Transcript: Imprint season 12 episode 9 | Nov 22, 2000

Tina Srebotnjak stands in a studio with pieces of art in red and orange hanging in the background.
She’s in her late thirties, with short chestnut hair and bangs. She’s wearing a shiny brown blazer.

She says HELLO, I'M TINA
SREBOTNJAK, PACK YOUR BAGS
BECAUSE TONIGHT “IMPRINT.”
GOES INTERNATIONAL.
FROM PARIS TO THE MOON, ADAM GOPNICK.

A picture of the book appears briefly, and then Adam is interviewed on the street.

He says WE ALL THINK OF PARIS AS
BEING THE MOST EROTIC,
ROMANTIC, ALL OF THAT, BUT
THE TRUTH IS PARIS IS ALSO
THE MOST -- IT LEGISLATED
FAIRLY WELL.
YOU CAN'T GO INTO A PARK
WITHOUT HAVING TO READ 150
THINGS ARE YOU NOT ALLOWED
TO DO IN THE PARK.

Now another book appears and Tina says THE CASE OF
Dr. SACHS, FRENCH WRITER AND
DOCTOR MARTIN WINCKLER ON
MEDICINE AND LOVE.

Martin says WHEN I WAS IN MEDICAL
SCHOOL, SO MANY OF OUR
TEACHERS WOULD TELL US YOU
DON'T HAVE TO GET INVOLVED
WITH YOUR PATIENT, YOU JUST
HAVE TO MAKE THE DIAGNOSIS.
AND THEY WOULDN'T EVEN TEACH
US HOW TO CURE THEM.

Tina says AND A TASTE OF
IRELAND FROM A BORN STORYTELLER.

At a book presentation in Indigo, a man in his sixties says HE REACHED THE AGE OF IN
1987 BRINGING THE PRESS DOWN
ON THEM ASKING ALL SORTS OF
IDIOTIC QUESTIONS LIKE TO
WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE THE
FACT THAT YOU REACHED THE
AGE OF 100.
TO THE FACT THAT I WAS BORN IN 1887.

Theme music plays as the opening sequence rolls.
Fast clips show books and maps in hues of orange and red.

Back in the studio, Tina says
NEW YORK AND PARIS
ARE TWO OF THE WORLD'S GREAT
CITIES AND ONE LUCKY AND
EXTREMELY TAMM ENTED
CANADIAN HAS LIVED IN BOTH.
HIS NAME IS ADAM GOPNICK AND
EARNS HIS LIVING BY
OBSERVING THE THINGS AROUND HIM.
“IMPRINT” GERALD L'ECUYER
WENT TO NEW YORK IN SEARCH
OF THE MAN WITH THE
INTERNATIONAL ADDRESS.

Fast clips show New York city on a cloudy day.

Then, Gerald faces the screen. He’s in his thirties, clean-shaven, with short blond hair.

He says JOURNALIST AND WRITING
WRITER ADAM GOPNICK,
ACTUALLY CANADIAN, BORN AND
RAISED IN MONTREAL, HAS BEEN
WRITING FOR THE “NEW YORKER.”
FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS.
FOR THE PAST FIVE YEARS HE
HAS BEEN BASED IN PARIS FOR
THE MAGAZINE SENDING
DISPATCHES BACK ABOUT WHAT
IT IS LIKE TO LIVE A CHILD
AND LIVE IN THE CITY OF LIFTS.
HE PUT THIS COLLECTION OF
ESSAYS INTO A BOOK CALLED
PARIS ON THE MOON.

Gerald takes a subway.

He talks to an elderly woman and explains
THIS IS A BOOK SHOW IN CANADA CALLED “IMPRINT.”

People on the subway wave at the cameraman.

Gerald says CAN I SQUEEZE IN, DO YOU MIND.

He sits down. Then, fast clips show him leaving the subway. A picture of the book “Paris to the Moon.”

(music plays)

He then interviews the author.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Adam Gopnik. Paris to the Moon."
Adam is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair.

He says PARIS TO THE Moon, THE
TITLE OF THE BOOK COMES FROM
AN ENGRAVING THAT MY WIFE
AND I FOUND IN OCTOBER OF
1995.
FIRST WEEK WE HAD MOVED IT
TO PARIS.
WE SAW IT IN THE WINDOW OF A
PRINT SHOP.
AND IT WAS DONE VERY MUCH IN
19th CENTURY ENGRAVING DONE
SORT OF IN THE MANNER OF
DOMIER.
AND IT SHOWS I TRAIN RUNNING
FROM PARIS TO THE MOON.
AND IT IS A WONDERFUL IMAGE
OF THIS ORDINARY 19th
CENTURY CHOO CHOO CHUGGING
UP A TRACK THAT RUNS FROM
BUSY SMALL PARIS AT THAT
TIME RIGHT UP TO A FULL MOON
IN THE SKY.
IT HAD ACQUIRED, AT LEAST IN
OUR HEADS A KIND OF LARGER,
POETIC SES NANCE --
RESONANCE BECAUSE IT WAS
ABOUT THE ROMANTIC IMAGE OF
PARIS.
IT IS A PLACE WHERE THE
RAILROAD TO THE MOON BEGINS.
AND THAT SENSE OF THERE
BEING ALMOST TWO PARISES, A
PARIS THAT EXISTS ON THE
EARTH WHERE, YOU KNOW,
HARRIED MOTHERS AND FATHERS
CHASE CHILDREN ON STATION
PLATFORMS AND THERE BEING
ANOTHER PARIS THAT IS IN
KIND OF DIRECT COMMUNICATION
WITH THE CELESTIAL ELEMENTS
OF LIFE, THAT IS SORT OF THE
SUBJECT OF THE BOOK.
ABOUT THOSE TWO PARISES, THE
PARIS THAT EXISTS IN THE
MOON OF OUR IMAGINATION, THE
PARIS THAT EXISTS ON THE
GROUND OF OUR REALITY.

He reads from his book and says
WE LOVE PARIS AND THE
NOSTALGIA BUT BECAUSE WE
LOVE THE LOOK OF LIGHT ON
THINGS AS OPPOSED FROM THING,
THE WORLD REDUCED TO IMAGES,
RADIATING FROM SCREEN.
PARIS WAS THE SITE OF THE
MOST BEAUTIFUL COMMONPLACE
CIVILIZATION THERE HAS EVER BEEN.
CAFE, BRASSERIE, PARKS,
LIGHTS ON THE BOULEVARD,
DEPARTMENT STORES WITH
SKYLIGHTS AND WINDOWS LIKE
DOORS EVERYWHERE YOU LOOK.
IF IT IS NOT SOME OF WOUNDED,
ALL CIVILIZATIONS ARE THAT,
HISTORY WOUNDS US ALL, AS
CHASTENED AND OVERLOUD AT
TIMES IN ITS OWN DEFENCE T
NONETHELESS GOES ON.

Gerald says DID IT HAPPEN TWICE FOR YOU,
BEING AN EXPATRIOT COMING
FIRST FROM CANADA TO NEW YORK.

Tina says YES, ABSOLUTELY.
THAT IS VERY TRUE AND IN
FACT, IT WAS ONE OF THE
THINGS THAT DROVE US TO
PARIS, IN FACT.
WE HAD COME FROM CANADA TO
NEW YORK.
AND THERE WAS -- YOU KNOW, I
HAVE'S THERE THAT NAV TEE IS
A USEFUL EMOTION FOR WRITERS
BUT IT IS A KIND OF CAPITAL
SUM REDUCED BY EXPENDITURE,
YOU CAN'T REDUCE IT, IF YOU
DO ITS PHONINESS BECOMES
PLAIN AND THERE ISING IN
MORE TIRENESS THAN SOMEONE
WHO IS FAENING INNOCENCE WE
A PLACE.
SO IN A SENSE MOVING TO
PARIS WAS A WAY OF RENEWING
THAT CAPITAL SUM OF NAIVITY
FOR ME AS A WRITER.
MY WEIG ABOUT PARIS WAS LIKE
MY WEIG ABOUT NEW YORK THAN
ANY OTHER WRITING I HAVE
EVER DONE.
AND ONE OF THE REASONS WHY,
SADLY, WE LEFT WAS BECAUSE I
HAD A SENSE AS A WRITER THAT
I WAS JUST COMING TO THE END
OF MY USEFUL NAIVETY.

Gerald says WE ARE GOING OFF FOR A WALK.

They take an elevator.

Gerald says MOVING BACK TO NEW YORK,
WHAT THOUGHTS ARE GOING BACK
TO YOUR HEAD, MOVING BACK

Tina says SO MANY.
ONE OF THE THINGS I WAS
TOTALLY UNPREPARED FOR, I
HAD FORGOTTEN HOW YOU GET A
TAXI IN NEW YORK BECAUSE IN
PARIS, YOU KNOW, WILL ARE
TAXI STATIONS WHERE
EVERYTHING IS SET UP.
ALL YOU DO IS YOU LINE UP,
FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE,
FIRST TAXI LETS FIRST PERSON
IN AND SECOND TO THE SECOND
AND SO ON.çó
AND HERE, OF COURSE, YOU
WALK OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF
THE STREET AND MAKE THAT NEW
YORK TAXI SALUTE AND TRY AND
GET A TAXI.
PEOPLE CAN WALK RIGHT IN
FRONT OF YOU.
THERE IS NO RECOURSE, THERE
IS NO TAXI CALLING COURT.
THERE IS NOTHING.
AND AS A CONSEQUENCE, IT
BECOMES REALLY -- AND YOU
SUDDENLY HAVE TROUBLE WITH
THE SENSE OF THE INJUSTICE
OF IT.
THAT'S NOT FAIR, IT IS NOT
RIGHT.
BECAUSE IT SHOULDN'T BE ABLE
JUST TO WALK IN FRONT OF YOU
HAVE.

They stand on a sidewalk. It drizzles.

Gerald says THERE IS A WONDERFUL
QUOTE IN THE BOOK ABOUT WHAT
YOU THINK MAKES PARIS
ROMANTIC.
AND YOU SAY THAT IT MARRIES
THE VOLUPTUOUS AND THE
RESTRICTIVE.
I THINK I NEED YOU TO
EXPLAIN THAT.

Tina says WELL, I THINK WHAT I HAD
IN MIND, SPECIFICALLY, WAS
THAT WE ALL THINK OF PARIS
AS BEING THE MOST EROTIC,
ROMANTIC, BUT THE TRUTH IS
PARIS IS ALSO THE MOST --
ITS LEGISLATED TO FAIRLY
WELL, YOU CAN'T GO INTO A
PARK WITHOUT HAVING TO READ
150 THINGS YOU ARE NOT
ALLOWED TO DO IN THE PARK.
YOU CAN'T GO -- YOU CAN'T DO
ANYTHING WITHOUT BEING TOLD
ALL THE THINGS THAT YOU
CAN'T POSSIBLY DO.
AND I THINK THAT IT IS
EXACTLY THAT SENSE, AND AT A
DEEPER LEVEL, NOT JUST
LEGALLY, THERE IS A RIGHT
WAY TO DO EVERYTHING.
A RIGHT WAY TO POUR A GLASS
OF WINE AND A RIGHT WAY TO
HAVE A MEAL.
YOU MUST EAT IN A PARTICULAR
WAY.
AND I THINK IT IS THAT
EXCESSIVE SENSE OF
RESTRICTION AND ORDER,
ALMOST, TO TOLL TARRIAN
SENSE THAT THERE IS ONE
RIGHT WAY TO DO THINGS THAT
HAS AT ITS OPPOSITE SIDE
THESE SUDDEN BURSTS OF
SENSUAL LIBERATION.
AND IF YOU THINK ABOUT
SOMETHING LIKE ALL THE GREAT
TRANSSENSEIES LIKE MAT IS --
TO SEE THE SUDDEN BURSTS OF
COLOUR WITHIN A VERY, VERY
ORDERED UNIVERSE.

As they walk, he continues
NEW YORK IS AN ENORMOUS
WARMTH IN NEW YORK THAT
COMES FROM THE FACT THAT IS
CITY IS IMPOSSIBLE IN SO
MANY WAYS.
PARIS IS A VERY POSSIBLE CITY.
IT IS SORT OF THE WAY PEOPLE
SHOULD LIVE IN URBAN PLACES.
IT IS A CITY IN THAT SENSE
THAT IS A MODEL OF OTHER
CITIES.
NEW YORK IS A MODEL FOR
NOTHING EXCEPT THE FACT OF
SURVIVAL AND PERSISTENCE.
AND NEW YORK IS MUCH WARMER,
I FIND AND MORE SOULFUL.
I KNOW THAT -- NEW YORK IS A
VERY WARM AND SOULFUL CITY
IN THAT WAY.
AND IT IS -- THERE IS
INSTANT CONNECTIONS, INSTANT
COMMUNICATIONS, WE HAVE BEEN
IN THE CITY FOR THREE DAYS
AND ALREADY THE PEOPLE AT
THE COFFEE SHOP DOWNSTAIRS,
THIS IS THE CAFE -- WHERE I
HAD LUNCH.
KNEW THEIR NAMES, WANTED
PICTURES OF THEM AND WERE
SORT OF HUGGING THEM.
NOW IT WAS IN THAT NEW YORK
MANNER WITH ONE EYE OF
CALCULATION.
THESE PEOPLE COULD BECOME
REGULAR CUSTOMERS AND WANT
GENUINE GOOD CHEER.
SO THAT IS THE PART OF IT
THAT YOU ARE GLAD TO COME
HOME TO.

They walk into a coffee store.

Gerald says THIS IS ONE OF YOUR
FAVOURITE HANGOUTS.

Tina says I COME HERE AFTER I TAKE
LUTHER TO SCHOOL AND I GET A
TEA OR COFFEE.

Gerald says PARIS TO THE MOON IS NOT
ONLY ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES
IN PARIS BUT ALSO ABOUT
RAISING LUKE YOUR SON.
IT IS ESSENTIALLY A FAMILY,
ABOUT NAME.

Black and white pictures of Adam and his son, who is about 6, flash by quickly.

Tina says IT IS FUNNY, THE EDITOR
OF THE BOOK, I SOAR I --
SWORE I WOULD NOT LOOK AT
THE COPY BECAUSE THAT IS A
EDITOR'S PREROGATIVE BUT HE
SAID ON THE FLAP COPY THIS
IS REALLY ABOUT THE LIKENESS
OF EMIGRATING TO A NEW CITY
AND EMIGRATING TO A NEW
COUNTRY AND BRINGING UP A
CHILD, YOU EMBARK ON THIS
JOURNEY INTO A NEW WORLD.
AND MY EXPERIENCES TRYING TO
LEARN THE WORLD OF FRANCE
ARE VERY MUCH LIKE MY SON
LUKE'S EXPERIENCE IN TRYING
IT TO LEARN THE WORLD OF THE
WORLD IN HIS FIRST FIVE
YEARS.
I THOUGHT THAT WAS A VERY
DISCERNING COMMENT FOR AN
EDITOR TO MAKE.
I THINK IT IS RIGHT.
IT IS ABOUT HOW LOSING YOUR
COUNTRY, NORTH AMERICA, YOU
SORT OF GAIN YOUR LITTLE
COUNTRY, THE LITTLE COUNTRY
OF YOUR FAMILY.

Gerald says THE IDEA OF COMING DOWN
HERE AND BEING A WRITER FOR
“THE NEW YORKER” AND THAN
GOING TO PARIS AND BEING A
MAN WRITING DISPATCHES TO
PARIS FOR “THE NEW YORKER,”
IT IS -- WHAT IS DIFFICULT
ABOUT THIS.
I THINK PEOPLE REALLY NEED
TO KNOW BECAUSE IT IS
REALLY -- IT IS SO WONDERFUL.

Tina says UNALLEVIATED MISERY AND
DEPRESSION, YOU CAN ASK MY
WIFE ABOUT THAT.
NO, I MEAN OF COURSE IT IS
ENVIABLE AND I HAVE BEEN
UNBELIEVABLY LUCKY AND I
SENSE THAT I HAVE TO BE
REALLY A FOOL AND UNGRATEFUL
NOT TO DO IT.
BUT THERE IS NOTHING FUN
ABOUT WRITING, YOU KNOW.
THE PART THAT YOU DON'T -- I
DON'T KNOW HOW TO PUT IT.
THE PART YOU DON'T SEE IS,
OF COURSE, I SPEND
REMARKABLY LITTLE TIME
STROLLING THROUGH PARIS MORE
THAN A DO IN NEW YORK,
MOSTLY PENDING OVER A
KEYBOARD TRYING TO FIND THE
RIGHT WORDS TO TALK ABOUT AN
EXPERIENCE THAT YOU HAVE.
SO THAT THE RATIO OF
EXPERIENCE TO BENDING OVER
THE KEYBOARD IS LIKE ONE
EXPERIENCE TO TEN MEASURES
OF WORKING TO ARTICULATE IT.
MY OWN INTERNAL EXPERIENCE
OF MY WORK AS AN EXPERIENCE
OF ENDLESS FRUSTRATION AND
DISAPPOINTMENT AT MY OWN
INABILITY TO WRITE AS WELL
AS I WOULD WANT TO WRITE.

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, Tina says PARIS TO THE MOON
BY ADAM GOPNICK IS PUBLISHED
BY RANDOM HOUSE.

Now an animated book sitting on a countertop reveals a picture of the book “The case of Doctor Sachs”, followed by a clip of a man reading to a crowd.

Tina says COMING UP, THE CASE OF
Dr. SACHS, A RUNNAWAY HIT
FOR READERS IN FRANCE.
AND NEXT MALACHY McCOURT HAMS IT UP.
HE'S KNOWN EVERYWHERE AS THE
BROTHER OF FRANK McCOURT,
THE MAN WHO GAVE US ANGELA'S
ASHES BUT HE IS A WRITER AND
A PERFORM NEVER HIS OWN
RIGHT.
McCOURT'S MEMOIR A MONK
SWIMMING LEFT READERS
CLAMOURING FOR MORE.
WELL, HERE IT IS.
SINGING MY HYMN SONG IS THE
HE IS CUL.
SO NOW THEY ARE TIED, TWO
ALL FOR THE NUMBER OF BOOKS
THEY HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT
THEIR LIVES, MALACHY McCOURT
BROUGHT HIS BAG FULL OF
STORIES AND IRISH CHARM TO
TORONTO.
HIS FANS WERE ENTHRALLED.

(music plays)
A young man and woman in their twenties play a violin and a harp, respectively.
Clips show Malachy McCourt signing copies of his book.
Malachy is in his late sixties, clean-shaven, with wavy white hair.

A man says THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

A woman in her fifties says I'M IRISH AND I ENJOYED
READING ABOUT HIS IRISH
CHILDHOOD.

Another woman in her fifties says HE IS AN EXCELLENT WRITER.

At the presentation, Malachy says THIS BOOK, I WAS GOING TO
CALL IT I READ YOUR BROTHER'S BOOK.
OTHER PEOPLE SAY IT TO ME
ALL THE TIME.
IT IS A PHRASE KIND OF LIKE
SORROWFUL LOOK, I READ YOUR
BROTHER'S BOOK.
YOU POOR THING.

Now the book appears in a close-up. The cover features a sepia-tone picture of a young Malachy.

In an interview, he says
SING MY him SONG COMES FROM
A SUGGESTION OF MY WIFE, DIANA.
SHE SAID YOU HAVE BEEN
SINGING A LOT LATELY SO WHY
DON'T YOU PUT THE WORD
SINGING IN THERE.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Malachy McCourt. Singing my him song."

Malachy continues SO I SAID ALL RIGHT.
AND WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU
SING, YOU SING A SONG, RuÑ A
SONG IN THERE, WHAT SONG, MY
SONG, AND WHO IS YOU, HIM.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT MEANS.
IT JUST SOUNDS -- SINGING MY
HIM SONG HAS A SORT OF
RESONANCE ABOUT IT, IT
SOUNDS LIKE IT MIGHT MEAN
SOMETHING OR A QUOTE FROM A
POEM OR SOMETHING.
BUT IT DOESN'T.

At the presentation, he says
YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY I NAMED
THE BOOK, THE FIRST ONE A
MONK SWIMMING.
IT WAS FROM THE HAIL MARY.
WHEN I WAS A CHILD I THOUGHT
THE HAIL MARY WENT HAIL MARY
FULL OF GRACE, THE LORD IS
WITH THEE, BLESSED ART
THOUSAND A MONK SWIMMING.

He laughs and says BLOODY BOOK HAS NOTHING
TO DO WITH MONKS.
ROWDY BAWDY MONKS, MAYBE.

In his interview he explains
A MONK SWIMMING IS ABOUT
ROWDY LIVING, DEBAUCHERY,
SOME PEOPLE SAID, AN
OCCASION OF SIN FOR LOTS OF
YOUNG PEOPLE.
AND ALL OF THAT.
AND THAN IT ENDED, PEOPLE
SAY WELL HOW COULD YOU --
YOU ENDED IT WITH NO SIGN OF
REMORSE.
AND I DIDN'T.
BECAUSE I FIGURED I WILL DO
ANOTHER ONE.
AND REDEMPTION.
AND HERE I AM REDEEMED.

At the presentation he says A FELLOW FROM “TIME.”
MAGAZINE SAID HA, THIS BOOK
WILL NEVER MAKE IT.

In his interview he says
WHO WOULD WANT TO READ THIS RUBBISH.
AND THEY EXPECT THE CASH
REGISTERS TO RING BECAUSE --
AND THEY DID.
THEY RANG A LOT.
AND I WROTE TO HIM SAYING
DESPITE ALL BEST EFFORTS,
THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IS
BUYING THIS PIECE OF RUBBISH.

At the presentation he says
MY MOTHER CAME TO SEE US
WHEN FRANK AND I WERE
DOING -- THIS IS A PLAY WE
WROTE SOME YEARS AGO.
LOOSELY AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL.
SO SHE WAS SITTING IN THE
AUDIENCE, QUITE IN THE
MIDDLE OF THE FIRST ACT SHE
STOOD UP AND SHE SAID, IT
WASN'T THAT WAY AT ALL.
IT IS ALL A PACK OF LIES.
SO I SAID WELCOME ON UP
ON THE STAGE AND TELL US
YOUR SIDE OF THE STORY.
I WILL NOT, SHE SAID.
I WOULDN'T BE SEEN ON THE
STAGES WITH THE LIKES OF YE.
I HAVE A GOOD NAME TO
MAINTAIN, AND SAT DOWN.

In his interview he says
I NEVER WANTED TO BE A WRITER.
I MEAN THERE IS NOTHING -- I
NEVER WANTED TO BE ANYTHING,
REALLY.
I JUST THOUGHT THAT YOU GO
TO AMERICA AND BE A SUCCESS.

At the presentation he says
WE CERTAINLY HAD OUR
SHARE OF GREAT CHARACTERS IN
LIMERICK AND EVERY TOWN IN
IRELAND HAS CHARACTERS, ANNY
MALONEY REACHED THE AGE OF
100 IN 1987.
AND AS USUAL THE PRESIDENT
OF IRELAND SENDS A MONEY
GIFT AND A TELEGRAM TO THE
PERSON WHICH BRINGS THE
PRESS DOWN UPON THEM ASKING
ALL SORTS OF IDIOTIC
QUESTIONS LIKE TO WHAT DO
YOU ATTRIBUTE THE FACT THAT
YOU HAVE REACHED THE AGE OF 100.
AND ANNY SAYS TO THE FACT
THAT I WAS BORN IN 1887.

In his interview he says
DO I MISS IRELAND?
NOT ON YOUR NELLIE.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES DO I
MISS IT.
IF YOU READ ANGELA'S ASHES
YOU WILL SEE THAT FOR YEARS
I JUST WAS IN A RAGE ABOUT
THAT BLOODY PLACE.
BUT THEN YOU HAVE TO GET
OVER THAT.
AND YOU LET IT GO.
I'M MADLY IN LOVE WITH MY
WIFE, MY BROTHERS AND MYSELF,
WE ARE ALL THE WALLS ARE DOWN.
WE TALK TO EACH OTHER.
SHAME HAS FADED, THE
MEMORIES OF POVERTY AND
MISERY AND DEATH AND
DISEASE AND DESPAIR ARE
GOING.
AND IT IS JUST NICE.
IT IS A NICE THING TO SAY
I'M A WORTHWHILE HUMAN BEING
WHICH I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT BEFORE.

At the presentation he sings
AND WE'LL ALL GO TOGETHER TO MOUNTAIN TIME.

The clip ends.

Tina says SING MY HIM SONG BY
MALACHY McCOURT IS PUBLISHED
BY HARPER COLLINS.
FRENCH WRITER MARTIN
WINCKLER HAS TWO LOVERS IN
HIS LIFE, MEDICINE AND
STORYTELLING AND HE HAS
COMBINED THEM WONDERFULLY
IN A NEW BOOK CALLED THE
CASE OF Dr. SACHS.
IT IS THE STORY OF A SMALL
TOWN GM AS SEEN THROUGH THE
EYES OF HIS PATIENTS.
THE CASE OF Dr. SACHS WAS
MADE INTO AN AWARD-WINNING
MOVIE, IT WON FIRST PRIZE AT
THE CHICAGO FILM FESTIVAL.
I SPOKE TO MARTIN WINCKLER
WHEN HE CAME TO TORONTO FOR
THE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL
OF AUTHORS.

A clip plays of the interview. Martin is in his forties, clean-shaven, with sparse black hair.

Tina says MARTIN WINCKLER T IS LOVELY
TO MEET YOU.

Martin says I'M VERY GLAD TO BE HERE TOO.

Tina says I LOVED YOUR BOOK.
NOW THE CASE OF Dr. SACHS
WAS A HUGE HIT IN FRANCE,
SOLD I THINK MORE THAN HALF
A MILLION COPIES.
WHAT DO YOU THINK RESONATED
SO MUCH WITH THE FRENCH
ABOUT THIS BOOK.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Martin Winckler. The case of Doctor Sachs."

Martin says WELL, MANY PEOPLE IN
FRANCE, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS A
HUGE SUCCESS MANY PEOPLE
CALLED TO ME AND SAID WE
WERE A LITTLE BIT PUZZLED
BECAUSE AT FIRST YOU DON'T
KNOW WHERE THE BOOK IS
GOING.
EACH CHAPTER IS TOLD BY A
DIFFERENT PERSON AND YOU
DON'T REALLY KNOW WHAT IT IS
GOING TO ADD UP TO.
AND ONCE YOU HAVE REAL
ESTATE THE FIRST 50 OR 60
PAGES YOU SEE THAT SEVERAL
CHARACTERS COME BACK AND
TELL THE REST OF THE STORY.
WELL, ACTUALLY, THIS FEELING
THAT THE READERS, THE
READERS HAVE IS EXACTLY THE
SAME AS THE THEME THAT THE
YOUNG DOCTOR HAS WHEN HE IS
IN HIS OFFICE AND HE
RECEIVES PEOPLE WHO COME
WITH A SMALL THING AND THEY
SAY WELL, I HAVE THIS LITTLE
THING AT THE TIP OF MY
FINGER.
AND THAN THEY WILL GIVE HIM
ONLY A FEW DETAILS ABOUT WHO
THEY ARE BECAUSE THEY WANT
TO SEE WHAT HE LOOKS LIKE,
HOW HE IS, THEY DON'T KNOW
HIM.
AND THAN THEY WILL COME BACK
ANOTHER TIME LIKE IN TWO
WEEKS, TWO MONTHS OR TWO
YEARS AND THEY WILL GIVE
SOMETHING MORE.
AND ACTUALLY WHAT THE DOCTOR
DOES IS HE HAS TO
RECONSTRUCT THE STORIES OF
PEOPLE FROM THE LITTLE
THINGS THEY GIVE EACH TIME
THEY COME.

Tina says THE LITTLE SNIPPETS
OF INFORMATION.

Martin says AND THAT IS HOW THE BOOK
WORKS AT FIRST.
AND THAN AFTER A WHILE YOU
GET MUCH MORE INFORMATION
ABOUT EVERYBODY.

A clip from a French movie plays.

A man in a white doctor’s robe says Yes?

A woman in her thirties wearing a thick sweater presents him with a box and says You’ll laugh, it’s nothing much.

The doctor writes down “Laugh” on a piece of paper.

He says Well?

A woman in her thirties says It’s not much but I wanted to put my mind at rest.
I just have one tiny question for you.
I could have called you but I didn’t want to disturb you.

Now the doctor sees a man in his thirties.

The doctor says So?

The patient says I need to ask a favour of you.
The chemist told me I’d need a prescription.

The clip ends.

Tina says NOW IN FRENCH THERE
ARE TWO THINGS I WANT TO ASK
YOU, FIRST OF ALL IT IS
CALLED THE ILLNESS OF SACHS,
SO WHAT ILLNESS, WHAT IS HE
SUFFERING FROM.

Martin says ALL, ACTUALLY WHAT HE
SUFFERS FROM IS ALL THE PAIN
AND ALL THE GRIEF AND ALL
THE SADNESS THAT PEOPLE
CARRY WITH THEM WHEN THEY
COME TO HIM AND BRING HIM
THEIR ILLNESSES.
THEY ARE NOT ALWAYS VIIM,
THEY DON'T ALWAYS HAVE A
DISEASE THAT IS, YOU KNOW,
LIFE THREATENING BUT THEY
SUFFER FROM THE LIFE, THE
MONEY PROBLEMS, THE FAMILY
PROBLEMS SO THAT IS HIS
DISEASE, HE IS IN EMPATHY
WITH THEM BUT HE SUFFERS
FROM THE FACT THAT THERE ARE
SO MANY THINGS HE CANNOT CURE.

Tina says NOW HE HAS A
LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP, IT
SEEMS TO BE, WITH MEDICINE.
I MEAN AT ONE POINT HE SAYS,
HE CALLS DOCTORS WHORES AND
PIMPS.
THEY KNOW THIS IS IN HIS
JOURNAL.
THEY NO LONGER DIAGNOSE,
THEY SENTENCE.
THEY NO LONGER COMFORT, THEY
TEST.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT AND
IS THAT TRUE ABOUT MEDICINE.

Martin says WELL, YEAH, I THINK IN
FRANCE, ESPECIALLY THERE
FRANCE DOCTORS ARE THOUGHT
TO MAKE A GOOD DIAGNOSIS.
THEY ARE NOT TAUGHT TO TAKE
CARE OF THE PEOPLE.
THEY CONSIDERED THEIR
PATIENT AS CASE STUDIES.
THEY DO NOT CONSIDER THEM AS
PEOPLE, AS PERSONS.
AND THIS IS A REAL PROBLEM.
WHEN I WAS IN MEDICAL SCHOOL,
SO MANY OF OUR TEACHERS
WOULD TELL US YOU DON'T HAVE
TO GET INVOLVED WITH YOUR
PATIENTS, YOU JUST HAVE TO
MAKE THE DIAGNOSIS.
AND THEY WOULDN'T EVEN TEACH
US HOW TO CURE THEM, YOU
KNOW, THE IMPORTANT THING,
IT WENT BACK TO THE 19th
CENTURY WHEN THEY DIDN'T
HAVE ANY CURES FOR DISEASE.
IT WENT BACK ONLY TO THE
FACT THAT YOU HAVE TO GIVE
THE RIGHT ANSWER.
AND THAT IS ALL.
AFTER THAT LET THEM LIVE
LIFE.

Tina says WRITE THE LEG
PRESCRIPTION, SAY GOOD-BYE.

Martin says AND THE PROBLEM IS THAT
THEY ALSO USE PEOPLES AWAYS
TO EXPERIMENT.
GUINEA PIGS AND PEOPLE
ARE NOT GUINEA PIGS.
YOU SHOULD NOT EXPERIMENT ON
SOMEONE UNLESS HE AGREES TO
THAT AND UNLESS HE KNOWS
EXACTLY WHAT ARE YOU GOING
TO SPERM ON.
AND IN FRANCE, THEY STILL
DON'T GET THE INFORMATION.

Tina says AND THERE IS A WONDERFUL
LINE WHERE BRUNO TALKS ABOUT
WHAT HE WAS TAUGHT IN
MEDICINE, IN MEDICAL SCHOOL.
HE SAYS IN TEN YEARS OF
STUDY NO ONE EVER TOLD ME I
COULD SIT BY THE BEDSIDE OF
A DYING PERSON AND HOLD HIS
HAND AND TALK WITH HIM.

Martin says THAT'S RIGHT.

Tina says THAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE TOO.

Martin says THAT WAS MY EXPERIENCE TOO.
HOLDING THE HAND OF THE
PATIENT WAS SOMETHING I DID
ON MY FREE TIME.
ONCE I WENT TO GIVE A
LECTURE TO FIRST YEAR
MEDICAL STUDENTS AND I SAID
THERE ARE TWO THINGS THAT
YOUR TEACHERS ARE NOT GOING
TO TELL YOU ABOUT WHILE YOU
ARE IN MEDICAL SCHOOL.
FIRST THING IS THEY ARE NOT
GOING TO TELL YOU ABOUT
DEATH.
THEY ARE NOT GOING TO HAVE
ANY DISCUSSION ABOUT DEATH.
WHICH IS STRANGE BECAUSE
THAT IS ALL WHAT IT IS
ABOUT.
AND THE SECOND THING ARE YOU
NOT GOING TO DISCUSS IS SEX.
AND THIS IS STRANGE TOO.
AND I SAID IT IS A PARADOX
BECAUSE HERE YOU ARE, THERE
ARE 500 OF YOU, AND THIS IS
OCTOBER AND ARE YOU GOING TO
GRADUATE FROM YOUR FIRST
YEAR NEXT JUNE AND PROBABLY
BY NEXT JUNE MAYBE FOUR OR
FIVE OF YOU WILL BE DEAD, BY
ACCIDENT OR BY LEUKEMIA OR
SOMETHING LIKE THAT.
BUT YOU DON'T THINK ABOUT
THAT.
HOW YOU CAN UNDERSTAND
ANYTHING TO WHAT PEOPLE ARE
GOING TO COME AND TELL YOU.
THEY WILL TELL YOU ABOUT
DEATH ALL THE TIME SO YOU
HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT.
YOU HAVE TO DISCUSS IT
BETWEEN YOU.
AND THE OTHER THING IS THERE
ARE 500 OF YOU HERE, DON'T
TELL ME YOU ARE ALL VIRGINS.

Tina says BET THAT GET A GOOD LAUGH.

Martin says AND THEY LAUGH.
AND YOU SAID WELL, YOU DON'T
THINK ABOUT WHAT SEX MEANS
TO YOU, WHAT THE SEX DRIVE,
WHAT BEING ATTRACTED TO
SOMEONE MEANS TO YOU.
YOU ARE IN FOR A LOT OF
TROUBLE BECAUSE DOCTORS GET
ATTRACTED TO THEIR PATIENTS
AND PATIENTS GET ATTRACTED
TO THEIR DOCTORS.
AND YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH
THAT.
AND YOU HAVE TO HAVE A
STRONG FEELING ABOUT WHAT
SHOULD I DO, AND WHAT IS
GOOD TO DO AND WHAT IS NOT
GOOD TO DO.

Tina says AND OF COURSE YOU GATHER
ALL THAT INFORMATION.

Martin says OF COURSE, OF COURSE.

Tina says IN THE LIST OF
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS FOR THE BOOK
YOU LIST HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE
AND WE WERE CLAPPING UP IN
THE OFFICE READING THEM,
ALLY McB, WE THOUGHT WHO
COULD THAT BE, “DHARMA and
GREG,” YOU THANK ALL THESE
JUST AN AMAZING ARRAY OF
PEOPLE.
HOW HAVE THEY SUSTAINED YOU
DURING THE WRITING OF THIS
BOOK.

Martin says I WANTED TO LIST THE
PEOPLE WHO HAD BEEN VERY
SUPPORTIVE WITH ME.
AND THAT INCLUDES MY WIFE
AND CHILDREN AND MY FRIENDS,
OF COURSE.
BUT THAT ALSO INCLUDED
PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT ME
WITHOUT KNOWING IT.
AND THEN I THOUGHT WELL
ACTORS HAVE BEEN SUPPORTING
ME BECAUSE THEY HAVE GIVEN
ME SO MUCH PLEASURE AND
TAUGHT ME SO MANY THINGS
ABOUT FEELINGS.
SO THAT ALL CHARACTER, “ALLY
McBEAL” AND ONE OF THE
PEOPLE I LIKE, ONE OF THE
CHARACTERS I LIKE MOST IS
JOHN CARTER IN ER, THAT IS
WHY THIS BOOK IS FOR MY
BROTHER JOHN C, DOCTOR.
BUT ALSO DOCTORS OF CHICAGO
HOPE BECAUSE I LOVE THAT
TOO.

Tina says AND YOU WANT TO INCLUDE
EVERYBODY BECAUSE YOU ARE AN
INCLUSIVE GUY.

Martin says I WANT TO INCLUDE ALL THE
PEOPLE THAT I REALLY CARE
FOR, INCLUDING THE
CHARACTERS.
BECAUSE YOU CAN CARE FOR A
CHARACTER.

Tina says OH, YES, ABSOLUTELY.
IN FACT, I NEVER BOTHER
LEARNING THEIR REAL NAMES.
I ALWAYS JUST THINK OF THEM
AS THE CHARACTER THEY ARE ON
TV.

Martin says THAT'S RIGHT.

Tina says NOW IN THE BOOK
BRUNO IS AGONIZING BECAUSE
HE HAS SUCH A BLEAK VIEW
ABOUT LIFE.
HE DOESN'T THINK THAT THE
WORLD IS A PROPER PLACE TO
BRING CHILDREN.
AND HE IS TALKING TO HIS
GIRL FRIEND SAYING I JUST
CAN'T BE THE FATHER OF YOUR
CHILDREN, ALTHOUGH AT THE
END IT LOOKS LIKE CHILDREN
ARE ON THE WAY AT THE END.
YOU HAVE EIGHT CHILDREN.
SO ARE YOU THE BIGGEST
OPTIMIST IN THE ENTIRE
WORLD.
I JUST LOVE THIS.

Martin says WELL, FOR ONE THING BRUNO ISN'T ME.

Tina says I KNOW.

Martin says AND HE -- HIS OPINION
ABOUT HAVING CHILDREN, WELL,
I SHARE HIS OPINION BUT LIFE
IS NOT -- YOU KNOW, THE MAP
IS NOT THE TERRITORY.
AND LIFE IS NOT AN IDEA.
LIFE IS SOMETHING THAT MAKES
YOU DO THINGS THAT YOU
THOUGHT YOU WOULDN'T DO, AND
THAN YOU DO IT AND YOU LIKE
IT.
AND IF YOU LIKE IT, WHY NOT
DO IT AGAIN.
I WOULD SAY I WAS A PRETTY
HAPPY CHILD IN MANY WAYS AND
IF I WAS UNHAPPY IT WASN'T
BECAUSE MY PARENTS WEREN'T
GOOD PARENTS, IT WAS BECAUSE
OF MANY THINGS THAT HAPPEN
TO US.
AND I HAD A FATHER WHO WAS A
GOOD MAN.
AND HE RAISED ME TO BE A
DECENT MAN, I HOPE.
SO WHEN YOU HAVE GOOD
PARENTS, YOU DON'T MIND
HAVING CHILDREN.
I MEAN, YOU KNOW HOW TO DO,
WHAT TO DO WITH THEM.
AND WHEN YOU HAVE CHILDREN
AND YOUR CHILDREN ARE DOING
FINE AND YOU ADOPT YOUR
SPOUSES CHILDREN AND SHE
ADOPTS YOURS, AND ALL THE
CHILDREN ARE DOING FINE AND
THEY ARE MAKING A BIG, YOU
KNOW, GANG, WELL YOU SAY
WELL, WHY DON'T WE HAVE SOME
MORE CHILDREN TOGETHER.
OKAY.
SO WE HAVE.
AND SO YOU END UP HAVING
EIGHT CHILDREN.
AND YOU LOVE IT.

Tina says AND HAPPY HOUSE.

Martin says OH, YEAH, BIG HAPPY HOUSE.

Tina says BIG HAPPY HOUSE.
IT HAS BEEN A PLEASURE
TALKING TO YOU.
I LOVED YOUR BOOK.

Martin says THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Tina says THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, Tina says THE CASE OF
Dr. SACHS BY MARTIN WINCKLER
IS PUBLISHED BY SEVEN
STORIES PRESS.
THAT'S IT FOR “IMPRINT” THIS WEEK.
JOIN US NEXT TIME FOR MORE
WITH WOCKS -- BOOKS AND
WRITERS FROM AROUND THE
WORLD.
GOOD NIGHT.

Theme music plays as the end credits roll.

Special thanks, International Festival of Authors, Chicago International Film Festival, Indigo Books Music and Café, True Grits Restaurant, Lions Gate Film, Mario Diaz, Philip Klint.

Imprint. C/O TVOntario. P.O. Box 200. Station Q, Toronto, Ontario. M4T 2T1.

Fax: 416-484-2780.

E-mail: imprint@tvo.org.

Website: www.tvo.org/imprint

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2000, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Imprint season 12 episode 9