Transcript: Imprint season 12 episode 23 | Mar 07, 2001

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 glasses and a long gray blazer over a white shirt.

She says I'M TINA
SREBOTNJAK.
TONIGHT, “IMPRINT” GOES TO
THE MOVIES.
HOLLYWOOD IS HAVING A LOVE
AFFAIR WITH WRITERS, WHAT GIVES.

A clip from a movie shows a writer struggling with a white page on a typewriter.

A woman in her thirties says I THINK WE'RE DRAWN TO
THE WRITER, THE CREATOR OF
THE HERO, IN OF THE SAME WAY
AS WE HAVE BEEN DRAWN TO THE
INTENSITY OF ARTISTS LIKE VAN GOGH.

Now a clip from another movie shows a chaotic late 18th century scene of people laughing and yelling.

Tina says THE MAD “MARQUIS DE
SADE,” DOES HE DESERVE TO IT
BE IMMORTALIZED IN FILM?
AND EXCESSIVE JOY INJURES
THE HEART, ELISABETH HARVOR
EXPLAINS HOW AN ANG PUNCTURE
MANUAL INSPIRED THE NOVEL
FOR HER FIRST NOVEL.

Now a book cover appears briefly.

Elisabeth says EXCESSIVE ANGER ENTERS
THE LIVER, EXCESSIVE
CONCENTRATION ENTERS THE
SPLEEN, EXCESSIVE ANXIETY
INJURES THE JOY OF THE HEART.
AND WHEN I SAW THAT
EXCESSIVE JOY INJURED THE
HEART, I SAID I HAVE TO USE
THAT SOMEWHERE.

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 WELL, HOLLYWOOD'S
BIGGEST EKE IS JUST AROUND
THE CORNER.
AND AS OSCAR NIGHT
APPROACHES WE'VE BEEN
NOTICING THAT A LOT OF
WRITERS HAVE MADE THEIR WAY
NOT MOVIES, WHAT IS THIS
ABOUT.
QUILL, FINDING FORRESTER,
WONDER BOYS, BEFORE NIGHT
FALLS ANMORE.
WHY ARE MOVIEMAKERS SO
FASCINATED BY THE LITERARY
LIFE.
WE ASKED A TORONTO WRITER
AND A FILM CRITIC FOR THEIR
THOUGHTS.

Clips show the writer from the movie, and then black and white takes on writers giving their opinion.

A man in his thirties says WRITING ITSELF IS THE
LEAST DRAMATIC ACTIVITY IN
THE WORLD.

A woman in her thirties says SO I JUST WRITE LIKE A
FURRY, I PRACTICALLY DON'T
GET OUT OF MY PAJAMAS FOR
THREE MONTHS, CHARMING.

The man in his thirties reappears with a caption that reads “Geoff Pevere. Film Critic.”
Geoff is clean-shaven, with short black hair.

He says YOU DIDN'T REALLY SEE
MANY MOVIES ABOUT WRITERS
UNTIL WRITERS STARTED TO
FLOCK TO HOLLYWOOD AND
WRITERS DIDN'T START
FLOCKING TO HOLLYWOOD UNTIL
REALLY THEY NEEDED ALL KINDS
OF WRITERS TO WRITE DIALOGUE
BECAUSE THE TECHNOLOGY HAD
PRESENTED FOR THE FIRST TIME
AN OPPORTUNITY FOR PEOPLE TO
WRITE DIALOGUE FOR THE SCREEN.

Titles of movies featuring writers, such as “Finding Forrester” flash by in quick succession.

The woman reappears, with a caption that reads “Camilla Gibb. Writer: Mouthing the words.”
Camilla has long wavy chestnut hair.

She says I DON'T KNOW WHY THERE
HAS BEEN THIS RECENT RASH OF
FILMS ABOUT WRITERS BUT THEY
ARE ALWAYS FOCUSING ON THIS
CHARACTER WHO IS ELUSIVE,
WHO HAS SOME SECRET
KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE HUMAN
CONDITION, WHO WILL TOUCH
SOULS IF HE CAN ONLY BRING
IT FORTH, IF HE CAN
ARTICULATE IT TO A WIDER
AUDIENCE.

Geoff says I THINK YOU TAKE A MOVIE
LIKE FINDING FORRESTER, THAT
IS PROBABLY A GOOD EXAMPLE
OF THE WRITER AS A RECLUSIVE
FIGURE, AS A MYSTERIOUS
FIGURE, AS SORT OF -- WHO
HAS HAD A DIFFICULT TIME
LIVING WITH HIS OWN NOT
RIGHT.
IT HAS IN FACT LITERALLY
DRIVEN HIM OUT OF SOCIETY.

A clip plays from a movie with the caption “Finding Forrester: courtesy Columbia pictures.”
In the clip a man in his early twenties watches a bitter writer in his sixties eat.

The young man says THEY HAVE SOME CONTEST AT
SCHOOL, THIS WRITING THING,
YOU EVER ENTERED ONE OF
THOSE.

The writer says WRITING CONTEST.

The young man says YEAH.

The writer says ONCE, A LONG TIME AGO.

The young man says DID YOU WIN.

The writer says OF COURSE I WON.

The young man says LIKE MONEY OR SOMETHING.

The writer says THE PULITZER.

The clip ends.

Geoff says WHAT WE LIKE TO SEE IS
THE FACT THAT THE WRITER CAN
ACTUALLY BE MADE A BETTER
PERSON BY -- WRITER IN THE
WORLD AND THAT IS THAT YOU
IT IS THIS PROCESS THAT OF
COURSE CONFIRMS THE YOUNG
WITNESS, OUR REPRESENTATIVE,
THE YOUNG SUED -- PSEUDO NO
WILL BE A WRITER.

Camilla says IT IS THIS QUESTION OF
MYSTIQUE THAT SURROUNDINGS
THIS CURIOUS CHARACTER, THIS
KIND OF GUY WHO INHABITS THE
STREETS OF NEW YORK CITY.
AND THERE IS A SORT OF MYTH
AND MYTHOLOGY THAT DEVELOPS
AROUND HIM THAT HE HAS
CREATED THE STORY OF THE
UNIVERSE IN A SENSE, THE
STORY OF ALL OF HUMANKIND.
HE HAS WRITTEN THIS EPIC SAGA.

Now another clip plays, with the caption “Joe Gould’s Secret, courtesy Odeon Film Inc.”

A group of men meet in a noisy lounge.

One of them, in his fifties, climbs onto a table and yells out
MY RELIGION, IN THE
WINTER I'M A BUDDHIST.
IN THE SUMMER, I'M A NUDIST.

Camilla says BUT THE REAL WRITER IS
THE GUY WHO WRITES THE
PROFILES FOR “THE NEW
YORKER” OF JOE GOULD.
AND HE DOES, YOU KNOW, HE
WRITE PROS FILES REGULARLY.
HE GOES INTO HIS OFFICE AND
DOES HIS INTERVIEWS AND GOES
HOME TO HIS FAIRLY MUNDANE
EXISTENCE AND IT HIS JOB.
AND HE IN FACT IS THE
WRITER.
BUT HE IS NOT THE ONE WHO IS
CELEBRATED AT HAVING THE
MYSTIQUE AND MYTHOLOGY AND
BEING THE KEEPER OF TRUTH.

Geoff says WRITING CAN BE PRESENTED
A A DRAMATIC ACTIVITY IF YOU
SEE THE PROCESS OF WRITING
NOT REALLY FOR WHAT IT IS.
IF YOU DO YOU ARE KIND OF
SITTING DOWN THERE IN FRONT
OF A BLANK SCREEN AND
WAITING FOR, YOU KNOW,
ENOUGH COFFEE OR ENOUGH
PROCRASTINATION TO WIELD
SOME SORT OF INSPIRATION
THAT WOULDN'T BE INTERESTING
AT ALL.
BUT WRITING LENDS ITSELF TO
A KIND OF EXISTENTIAL CRISIS.

A new clip plays with the caption “Quills, courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures.”

In a 17th century setting, a man in his twenties hands a man in his late fifties a manuscript.

The young man says THIS IS COMPLETE AND
UTTER DISAPPOINTMENT.

The older man says YES, IT IS.

The young man says WHAT DID YOU DO, BRIBE
ONE OF THEM.

The older man says TO STAVE OFF MY MADNESS,

The young man angrily says BUT YOU HAVE NO WRITE TO PUBLISH.

Geoff says MOVIES LIKE QUILLS, FOR
EXAMPLE, THAT IS SEEN AS --
WRITING IS SEEN AS AN
UNDYING SPIRIT IT IS SEEN AS
AN ALMOST KIND OF ORGANIC,
UNSTOPPABLE EXPRESSION OF
THE HUMAN SPIRIT.
THESE ARE THE KINDS OF
THINGS THAT WRITING
CONVENIENTLY CAN BE USED TO
DISPLAY.
BUT THE WRAING PROCESS
ITSELF IS BRUTALLY DULL,
BORING, AND COMPLETELY UNVISUAL.

Camilla says I'M NOT THE TYPE OF
WRITER WHO INSISTS I MUST
WRITE SOMETHING EVERY DAY.
IF IT IS NOT THERE, IT IS
NOT THERE AND I TEND TO
WRITE IN BLOCKS SO THERE IS
THREE MONTHS WHERE YOU JUST
CAN'T STOP ME AND SHOULD GET
OUT OF MY WAY, BASICALLY.
THAN THE REST OF IT IS THE
REALLY SORT OF TEDIOUS
MUNDANE PROCESS WHERE ONCE
YOU HAVE AN EDITOR INVOLVED
YOU ARE TWEAKING AND
TORQUING AND PLOTTING
THROUGH AND ELIMINATING AND
SUBTRACTING AND ADDING AND
WEAVING THROUGH THE MAN YOU
CRYPT OVER AND OVER, YOU GET
INCREDIBLY SICK OF THE SOUND
OF YOUR OWN VOICE.

Geoff says YOU DON'T SEE WRITERS
TAKING ON THOSE JOBS WORKING
IN VIDEO STORES OR WORKING
AS TEACHERS, FOR EXAMPLE.
MOST WRITERS HAVE TO TAKE ON
DISAPPOINT THEM -- TO
SUPPORT THEMSELVES.
YOU DON'T SEE THE FACT THAT
FOR MOST WRITERS IT IS A
PROFESSION WHICH IS BRUTALLY
NONLUCRATIVE AND
UNSUCCESSFUL.
EXTREMELY PUNISHING TO THE
EGO.
YOU DON'T SEE ANY OF THE
KIND OF STUFF.
BUT WHAT YOU DO SEE IS
SOMETHING VISUALLY IMPORTANT
WHICH IS THE TRIUMPH OF
CREATIVITY.

Fast clips of different movies on writers flash by quickly, including scenes of torture.

Geoff continues says I THINK THE WRITER
BECOMES A KIND OF A NATURAL
FIGURE TO USE AS AN OUTSIDER
FIGURE.
IN MOVIES LIKE BEFORE NIGHT
FALLS AND QUILLS, IN EACH
CASE YOU ARE DEALING IN A
CONTEXT IN WHICH THE WRITERS
ARE SEEN AS OPPRESSED
LITERARY IMPRISONED FIGURES.
AND WHO ARE ABLE, WHOSE
WRITING TRANSCENDS THE FACT
THAT THE REGIMES MET
THEIR -- THAT HAVE
INCARCERATED THEM DO NOT
WANT THEM TO WRITE.
BOTH OF THOSE MOVIES IT IS
NOT THAT THEY ARE REALLY
REVOLUTIONARY, AT LEAST NOT
BY DESIGN, BY INTELLECTUAL
DESIGN.
THEY ARE SORT OF
REVOLUTIONARIES ALMOST BY
SORT OF GENETIC DESTINY.
THEY CAN'T HELP BUT WRITE.
AND NOTHING WILL STOP THEM
FROM WRITING.
WRITING IS ALSO THEREFORE
SEEN AS A KIND OF A
CORRECTIVE TO REPRESSION.

Camilla says I THINK WE ARE DRAWN TO
THE WRITER, THE CREATOR
IMPULSER AS A HERO IN OF THE
SAME WAY AS WE HAVE BEEN
DRAWN TO THE INTENSITY OF
ARTISTS LIKE VAN GOGH OR,
YOU KNOW, MORE RECENTLY WAS
KEY AT OR ANDY WARHOL, JUST
THE INTENSITY AND PASSION
AND FOCUS THAT LIFTS SORT OF
OUTSIDE SOCIETY BUT IS
ADOPTED OR A PREPARE RATED
BY THE PAIN STREAM.
I THINK WE WANT TO GET OUT
OF THE NINE TO FIVE
EXISTENCE THAT MOVS US LIVE.

Geoff says WRITERS WRITE ABOUT WRITERS.
WRITERS KNOW WHAT THEY LIKE
TO WRITE ABOUT.
AND I THINK ALSO IMPORTANTLY
IS THAT YOU KNOW THE WRITER
ACTS AS A FAIRLY CONVENIENT
KIND OF METAPHOR FOR A LOT
OF THE THINGS THAT EVERY
FUNDAMENTAL WAY MOVIES ARE
INTERESTED IN.
THE WRITER HAS -- IS A
CREATIVE PER.
THE WRITER IS AN INDIVIDUAL.
THE WRITER IS OFTEN SEEN AS
A KIND OF REBEL.
TESTIMONY.

A new movie clip plays, with the caption “Before night falls, courtesy Odeon Films.”

In the clip a woman in her thirties walks into a modest home where a severe-looking man is scolding a ten year-old.

She says HE DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG.

The man says HE HAS A SPECIALTY.

The woman says WHAT SPECIALTY.

The man frowns.

Geoff says -- NONE OF THESE MOVIES
HAVE BEEN PARTICULARLY GREAT.
BEFORE NIGHT FALLS I THINK
WAS PROBABLY THE BEST OF THE
BUNCH BUT KIND OF AN
INDEPENDENT FILM AND IT IS
MAY BY AN ARTIST.
SO IT IS REALLY
UNSURPRISINGLY ABOUT THE
UNKILLABLE SPIRIT OF THE
MUSE, RIGHT.
AND ALSO THE SORT OF REGIME
DEFYING THE NORM DEFYING
SPIRIT OF THE CREATION OF
ART.
BUT IN A REALISTIC CONTEXT
THAT ALSO MEETS WITH
INCREDIBLE VISUAL FLARE AND
WONDERFULLY PERFORMED
THAT IS PROBABLY THE BEST
WRITER'S MOVIE.
BUT OFTEN IS JUST LIKE OH,
GREAT, HE'S A WRITER.

Now an animated book sitting on a bar countertop reveals the cover of a book, followed by a clip of the young and old man seen before.

Tina says LATER EXCESSIVE JOY
INJURES THE HEART, THAT
GREAT TITLE IS THE LATEST
FROM OTTAWA'S ELISABETH HARVOR.
BUT FIRST, THE “MARQUIS DE
SADE” REVISITED.
NOW A CLOSER LOOK
AT QUILLS, THE MOVIE ABOUT THE
CONTROVERSIAL “MARQUIS DE
SADE” IS UP FOR THREE OSCARS
LATER THIS MONTH INCLUDING A
BEST ACTOR NOD TO JEFFREY
RUSH.
QUILLS IS ONE OF TWO FILMS
MADE RECENTLY, ONE IN FRENCH,
ONE IN ENGLISH ABOUT THE MAD
MARQUIS.

A clip from the movie shows a rowdy scene in which the Marquis walks on a long table at a banquet, kicking goblets and plates of food as he dances and the attendants bang on the table.
They all yell and laugh uncontrollably. The Marquis passes out.

Tina says IT HAS BEEN 200
YEARS SINCE THE “MARQUIS DE
SADE” WROTE HIS SHOCKING
BOOKS, JIS TEEN, JULY ATAND
120 DAYS OF SODOM BUT THE
PUBLIC'S FASCINATION WITH
THE MARQUIS AND HIS WORK
CONTINUES.
ON TOP OF THE MOVIES OUT NOW
THERE ARE TWO RECENT
BIOGRAPHIES THAT TRY TO
EXPLAIN THE MAN, WHY THE
ENDEARING APEAL.
WE'RE GOING TO ANSWER THAT
QUESTION TODAY WITH OUR TWO
GUESTS, A POTE AND ENGLISH
PROFESSOR AT YORK UNIVERSITY
AND MARTELLA MONEY ROW IS A
READER AND FAN OF HIS WORK.
WELCOME TO “IMPRINT.”

The guests say THANK YOU.

Tina says I WILL START WITH
YOU, STEVE, TELL US A BIT
ABOUT THE MARQUIS.
HE WAS THE MARQUIS BUT TELL
US A BIT ABOUT THE MAN.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Steve McCaffery. English Professor, York University."
Steve is in his late fifties, clean-shaven and bald.

He says HE WAS PORN IN PARIS IN
1740, TWO YEARS BEFORE MEL
LASTMAN.
THE REALLY SIGNIFICANT THING
ABOUT SADE IS THE AMOUNT OF
INCARCERATION, HE WAS BORN
IN 1740, DIED IN 1814 AND
FROM 1779 TO 1790 HE WAS
IMPRISONED AND THE WEIGH
INCARCERATED AGAIN IN 1801
UNTIL 1814 AND ENDED UP
WHERE HE ACTUALLY WAS IN THE
HOSPITAL FOR THE CRIMINALLY
INSANE AND BASICALLY WROTE
PLAYS FOR THE INMATES.

Tina says SO WHEN YOU LOOK AT
HIS WORK, THE THINGS HE
WROTE, HE WROTE MOST OF THEM
I GATHER IN PRISON, GIVE US
A SENSE OF WHAT WAS IN THEM
AND HOW SHOCKING THEY WERE
AT THE TIME.

The caption changes to "Marcella Munro. Marquis de Sade fan."
Marcella is in her early thirties, with long straight auburn hair.

She says WELL, BASICALLY I SEE HIS
WORKS OF HIS THAT I HAVE
READ HAVE KIND OF TWO PARTS
TO THEM.
THE FIRST PART BEING OF
COURSE THE TABLIES OF SORT
OF DEPRAVITY OR ORGIASTIC
PLAY OF SEXUALITY AS WELL AS
FOOD AND ALL KINDS OF OTHER
THINS.
THAT IS WHAT MOST PEOPLE
UNDERSTAND WHEN THEY THINK
ABOUT THE “MARQUIS DE SADE,”
THEY THINK OF THESE SCENES,
HORRIBLE SEX ACTS, VERY
VIOLENT, RAPE, INCEST T IS
ALL THERE.
BUT THE SECOND PART, AND THE
PART THAT IS PROBABLY LESS
KNOWN IS REALLY THE
PHILOSOPHICAL SIDE WHICH ARE
REPRESENTED IN THE BOOKS.
THESE USUALLY COME IN THE
FORM OF MONOLOGUES OF
DIFFERENT CHARACTERS AND
VERY MUCH ABOUT -- THEY ARE
SORT OF HIS EXPLANATION FOR
THE DEEDS THAT THESE PEOPLE
DO IN THEIR SEXUAL TRAVELS.
AND OFTEN THEY ARE GIVEN IN
THE FORM OF SORT OF LESSONS
TO BE LEARNED BETWEEN THE
TEACHER AND STUDENT ROLES IN
THE BOOKS.
AND IN THESE SPEECHES THE
MARQUIS REALLY GIVES HIS
SORT OF TREATISE I GUESS ON
THE RELATIONSHIP AS HE SEES
IT BETWEEN INTELLECTUAL
FREEDOM AND INTELLECTUAL
LIBERTY AND SEXUAL FREEDOM
AND SEXUAL LIBERTY AND KIND
OF PUSHING TOWARDS THE
ENLIGHTENMENT WHERE HE TAKES
THOSE IDEAS OF FREEDOM AND
PUSHES THOSE BOUNDARIES TO
THEIR VERY EXTREME IN HIS
WRITING.

Tina says NOW TO GET TO THE SECOND
PART WHICH I ADMIT IS
INTERESTING HOW DID YOU WADE
THROUGH THE FIRST PART WHICH
I TRIED TO READ BEFORE THIS
PANEL AND I FOUND IT UNREADABLE.

Marcella says WELL, I WAS VERY LUCKY.
I CAME TO THE MARQUIS
THROUGH POLITICAL --
POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY SO THE
FIRST THING I READ WAS AN
ESSAY ON THE MARQUIS DESAD.
AND SO MY INTRODUCTION WAS I
WAS ALREADY EXPECTING, I
THINK, A CERTAIN KIND OF
LITERARY TRAVEL WHICH IS TO
ME, YOU KNOW, HE'S REALLY
ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT -- MORE
ABOUT KIND OF COMMENTARY ON
THE TIMES IN WHICH HE WAS
WRITING, AND MORE KIND OF
PHILOSOPHY OF HOW WE HAVE TO
LOOK AT OUR OWN FREEDOM IN
ORDER TO TRULY HAVE LIBERTY.

Tina says STEVE WHAT ABOUT YOU.
HOW DO YOU LOOK AT THEM
FIRST AS A READER.
AND I KNOW YOU THINK OF HIM
AS A PHILOSOPHER.
TALK ABOUT THOSE THINGS.

Steve says WELL, THERE ARE TWO
SCHOOLS OF READERSHIP AROUND
DESAD SE, IF YOU LOOK AT
GUSTAV FLOBERT THEY THINK IT
IS ENTERTAINING NONSENSE.
IF YOU LOOK AT THE
DESCRIPTIONS, THEY ARE
ALMOST CARTOON LIKE, THE
RAID OF EXPENDITURE AND
RECOVERY.

Tina says VERY ELOQUENTLY PUT, THANK YOU.

Steve says AND THE DANGER IS IT IS
TAKING THE DESCRIPTIVE
PASSAGES IN SADE LITERALLY,
WHAT YOU GET IN SADE IS THIS
ALLIANCE OF THEORY IN THE
IMAGINATION.
INCARCERATION, SADE WROTE
THESE AND THERE ARE SEVERAL
CRITICS WHO THINK THAT THE
INTENTION WITHIN THESE WAS
NOT TO GENERATE THESE ACTS
PER SE BUT ACTUALLY PREVENT
THE MATERIAL HAPPENING IN LIFE.

Tina says WHY?

Steve says SADE THOUGHT THINKING WAS
ESSENTIALLY EROTIC, AND THAT
THINKING ITSELF REQUIRES AN
AMAZING INPUT FROM THE
IMAGINATION.
AND WHEN THESE COME
TOGETHER.

Tina says NOW MARCELLA, SIMON
DE BOUF OTHER WROTE A FAMOUS
ESSAY AING HE WAS A POSITIVE
FORCE FOR FEMALE SEXUALITY.
FIRST OF ALL, IS HE AND HOW
CAN THAT BE.
BECAUSE ON THE FACE OF IT,
WHEN YOU LOOK AT IT, IT IS
DEGRADING, WOULD HARDLY
COVER T WHAT HAPPENS TO NOT
JUST WOMEN BUT MEN AS WELL,
VERY DEGRADING ACTS.

Marcella says I THINK THAT IF YOU
REALLY WANT TO SEE WHO THE
BIGGEST PERSON OR PEOPLE
THAT ARE DEGRADED IN SADE
WORK IT IS MAINLY PRIESTS.
HE REALLY USES A LOT OF HIS
WORK I THINK AS A SATIRICAL
LOOK OF PRESIDENT POWERS
THAT WERE AT THE TIME,
MAINLY THE NOBILITY, AND THE
STATE AND THE CHURCH.
BUT IN TERMS OF WOMEN I
THINK WHAT THE MARQUIS
UNDERSTOOD THAT HAS BEEN
BORROWED FROM IN TIMES AFTER
HIM, BOTH IN TERMS OF SOCIAL
COMMENTARY AND IN TERMS IT
OF PHILOSOPHY AND MAYBE HE
WAS ONE OF THE FIRST VOICES
TO EVEN TALK ABOUT THIS, IS
THE FACT THAT WOMEN HAVE
SEXUALITY, AND THAT WE
HAVE -- IT SEEMS LIKE AN
OBVIOUS THING TO SAY, YOU
KNOW, IN 2001.
BUT HE TOOK IT TO THE NEXT
LEVEL, YOU KNOW, WOMEN ARE
AGENTS OF THEMSELVES.
THEY ARE NOT JUST THESE
ROLES THAT WE HAVE SET UP
FOR THEM AS NUNs BUT THEY
ARE SEXUAL BEINGS.
THEY ARE BEINGS WHO HAVE
THINKING ABILITY, WHO HAVE
THE ABILITY TO EXPRESS
DESIRE AND EXPRESS EMOTION
AND EVEN VIOLENCE WHICH IS A
TOTALLY REVOLUTIONARY IDEA I
THINK AT THE TIME.

Tina says STEVE WE SAID AT
THE BEGINNING IT HAS BEEN
200 YEARS SINCE HE WROTE.
HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THE
ENDEARING APEAL BECAUSE HE
HAS BEEN -- NEVER OUT OF
PRINT I DON'T THINK.
HE IS JUST ONE OF THESE
PEOPLE THAT PEOPLE COME BACK
TO AND BACK TO, EVEN THOUGH
A LOT OF PEOPLE WHEN YOU
LOOK AT THE CRITICAL REVIEWS
SAY IT WAS A THIRD GRADE
PORNOGRAPHER, HE WAS A
HORRIBLE MAN IN REAL LIFE,
HE WROTE JUNK.
WHY DO PEOPLE STILL COME TO HIM.

Steve says WELL, HE NEVER REALLY
ENJOYED POPULARITY IN THE
MAIN STREAM SENSE.
THERE HAS BEEN AN
UNDERGROUND CULT AND
PARTICULARLY AMONG
INTELLECTUAL PEOPLE.
A HUGE LYNNIAJ OF FRENCH
INTELLECTUAL THINKERS.
I BELIEVE IT IS BECAUSE SADE
EMBRACES THE LIMITS.
AND OF THAT LIMIT ONE SEES
THE ENTIRE VALUE OF WESTERN
CIVILIZATION COMPLETELY
INVERTED.

Tina says SO WHEN WE ALL KNOW THAT
SADE STANDS FOR, I THINK TO
MOST PEOPLE, THE S IN S and M
THAT IS WHAT HIS NAME HAS
COME TO MEAN, IS THAT JUST A
COMPLETE MISREADING.

Marcella says WELL, I THINK IT IS AND
IT ISN'T.
THERE ARE A LOT OF
MISREADINGS IN OUR SOCIETY
ABOUT WHAT THE CULTURE OF
SADO MASOCHISM IS ABOUT.
IT IS NOT NECESSARILY ABOUT
DOING VIOLENCE TO PEOPLE IT
IS ACTUALLY ABOUT SEEING
THAT THERE IS A POWER
RELATIONSHIP IN SEXUALITY.
AND THAT THAT POWER
RELATIONSHIP IS EXPLORED IN
LOTS OF DIFFERENT SEXUAL
WAYS AND SORT OF TAKING THAT
TO THE NEXT LEVEL.
SO I THINK ON THAT LEVEL,
SURE T IS STILL ABOUT THE
“MARQUIS DE SADE”'S WORK
BECAUSE TO ME HIS WORK IS
ALSO A POLITICAL TREATISE,
KIND OF ABOUT THE POWER
RELATIONSHIPS THAT WERE IN
SOCIETY AT THE TIME, --
SPEAKING OF THE FACT THAT
THE NOBODY ILITIES IN HIS
WORK ARE THE KIND OF NOBODY
ILITY LIVING TO THE EXCESS
OF THEIR MEANS AND NOT
REALLY CARRING WHAT IS
HAPPENING TO THE PEOPLE
BELOW EM THIS.
WE STILL SEE RESIDENTS OF
THAT IN OUR CAPITALIST
SOCIETY THAT THERE IS A
CERTAIN, YOU KNOW, SPLIT
BETWEEN THE UPPER AND THE
LOWER CLASSES AND THAT
SOMETIMES THAT EXCESS IS
PLAYED OUT TO THEM.

Tina says YOU SAW THE MOVIE.
IS IT HOPELESSLY ROMANTIC.

Marcella says WELL, YEAH, IT IS A BIT
OF A CANDY COTTON, FROM MY
READING OF SADE IT IS NOT --
IT WASN'T -- HE ALMOST
SEEMED A BIT TOO JUBILANT IN
PARTS OF IT FOR ME.
I GUESS IN MY HEAD -- I LIKE
WRITERS TO LIVE MORE IN MY
HEAD, IF YOU WANT THE REAL
THING I THINK YOU SHOULD
TRAY AND GET INTO SOME OF
THE TEXT BUT GEOFFREY RUSH
IS A GREAT ACTOR AND IT IS
INTERESTING ON THAT LEVEL.

Tina says THEY COULDN'T GET
TO YOU SEE IT.

Steve says I ONLY GO TO FILMS WHEN
MY MARRIAGE IS ON THE ROCKS.
HAPPILY IT IS NOT THESE DAYS.

Tina says GOOD.
I HOPE ARE YOU SAFE FROM
MOVIE GOING FOR A LONG TIME.
THANKS FOR COMING IN.

Now Tina sits alone in the studio and says ANCE FOPDNOW A MOVE
BELL ROMANTIC OBSESSION BY
OTTAWA WRITER ELISABETH HARVOR.
THE STORY GOES LIKE THIS,
CLAIRE CAN'T SLEEP.
SHE SEEKS HELP IN
ALTERNATIVE THERAPY BUT SHE
CAN'T SEEM TO FIND THE RIGHT
PRACTITIONER.
THEN SHE MEETS AND BECOMES
OBSESSED WITH A SEDUCTIVE
THERAPIST.
THE BOOK IS CALLED EXCESSIVE
JOY INJURES THE HEART IT IS
HARVOR'S FIRST NOVEL AFTER
SEVERAL SUCCESSFUL BOOKS OF
SHORT STORIES AND A LONG
CAREER IN TEACHING.

A clip plays of Tina interviewing Elisabeth in a home living room.

Tina says THIS IS A BOOK ABOUT
OBSESSION, THE MAIN
CHARACTER CHARACTER IS
OBSESSED WITH HER HEALTH,
HER LOVE LIFE, WITH JUST
ABOUT EVERYTHING.
WHAT IS THE APPEAL OF
OBSESSION FOR YOU.

Elisabeth says OH, LORD, DOW MEAN
PERSONALLY OR AS A WRITER.

Tina says AS A WRITER, WHY
DID YOU WANT TO WRITE HER.
WE WILL GET TO PERSONALLY LATER.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Elisabeth Harvor. Excessive joy injures the heart."
Elisabeth is in her fifties, with very short blond hair and round glasses.

She says WELL, THE EXTREME --
EXTREMITY OF IT IT ANYTHING
EXTREME IS VERY -- YOU KNOW
T IS DYNAMIC TO WRITE ABOUT.
IT IS THRILLING TO BE PART
OF IN A WAY ALTHOUGH YOU
KNOW, ONE MIGHT BE VERY
DELUDED.
SO I THINK IT IS INFINITELY
MORE INTERESTING THAN BEING
STABLE.
I'M NOT TERRIBLY INTERESTED
IN UTTERLY STABLE CHARACTERS
BUT I DIDN'T WANT CLAIRE,
THE CENTRAL CHARACTER TO BE
TOTALLY SORT OF NARROWLY,
MADLY, INSANELY FIXATED.
I WANTED HER TO BEGIN AS
SOMEONE THAT YOU MIGHT THINK
WASN'T REALLY QUITE A
CANDIDATE FOREIGN CHANTMENT
AND THAN SLOWLY SHE TUMBLES
DOWN INTO IT.

Tina says WHAT INHINGES HER.
I MEAN I KNOW SHE CAN'T
SLEEP.
THAT IS A BIG PROBLEM FOR
HER, BECAUSE REALLY THERE IS
NOTHING WRONG WITH HER
PHYSICALLY BUT SHE GOES TO A
VARIETY OF PEOPLE.
SHE IS TRYING TO GET A
DIAGNOSIS.
I THINK THAT SHE WOULD
ACTUALLY BE HAPPY AS A CLAIM
IF SOMEBODY COULD JUST TELL
HER WHAT WAS WRONG WITH HER.
SHE IS LOOKING, LOOKING,
LOOKING AND GOES TO THESE
PEOPLE, NATIONAL YOUR PATHS,
HANDS ON KIND OF QUITES WITH
TREATMENTS YOU STUD HE --
STUDIED AS A NURSE WHAT IS
YOUR TAKE ON ALTERNATIVE
MEDICINE, DO YOU THINK IT
WORKS.

Elisabeth says I THINK IT OFTEN DOES.
I MEAN IF I HAD A MEDICAL
EMERGENCY OR SURGICAL
EMERGENCY I WOULD CERTAINLY
GO WITH THE ORTHODOX METHOD.
BUT FOR ALMOST ANYTHING I
THINK I WOULD GO FIRST TO AN
ACUPUNCTURIST.
I WASN'T -- I KNOW IT SEEMS
AS IF I'M KNOCKING
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IN THIS
NOVEL BUT I REALLY WASN'T
TRYING TO.
I WAS JUST USING THESE
LITTLE INTERESTING SCENES
WHERE THESE PEOPLE ARE A
LITTLE BIT DOING NATIONAL --
DOGMATIC, A LITTLE BIT
TYRANNICAL.
BUT I THINK ON THE WHOLE, IF
YOU CAN GET TO A GOOD
ALTERNATIVE PRACTITIONER IT
CAN BE REALLY HELPFUL.
SO THAT MIGHT NOT BE THE
MESSAGE THAT COMES ACROSS IN
THE NOVEL.
IT WAS PARTLY THAT I WROTE
THESE LITTLE SCENES AND I
LIKED THEM AS SCENES AND
THAN --

Tina says IT WAS THE WRITER IN YOU,
NOT THE REALIST.

Elisabeth says YES.

Tina says THE TITLE OF THE
BOOK IS WONDERFUL, EXCESSIVE
JOY INJURES THE HEART AND IT
COMES FROM IS THE IT STUDY
OF ACUPUNCTURE.

Elisabeth says FROM AN ACUPUNCTURE
MANUAL LISTING THE AFFECTS
THAT DIFFERENT EMOTIONS HAVE
ON DIFFERENT ORGANS AND IT
GOES SOMETHING LIKE THIS
EXCESSIVE ANGER INJURES THE
LIVER.
EXCESSIVE CONCENTRATION
INJURES THE SPLEEN.
EXCESSIVE ANXIETY INJURES
THE LUNGS.
EXCESSIVE JOY INJURES THE
HEART.
THERE IS A LONG LIST.
AND WHEN I SAW THAT PHRASE
EXCESSIVE JOY INJURES THE
HEART I SAID I HAVE TO USE
THAT SOMEWHERE.

Tina says CLAIRE BECOMES
OBSESSED WITH ONE
PRACTITIONER IN PARTICULAR,
AND WHAT A PIECE OF WORK HE IS.

Elisabeth says YES.

Tina says CAN YOU TELL US A
BIT ABOUT HIM.

Elisabeth says WELL, HE BEGINS AS
SEEMING VERY DECENT AND
FORMER MEDICAL DOCTOR.
AND SHE LEARNS TO DRIVE,
DRIVES OUT TO THE COUNTRY TO
SEE HIM.
IT IS -- HE IS A FOLLOWER OF --
REICH SO THE THERAPY IS VERY
HANDS ON, A LOT OF GROUNDING
TECHNIQUES, A LOT OF
BREATHING, A CERTAIN AMOUNT
OF ACTING OUT, PSYCHO DRAMA,
PUSHING, SHOVING T PRIMAL
SCREAMS, THAT KIND OF THING.
AND GRADUALLY SHE JUST
BECOMES VERY ATTRACTED TO
HIM.
PARTLY I THINK BECAUSE OF
THE TOUCHING.

Tina says NOW DID SHE EVER
ANNOY YOU BECAUSE THERE ARE
CERTAIN TIMES IN THE BOOK
WHERE I WANTED TO SAY CLAIRE,
GET A GRIP, GET A LIFE, STOP
WHINING AND GET ON WITH IT.

Elisabeth says YES, YES.
NO, SHE DIDN'T.
MY CHARACTERS DON'T I LOVE
THEM.
I DON'T -- WELL, YOU KNOW.

Tina says BUT SHE LETS HER
LIFE GO BY LIKE A DREAM.
HER FATHER'S DEATH HARDLY
MAKES A DEATH IN HER LIFE
SHE IS SO SELF-ABSORBED.

Elisabeth says UH-HUH.
WELL, I THINK IT DOES AFFECT
HER AND I THINK IT MIGHT
EXPLAIN WHY SHE IS RATHER
VULNERABLE THROUGHOUT THE
NOVEL.
I GUESS I JUST AS A WRITER I
CAN SEE THAT READERS MIGHT
BE IRRITATED BY ANY OF THE
CHARACTERS BUT AS A WRITER,
I AM REALLY NOT.
YOU KNOW, TO CALL HIM A
PSYCHOPATH OR CALL HIM
PSYCHOTIC AND CALL HER
NEUROTIC JUST ISN'T
INTERESTING.
I WANTED TO SEE THEM AS MORE
COMPLEX AND THE SHADES AND
COMPLEXIONS OBVIOUSLY.
AND SHE IS A VERY COMPLEX
CHARACTER AND SO IS HE.
AND I DIDN'T WANT
ANYTHING -- I DIDN'T WANT
THE NOVEL TO BE AT ALL
PRESCRIPTIVE, TO BE CASE
HISTORY.
I DIDN'T WANT ANYTHING TO BE
SIMPLE.
I DIDN'T WANT SOMEONE AT THE
END TO SAY OH,OGUE OKAY, HE
WAS PSYCHOTIC, OR SHE IS AN
INCREDIBLE NEUROTIC.
I I WANTED THEM TO BE MUCH
FULLER THAN THAT.
BUT MAYBE THEY ARE.

Tina says THEY ARE, THEY ARE
BUT YOU KNOW, I GUESS MAYBE,
READERS MUST BE A CONSTANT
SURPRISE TO WRITERS WHAT
READERS READ NOT BOOKS THEY
HAVE WRITTEN.
SO IT MUST BE ONE OF THE
INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT
TALKING TO YOUR READERS.

Elisabeth says IT FASCINATING.

Tina says REALLY, I NEVER
INTENDED THAT, OR WHO WOULD
HAVE THOUGHT.

Elisabeth says YEAH, IT IS FASCINATING.
FOR INSTANCE ONE OF THE
REVIEWS SAID CHILDREN TAUGHT
HER.
WELL, NO, THAT WAS A
WONDERFUL REVIEW ON THE
WHOLE BUT WHEN THE LITTLE
BOY CALLS OUT TO HER HELLO
PITCH, HE IS JUST FLIRTING
WITH HER, THAT IS WHAT
NINE-YEAR-OLD BOYS DO.

Tina says A WELL-KNOWN COMEON.

Elisabeth says THAT'S RIGHT, RIGHT.

Tina says TELL ME ABOUT YOU
WERE A WRITER OF SHORT
STORIES UP UNTIL NOW, THIS
IS YOUR FIRST NOVEL.

Elisabeth says YEAH.

Tina says HOW DOES THAT
COMPARE WHAT KIND OF
EXPERIENCE WAS IT TO WRITE A
NOVEL.

Elisabeth says IT WAS VERY HARD, VERY HARD.
THE WHOLE LOGISTICS OF THE
THING, KEEPING A TRACK OF
WHEN TULIPS BLOOM AND
WHETHER -- WAS THERE SNOW ON
THE GROUND IN THAT SCENE,
ASK THAT EARLIER FOR THAT OR
SHOULD THAT HAPPEN LATER OR
WAS SHE PREGNANT WHEN SUCH
AND SUCH HAPPENED AND HOW DO
YOU DO THAT IN RELATION TO
THE LETTER.
I MEAN COPY EDITORS CHECK ON
THOSE THINGS FOR YOU.
BUT I FOUND THE WHOLE
DYNAMIC REALLY HARD TO
MANAGE.
AND THE OTHER THING WAS THAT
BECAUSE I THINK PEOPLE, IF
PEOPLE DO GET IRRITATED WITH
HER AND NOT EVERYBODY DOES
BUT A LOT OF REVIEWERS SEEM
TO HAVE, IT IS BECAUSE YOU
ARE WITH HER ALL THE TIME.
IT IS A LONG NOVEL AND YOU
ARE WITH THE POINT OF VIEW
OF ONE PERSON.

Tina says YES.

Elisabeth says I THINK IF I HAD WRITTEN
IT FROM MANY DIFFERENT
POINTS OF VIEW THAT YOU
WOULDN'T HAVE FELT THAT WAY
ABOUT HER AT ALL.

Tina says WELL, YOU GET TO
BREATHE WHEN ARE YOU WITH
HER FRIENDS, THE PEOPLE SHE
LIVES WITH DOWNSTAIRS, THEY
ARE SORT OF I FOUND THEM
FRESHING, NORMAL KIND OF
COMPARED TO CLAIRE.

Elisabeth says BUT WHY WOULD WRITERS
WANT THEIR CHARACTERS TO BE
NORMAL.

Tina says EXACTLY.
WRITERS DON'T WANT NORMAL
CHARACTERS, DO THEY.
NOW YOU TEACH CREATIVE
WRITING AS WELL.

Elisabeth says I HAVE FOR YEARS AT
UNIVERSITIES, AT YORK AND
CONCORDIA BUT RIGHT NOW I'M
TEACHING FOR THE SCHOOL FOR
WRITERS.

Tina says DO YOU LIKE
TEACHING IT AND WHAT DO YOU
GET BACK FROM IT, IF YOU DO.

Elisabeth says I FOUND TEACHING IT
REALLY A KIND OF ROLLER
COASTER EXPERIENCE, YOU
KNOW.
YOU WOULD HAVE A WONDERFUL
CLASS WITH A GROUP OF
STUDENTS 1 WEEK, AND THAN GO
BACK THE NEXT WEEK FULL OF
EXCITEMENT ANOTHER GREAT
CLASS AND IT WOULD JUST NOT
WORK VERY WELL.
I MEAN SOME OF THE GREATEST
MOMENTS I HAVE HAD HAVE BEEN
IN TEACHING BUT ALSO SOME OF
THE DEEPEST, DARKEST.
II.

Tina says THERE IS A BOOK IN
THAT.

Elisabeth says I AM GOING TO WRITE ABOUT
THAT AT ONE POINT IT WOULD
BE A GREAT BOOK.

The clip ends. Back in the studio, the book appears briefly. The cover features a sepia-tone picture of a naked woman with a melancholy look.

Tina says EXCESSIVE JOY
INJURES THE HEART BY
ELISABETH HARVOR IS
PUBLISHED BY McLEN AND AND STEWART.
AND THAT IS OUR SHOW FOR
TONIGHT.
COME BACK NEXT WEEK FOR MORE
ON OBSESSIVE LOVE THIS TIME
IT IS BIOGRAPHER ROSEMARY
SULLIVAN, WE WILL GET AN
EARLY PEAK AT HER NEW SPRING
BOOK CALLED LABYRINTH OF
DESIRE ON THE NEXT “IMPRINT.”

Theme music plays as the end credits roll.

Special thanks, International Festival of Authors, Le Royal Meridian King Edward.

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 2001, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Imprint season 12 episode 23