR HOW,
AS YOU WOULD PUT IT, HOW
TO SEE HERSELF IN SEASON.
BECAUSE A WOMAN -
[laughter]

Barry says I'M GLAD I HAD THE WIT
TO PUT IT THAT WAY.
THANKS.

Morley continues NO, SEE, I HAVE FAR
MORE RESPECT FOR WOMEN
AND THEIR PECULIAR HUMAN
CAPACITIES I SWEAR
THAN MOST FEMINISTS
HAVE, BECAUSE IT IS
MY CONVICTION THAT A WOMAN
HAS MORE INSTINCTIVE
COMMON SENSE THAN A MAN.
THAT IS, A WOMAN WILL NOT
HESITATE, EMOTIONALLY,
IDEOLOGICALLY, TO
SHIFT HER POSITION.
SHE WILL AVOID MEETING
YOU HEAD ON AND SHE WILL,
IN A PECULIAR
PSYCHOLOGICAL SITUATION
OR EMOTIONAL SITUATION,
SHE WILL SURVIVE.
HER WHOLE INSTINCT
IS TO SURVIVE.
SO THE WOMAN WILL SHIFT
AWAY FROM YOU AND BECOME
SOMETHING ELSE, SO SHE
MAY ALWAYS SEEM TO BE
IN A DIFFERENT SEASON.
BUT WHAT'S GOING ON
IN THAT WOMAN IS,
SHE'S SURVIVING.
SHE'S ADJUSTING.
THAT IS HER NATURE, MY
PECULIAR VIEW OF IT.
THAT IS HER ROLE IN LIFE
AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN.
IT'S A FORM OF
NURTURING.
SHE IS NURTURING THE POOR
GUY OR SHE'S NURTURING
EVERYBODY IN HER
ENVIRONMENT,
BUT SHE IS SURVIVING.
DO YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN?

Barry says IT MIGHT AMUSE FOLKS TO
KNOW THAT AS YOU TOOK
YOUR STORIES AND NOVELS INTO
THE INTERNATIONAL WORLD,
YOU'VE HAD SOME
REALLY - I MEAN,
THIS IS A PERIOD WHEN,
IF YOU'RE NOT SUFFERING
SUCCESS, YOU'RE CERTAINLY
SUFFERING APPLAUSE.
THERE HAVE BEEN PERIODS
WHEN YOU'VE HAD TO DEAL
WITH EDITORS IN NEW YORK
FOR SOME OF YOUR BEST NOVELS
WHICH HAVE BEEN PRETTY STRANGE
AND PRETTY FRUSTRATING.
THEY WEREN'T
EXACTLY SOULMATES.
IT MIGHT ENCOURAGE SOME OF
THE YOUNG WRITERS OUT THERE
TO KNOW WHAT YOU
WENT THROUGH WITH
THE LOVED AND THE LOST
AND
THE MANY COLORED COAT.

Morley says YOU ARE QUITE RIGHT.
YOU SEE, WRITERS HIT
DIFFERENT PERIODS.
IN THE VERY BEGINNING,
THE FIRST 10 YEARS,
I SORT OF COULDN'T DO
ANYTHING WRONG IN NEW YORK.
THEN I BEGAN TO GET
ADVENTURESOME WITH MY NOVELS
AND I REMEMBER, WHEN I WROTE
THE LOVED AND THE LOST,
I HAD LAID OFF
WRITING FOR ABOUT
FOUR YEARS AND I HAD DONE A
LOT OF BROADCASTING AND
I THOUGHT, I WILL REALLY
TRY TO DO SOMETHING
WITH THE FORM OF THIS
NOVEL AND THE WAY I DO IT.
SO I WORKED ON THE THING
FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS
AND I - IT'S ABOUT THIS
GIRL PEGGY IN MONTREAL,
A RATHER FREE-BOOTING
CHARACTER.
THEN TO MY ASTONISHMENT,
MY AGENTS - BOTH OF THEM
LOVED IT.
YOU KNOW, I THOUGHT,
THIS IS A SOFT TOUCH.
THIS IS WONDERFUL.
THIS IS BOOK OF THE MONTH
CLUB STUFF, YOU KNOW,
WE'RE PRACTICALLY
BANKING THE MONEY.
THEN THE PUBLISHER WAS MOST
INTERESTED IN SEEING IT,
FOR SOME REASON AFTER
AN EDITORIAL MEETING,
TURNED IT DOWN.
THEN THE FUN STARTED.
THEN ONE PUBLISHER,
THEN ANOTHER PUBLISHER,
THEN ANOTHER PUBLISHER.
AND FINALLY WE HAD
EIGHT PUBLISHERS,
ONE AFTER THE OTHER, JUST
TURNING THE THING DOWN
WITH NO ENCOURAGEMENT.
NOBODY SAYING, IF
YOU ONLY RE-WRITE
THE LAST CHAPTER
OR SOMETHING.
NOTHING.
THEY JUST DIDN'T
WANT THE DAMN THING.
AND I REMEMBER ONE
WELL-KNOWN PUBLISHER
IN BOSTON - YOU SEE,
THEY GOT FUNNY NOTES.
USUALLY A READER JUST SAYS,
NO, NOT FOR US, YOU KNOW?
THEY GOT THIS FUNNY NOTE
FROM THE BOSTON PUBLISHER
WHO SIMPLY SAID ANGRY, THIS
IS NO WAY TO WRITE A NOVEL.
[laughter]
SO I WAS JUST WILLING TO
GIVE UP AND THEN FUNNILY
WE RAN INTO THE EDITOR AT
MACMILLAN'S IN NEW YORK,
NOT MACMILLAN'S HERE.
AL HART, WHO READ IT,
THOUGHT IT WAS A GREAT NOVEL
AND ALL THIS
KIND OF STUFF,
BUT WE WAITED FOR
NINE TURNDOWNS BEFORE
WE GOT TO THAT GUY.
NOW, THIS IS THE
WAY WITH EDITORS.
YOU'RE VERY LUCKY IF YOU
FIND A PERCEPTIVE EDITOR
IF YOUR BOOK IS OFF
THE BEATEN TRACK.
EDITORS HOLD THEIR JOBS
AND PLAY MUSICAL CHAIRS
WITH EACH OTHER.
WHEN YOU HEAR THAT AN
EDITOR HAS LEFT ONE
PARTICULAR HOUSE,
DON'T WORRY ABOUT
HOW HE'S GOING TO EARN A
LIVING, HE'S PROBABLY
JUST MOVED OVER TO
ANOTHER HOUSE, YOU SEE?
THEY ARE ACTUALLY GOOD.
I'M NOT PUTTING
THIS DOWN.
THE WAY THE PUBLISHING
WORLD IS RIGHT NOW,
MONEY IS EVERYTHING.
THEY ARE ACTUALLY GOOD
AT PICKING A THING
THAT HAS MONEY
POSSIBILITIES.
THEY'RE REALLY
GOOD AT THAT.
YOU MUST
RECOGNIZE THAT.
THEY'RE SIMPLY NO DAMN
GOOD AT ALL AT PICKING
ANYTHING THAT ISN'T
IN THAT GROOVE.
AND IT'S THE SAME - AT
THE TIME WHEN MAX PERKINS
SUDDENLY ELECTRIFIED
NEW YORK PUBLISHING
BY BREAKING THE DAISY
CHAIN OF PUBLISHING
JUST ENGLISH
WOMEN WRITERS.
THE SAME IS TRUE
ABSOLUTELY TODAY.
TO FIND AN EDITOR WHO IS
GOING TO PUBLISH A BOOK
BECAUSE HE REALLY BELIEVES
THAT HE MAY NOT MAKE
THE MONEY IN THIS BOOK, HE MAY
MAKE IT ON THE NEXT ONE.
I JUST DON'T THINK
IT EXISTS ANYMORE.
MORDECAI MAY KNOW, SINCE
HE'S BEEN HEAVILY INVOLVED
IN THIS WORLD TOO, HE MAY
KNOW EDITORS WHO WILL
PUBLISH A BEAUTIFUL BOOK
AND HOPE TWO OR THREE BOOKS
LATER TO MAKE IT,
YOU KNOW?
BUT THAT SEEMS TO
ME NOW HAS GONE.
MY OWN PUBLISHER TOLD ME
THAT HE DIDN'T THINK
A PUBLISHER SHOULD
PUBLISH A BOOK
IF HE DIDN'T THINK
IT WOULD MAKE MONEY.
DIDN'T CARE WHAT
THE BOOK WAS.
HE SHOULDN'T PUBLISH
IT UNLESS HE BELIEVED
WITH ALL HIS HEART
WOULD MAKE MONEY.
SO I NOW AM MORE
CYNICAL ABOUT EDITORS
THAN I EVER WAS
IN MY LIFE.
TO RUN INTO AN EDITOR
WHO'S SYMPATHETIC,
UNDERSTANDING, WHO
RECOGNIZES YOU ARE
NOT WRITING SCHLOCK.
YOU KNOW, YOU ARE
NOT JACKIE COLLINS.
[laughter]
YOU'RE NOT EVEN
HER SISTER.
[laughter]
THE MOMENT THAT I
WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER
IS WHEN I HAD BEEN ASKED
TO GO TO NEW YORK.
I WAS 25.
I WAS ASKED TO GO TO NEW
YORK TO SEE PERKINS,
AND I'VE HEARD LATER HE
WROTE TO SCOTT FITZGERALD
ABOUT HIS FIRST
IMPRESSIONS OF ME,
AND I HAD BEEN WORKING AS A
REPORTER WHILE AT COLLEGE.
IN THE SUMMER I
WORKED ON
THE STAR,
AND I REMEMBER I HAD THAT
PECULIAR ARROGANCE
OR SELF-ASSURANCE OF THE
NEWSPAPER MAN OF THE PERIOD,
YOU KNOW, THE FRONT PAGE.
THAT IS, I HAD ALL THE
ASSURANCE IN THE WORLD,
KIND OF HOSTILE
ASSURANCE.
AND WHEN I WALKED IN
MAX PERKINS' OFFICE,
I WASN'T REALLY NERVOUS.
YOU KNOW, I JUST
WAS NOT IMPRESSED.
NOTHING IN THE WORLD WAS
GOING TO IMPRESS ME.
THAT WAS THE GREAT
IDEA, I THINK.
SO I WALKED INTO
PERKINS' OFFICE.
HE WAS FRIENDLY AND ALL
THAT KIND OF STUFF.
I WAS NOT IMPRESSED AND I
GUESS HE GATHERED BECAUSE
HE WROTE LATER TO SCOTT
FITZGERALD THAT
AT FIRST GLANCE,
UNPREPOSSESSING, HE SAID.
AT A SECOND GLANCE, HE
SAID, WARMLY AVAILABLE.
[laughter]
WELL, I DID.
THEN WHEN WE WENT OUT
TO LUNCH AND I GUESS
I ABANDONED MY THREATENING

WE HAD A WONDERFUL TIME.
BUT ANYWAY, WALKING UP
5TH AVENUE, HE SAID, WELL,
I THINK I SHOULD TELL YOU
THAT I'VE DECIDED WE SHOULD
DO A NOVEL AND A BOOK OF
SHORT STORIES OF YOURS.
SO WE'LL DO THE NOVEL
STRANGE FUGITIVE
AND YOUR BOOK OF
SHORT STORIES.
I THINK ABOUT NOW I
SHOULD TELL YOU
THAT I'D JUST MADE
THE DECISION.
SO ON THE BASIS OF OUR
LUNCHEON, YOU SEE,
HE MADE THAT DECISION.
WELL THEN, HE WENT IN.
I SAID GOODBYE,
I'LL SEE YOU AGAIN.
WE'LL KEEP IN TOUCH
WITH EACH OTHER.
AND THEN I WENT UP,
WALKING UP 5TH AVENUE,
AND YOU KNOW I FELT
THAT I WAS REALLY
WALKING ON CUSHIONS.
AND I THOUGHT I SHOULD
DO SOMETHING HERE.
AND I THOUGHT,
WELL, I CAN'T.
LORETTA WAS WORKING AND
I CAN'T - SO I THOUGHT,
I'LL WIRE MY
MOTHER AND FATHER,
JUST AS TO DO SOMETHING.
SO I JUST WIRED THEM,
SOLD NOVEL AND
STORIES TO SCRIBNER'S.
I KNEW THAT SENTENCE
COULDN'T TELL THEM
ANYTHING BUT I DID
SOMETHING TO SHOW PLEASURE.
BUT I THINK THEN AS I
WALKED ON A LITTLE MORE,
GOING RIGHT
DOWN THE AVENUE,
I BEGAN TO FEEL A LITTLE
LIGHTER AND I THOUGHT,
I'VE SAID THIS SO MANY
TIMES BUT YOU'LL HAVE
TO HEAR IT AGAIN, I THOUGHT
OF BALZAC'S RASTIGNAC,
WHERE HE IS EXCITED,
LOOKING OUT OVER PARIS
SAID, OH, TO BE FAMOUS
AND TO BE LOVED.
I JUST HAD THAT FEELING
RIGHT THERE AND THEN
THAT I WAS GOING TO BE
FAMOUS, AND I WAS LOVED.

[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: Morley Callaghan 1