Transcript: Imprint season 13 episode 21 | Feb 13, 2002

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, a blue blazer and a black turtleneck.

She says HELLO THERE. TONIGHT ON IMPRINT, THE TRAGIC TALE OF TED HUGHES AND SYLVIA PLATH.

(music plays)

An animated slate reads "Imprint."

Pictures flash by showing Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath.

Tina says CONVENTIONAL WISDOM HAS IT THAT HUGHES DROVE HER TO SUICIDE. THE WRITER THINKS DIFFERENTLY.

A woman in her seventies with curly brown hair says HIS GREAT CRIME WAS ADULTERY. NOW, HE IS NOT THE ONLY MAN IN LONDON OR I SUSPECT IN CANADA TO HAVE COMMITTED ADULTERY.

As clips show newspaper headlines, Tina says A BIG PLAGUERISM SCANDAL IN THE NEWS. WHERE IS THE LINE WHEN IT COMES TO BORROWING FROM OTHER PEOPLE'S WORK?

As clips show people attending a book signing event, Tina says MEET DIANA GABALDON, THE ONE-WOMAN PUBLISHING MACHINE WITH MILLIONS OF FANS.

At the event, Diana says THE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION I HAVE BEEN GETTING IS WHEN IS THE NEXT ONE COMING OUT? [LAUGHTER] SO I HAVE AN OFFICIAL ANSWER TO THAT. IT'S COMING OUT FEBRUARY 16, 2004 AT 3:15 IN THE AFTERNOON. [LAUGHTER]

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 WE BEGIN TONIGHT CAN ARIZONA WRITER, DIANA GABALDON. SHE IS NOTHING SHORT OF A PUBLISHER GREAT. IN THE EARLY 90s SHE PUBLISHED THE FIRST BOOK IN HER OUT LANDER SERIES. THROUGH WORD OF MOUTH, THE NOVELS BECAME WORLDWIDE BEST SELLERS. NOW DIANA GABALDON RETURNS WITH THIS BOOK.

A picture shows four books by Diana. One is blue, the other yellow, the third green and the fourth pale blue.

Tina says DIE HARD FANS CAN'T WAIT TO GET IN ALL ONE THOUSAND PAGES. THEY LINED UP FOR HOURS TO MEET THE WRITER IN TORONTO.

(music plays)

Fast clips show hundreds of people queuing up to get books signed by Diana.

She's in her thirties, with long straight black hair.

As she greets people and signs books, she says HI, HOW ARE YOU?
THERE WE GO. OKAY.

A woman in her twenties with brown hair says HER BOOKS ARE ENGAGING M I LIKE THE HISTORICAL ASPECT. MIXING FANTASY AND ROMANCE MAKES IT INTERESTING.

A woman in her twenties with blond hair says MY FAMILY ARE FANS. MY FATHER, MY MOTHER. I'M A FAN BECAUSE IT REACHES ALL PEOPLE. PEOPLE WHO LIKE ROMANCE. PEOPLE WHO LIKE HISTORY. PEOPLE WHO LIKE A INTRIGUING STORY THAT COME PELS YOU TO TURN THE PAGES.

At the signing a woman says THIS IS FOR MY SISTER.

Diana says ALL RIGHT.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Diana Gabaldon. The Fiery Cross."

Diana says WHEN PEOPLE TELL ME WHAT IT IS THEY LIKE ABOUT THE STORIES, IT RANGES WILDLY. SOME LIKE THE ACCURATE HISTORY AND THE FEELING THEY ARE LEARNING SOMETHING. SOME PEOPLE LIKE THE VIVID ASPECTS OF THE NOVELS, THE FEELING THEY ARE LIVING IN ANOTHER TIME. SOME PEOPLE LIKE THE TIME TRAVEL ASPECTS AND THE INTERESTING FANTASY ELEMENTS. SOME PEOPLE LIKE THE LOVE STORY. A LOT OF PEOPLE LIKE THE CHARACTERS. THEY ARE INTERESTED IN THESE PEOPLE AND WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

At the event, speaking into a microphone, Diana says
THE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION I HAVE BEEN GETTING SINCE ABOUT THREE DAYS BEFORE THIS BOOK WAS OUT IS WHEN IS THE NEXT ONE COMING OUT? [LAUGHTER] SO I HAVE AN OFFICIAL ANSWER TO THAT. ITS COMING OUT FEBRUARY 16, 204 AT 3:15 IN THE AFTERNOON. [LAUGHTER] SNI FEEL AS THOUGH THE CHARACTERS ARE MEMBERS OF THEIR FAMILY OR LIFE LONG FRIENDS.

At her interview, she says THEY ARE FEEL IN WHOSE LIVES THEY ARE DEEPLY INTERESTED AND WANT TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS. HOW ARE THEY GOING TO SOLVE THIS SITUATION? WHERE IS JIM'S FATHER REALLY?

At the event, Diana reads
WILDLY PUZZLED HE PIERED THROUGH THE EYE PIECE. THEY ARE WHAT? SPERM, MALE REPRODUCTIVE CELLS. YOU KNOW, WHAT MAKES BABIES M I THOUGHT HE MIGHT CHOKE. HIS MOUTH OPENED IN A SHADE OF ROSE. YOU MEAN SEED, HE KROKED? SPUN K? HE SHOOK HIS HEAD AN TURNED TO ME. A FRIGHTFUL THOUGHT. WHOSE ARE THEY? [LAUGHTER] WELL, YOURS, OF COURSE. I CLEARED MY THROAT. WHO ELSE'S WOULD THEY BE? HIS HAND WENT BETWEEN HIS LEGS. HOW DID YOU GET THEM? [LAUGHTER] HOW DO YOU THINK, I SAID COLDLY. I WOKE UP IN CUSTODY OF THEM THIS MORNING. [LAUGHTER]

As she signs a book, she says FOR KAREN.

A woman says I TOLD MY HUSBAND THAT GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY I WILL LEAVE HIM FOR JAMIE. [LAUGHTER] T HE IS JEALOUS OF THE BOOKS.

Diana says REALLY? MAYBE YOU SHOULD INVITE HIM TO READ THEM.

At her interview, Diana says NO ONE HAS BEEN ABLE TO DESCRIBE THE NOVELS IN 25 WORDS OR LESS. WE NEITHER. MY EDIT OR SAYS THEY HAVE TO BE WORD OF MOUTH BECAUSE THEY ARE TOO WEIRD TO DESCRIBE. THEY ARE UNDER SCIENCE FICTION, ROMANCE, FANTASY, LITERATURE. THE ONLY PLACE THEY HAVEN'T BEEN IS WESTERNS.

A woman getting her book signed says SHE IS A BIG FAN.

Diana says GREAT.

Another woman says THE SUN PENS KEEPS YOUR ATTENTION.

A blond woman in her thirties says ITS COMPELLING. YOU SORT OF FALL IN LOVE WITH THE, CHARACTERS. SCOTLAND AND YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE THERE.

Diana says THE CANADIAN BOOK STORES ARE WELL ORGANIZED. THEY ALL GIVE THE PEOPLE POST IT NOTES TO PUT ON THEIR BOOKS SO THEY HAVE TO SPELL THEIR NAME FOR ME SO I DON'T HAVE TO ASK. BUT OFTEN ENOUGH THEY GIVE THEM A POST IT AND SAY WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE DIE YEAH TO TO PUT IN THE BOOK. THERE THEY GO THEIR IMAGINATION CARRIES THEM AWAY. AT ONE SIGNING I DID IN SALMON ARM WHERE I WAS GETTING STRANGE REQUESTS, THINGS LIKE TO MY GREAT AUNT WHO HAS ALWAYS LOVED TIME TRAVEL AND CAME FROM SO AND SO AND SO.

A woman in her early thirties with long blond hair says I LIKE THE DETAIL. THERE IS A LOT OF DETAIL ABOUT THE TIME PERIOD, ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON IN THOSE PARTICULAR AREAS, ALL OF THE MEDICINE AS WELL AS HISTORY. ITS WELL WRITTEN. IT MAKES ME LAUGH.

A man in his fifties says I LIKE THE HISTORICAL PART OF IT. I LIKE THE IDEA THAT... THE IDEA OF TIME TRAVEL.

Diana says I DON'T KNOW THERE ARE ANY NEGATIVES EXCEPT WHEN YOU DO BOOK TOURS IT MEANS YOU SIGN BOOKS FOR TWO OR THREE HOURS AT A STRETCH. ITS WONDERFUL TO HAVE PEOPLE READ AN RESPOND TO THE BOOKS ON THIS LEVEL.

A woman taking a photo with Diana says VERY NICE TO MEET YOU.

Back in the studio, Tina says THE FIERY CROSS BY DIANA GABALDON IS PUBLISHED BY DOUBLE DAY CANADA.
NEXT, A PLAGUERISM SCANDAL BEGS THE QUESTION... HOW FAR IS TOO FAR WHEN IT COMES TO BORROWING FROM OTHER BOOKS?
LATER, TED HUGHES AND SYLVIA PLATH. A NEW TAKE ON THEIR TRAGIC STORY.

As clips show newspaper headlines, Tina says AN AMERICAN HISTORIAN HAS BEEN MAKING HEADLINES WITH ACCUSATIONS OF PLAGUERISM. STEEFEN AMBROS STANDS ACCUSED OF LIFTING WHOLE PASSAGES FROM OTHERS' WORKS. THE BOOKS THAT MADE HIM A BEST SELLER AND MILLIONAIRE MAY NOT BE ENTIRELY ORIGINAL. IS PLAGUERISM A KROIM OF THE SEND SERIEST FORM OF FLATTERY? HERE TO LOOK AT THIS are Suanne Kelman THE DIRECTOR OF BROADCAST AT THE SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM...

Suanne is in her fifties, with short curly white hair. She's wearing a blue sweater and a purple scarf.

Tina continues AND WRITER AND TEACHER Antanas Sileika.

Antanas is in his late forties, with short gray hair and a boxed beard. He's wearing glasses, a gray plaid suit and a black turtleneck.

Tina continues HELLO. WHAT DID HE DO?

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Suanne Kelman. Ryerson University."

Suanne says WELL, ITS A ACADEMIC CRIME BECAUSE HE DID HAVE FOOT NOTES SAYING THE PASSAGES... WHERE HE GOT THE IDEAS WAS FROM XXX. BUT HE DIDN'T PUT QUOTATION MARKS AROUND THE QUOTES. THIS IS A NO-NO. HE WAS LEFT ON BECAUSE HE IS A HISTORIAN, OTHER ACADEMICS RECENT HIM AND WERE LOOKING FOR AN ERROR. SO, IF HIS NOTES GOT SCREWED UP THIS WAY, AS HE CLAIMS, YOU START WONDERING HOW ACCURATE THE REST IS.

Tina says YOU SAY QUOTATION MARKS. THEY ARE EVERYTHING, AREN'T THEY?

Suanne says IN THE ACADEMIC WORLD, IT DOES. YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO QUOTE PEOPLE WORD FOR WORD WITHOUT ACKNOWLEDGING THAT. YOU ARE NEVER EVER SUPPOSED TO LIFT ANYTHING WITHOUT LIFTING... AC NONLING IT.

The caption changes to "Antanas Sileika. Writer, Teacher."

Antanas says I MAKE A LIVING KNOWING WHERE QUOTATION MARKS GO BUT THIS IS A QUESTION OF MANNERS. HE FORGOT THE QUOTATION MARKS? PEOPLE DO THAT ALL THE TIME. THE EXCHANGE OF IDEAS BACK AND FORTH IS THE REALITY OF LIFE. [OVERLAPPING VOICES].

Suanne says JUST A SECOND. THE EXCHANGE OF IDEAS, YES BUT WE ARE NOT TALKING IDEAS M WE ARE TALKING ABOUT EXACT WORDS. YOU TEACH BUT YOU ALSO WRITE. YOU KNOW THAT WRITING INVOLVES SWEATING BLOOD. WHEN YOU HAVE SPENT A LOT OF EFFORT WRITING THOSE WORDS, I THINK YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE OFFENDED WHEN SOMEONE ELSE REWRITES THEM AND SAYS, THESE ARE MINE.

Antanas says THIS HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. I AM SWEATING BLOOD RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I AM WRITING A HISTORICAL NOVEL WHERE THERE WAS A MAG NIVE ISN'T PERSON WHO LOOKED AT JOS FINE BAKER. THERE IS A PASSAGE IN HIS DIARIES. I TOOK IN MY OWN PIZZA FICTION AL CHARACTER SO WHEN KESSLER SAYS SOMETHING, MY CHARACTER RERESPONDS. THIS HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. [OVERLAPPING VOICES].

Suanne says THIS IS WHAT SCREWS EVERYTHING UP. THIS IS POST MODERNISM. TS ELLIOTT SAID GOOD ARTISTS WERE A GREAT ARTIST STEAL. THIS IS A STYLE NOW. I THINK ONE OF THE EXAMPLES IS THOMAS WHO TOOK A PASSAGE BY A RUSSIAN WRITER AN PUT IT IN THE WHITE HOTEL THINKING PEOPLE WOULD RECOGNIZE IT. MANY OF US HAVEN'T READ THAT MANY RUSSIAN NOVELS.

Antanas says SO THIS GOES BACK A LONG WAY. I MEAN THIS IS SHAKESPEARE DOES THE BALCONY SCENE ANDED MON ROSS DOES A SPIN ON IT, STEVE MARTIN MAKES A FILM...

[OVERLAPPING VOICES].

Suanne says OKAY.

Tina says ISN'T PLAGUERISM IN THE NEWS MORE NOW? ARE WE MORE AWARE OR IS IT MORE STICKY? JK ROLAND HAS AN AUTHOR CLAIMING HARRY POTTER IS MINE. SEEMS TO BE IN THE NEWS ALL THE TIME.

Suanne says I THINK ITS PARTLY THE NET THAT ITS EASIER TO IDENTIFY THINGS. BUT THERE IS ANOTHER ISSUE HERE. WHEN SHAKESPEARE WAS BORROWED, HE EXPECTED PEOPLE TO RECOGNIZE IT. OUT THAT SORT OF THING PEOPLE DON'T RECOGNIZE IT. I THINK THERE IS A DISTINCTION HERE BETWEEN WHAT AMBROS DID WHICH MIGHT BE CARELESSNESS, BETWEEN THE PLAYFULNESS, TAKING CHUNKS OF THINGS AND USING IT FOR EFFECT, AS YOU ARE...

[OVERLAPPING VOICES].

Suanne says AND STRAIGHT FORWARD THEFT OF WHICH THERE IS A GREAT DEAL. WE SEE HUGE AMOUNTS OF R FROM STUDENTS WHO WON'T ACKNOWLEDGE THEY HAVE DONE SOMETHING WRONG. YES, I LIFTED THE PAPER. [OVERLAPPING VOICES].

Tina says THEY ARE AN NOWED THIS YOU CAUGHT THEM.

Suanne says INDEED.

Antanas says I HAD... MY BEST WAS WHEN I CAUGHT ONE AT SCHOOL WHO SAID YOU GOT THIS OFF THE NET. HE SAID I PAID GOOD MONEY FOR THIS. [LAUGHTER]

Tina says ARE YOU DEFENDING PLAGUERISM? HEY, RELAX?

Antanas says Z I THINK IT HAS TO DO WITH THE HUMAN CONDITION. I HEARD THE WORD ALAS ON A SHOW WHEN I WAS A TEEN AND USED IT TWO YEARS. I WAS IN THE RESTAURANT AND THEY USED A LONG WORD THAT I USED FOR YEARS. WE DO THIS ALL THE TIME.

[OVERLAPPING VOICES]

Suanne says NICE TRY. VERY NICE TRY.

[OVERLAPPING VOICES]

Suanne says BUT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STARTING TO USE THE WORD ALAS AND, WELL, LET'S TAKE A REALLY BAD EXAMPLE. MARTIN AMOS WROTE AN EARLY NOVEL CALLED THE RACHEL PAPERS. A GUY IN NEW YORK WROTE A NOVEL IN WHICH HE LIFTED ABOUT 50 PASSAGES FROM THE RACHEL PAPERS. OF YOURS YOU HAVEN'T HEARD FROM HIM SINCE. YOU DON'T TANGLE WITH MARTIN AMOS.

Antanas says THAT WAS A POOR THEFT.

Tina says SURELY QOU ARE NOT SAYING THAT WAS OKAY?

Antanas says THE THING IS YOU HAVE TO BE SMART ENOUGH TO GET AWAY WITH IT.

Suanne says THAT IS TERRIBLE.

Antanas says HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. YOU ARE TALKING QUOTATION MARKS. GEORGE ELLIOTT'S NOVELS ARE FILLED WITH QUOTATIONS MARKS. WHAT IT MEANT WAS HERE IS AN ILLUSION. WE WANT THE STUFF WOVEN IN. WE CAN'T STOP IT. ITS LIKE PICK POCKETS, IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME.

Tina says YOUR NOVEL COMING OUT IN 2003, IF I WROTE A BOOK AND LIFTED A CHAPTER OUT OF YOU OH BOOK AND PUT IT IN MINE, YOU WOULD SAY, FINE?

Antanas says TOUGH QUESTION. AS LONG AS YOU PAY ME SOMETHING PERHAPS... NO, I SOUND SIN CALL. YES, THERE IS A LINE. THE QUESTION IS HOW MUCH CAN YOU TAKE. CAN YOU TAKE A A CHUNK? IT'S A SLIPPERY LINE. YOU CAN TAKE A PLOT, FINE M YOU CAN TAKE A WORD, FINE. WHEN DOES IT KICK IN?

Suanne says ARE YOU GO K TO ACKNOWLEDGE IN YOUR NOVEL THAT YOU ARE DOING THIS? THAT YOU USED THE MATERIAL?

Antanas says I AM TOYING WITH THE IDEA.

Suanne says I THINK YOU BETTER. IT WOULD BE MORALLY DEGRADING OF YOU NOT TO. I WOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOU.

Tina says IS THERE ANY WAY... HE IS SAYING THERE IS NO WAY TO STOP IT. DO YOU THINK THERE IS ANY WAY TO STOP IT?

Suanne says THERE ARE PLENTY OF WAYS. LOOK HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE GETTING CAUGHT. THAT FASCINATES ME. MOST PEOPLE DO GET CAUGHT IN THE END. POOR ALEX HAYLEY LIFTED PASSAGES AND PAID FOR IT DEARLY. I DON'T KNOW WHY PEOPLE DO IT WHEN THEY ARE... WHEN THEY WILL GET CAUGHT. ITS NOT THE MONEY M WROST WRITERS DON'T MAKE HAYLEY KIND OF MONEY M I DON'T THINK YOU WILL GET RICH OFF YOUR NOVEL.

Antanas says WELL LET'S NOT PRESUME.

[LAUGHTER]

Suanne says ITS ALL THE MORE IMPORTANT THAT THE WORDS BE SEEN AS IMPORTANT. I GUESS THAT IS THE OTHER THING I FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT. I LOVE WORDS. I WANT THEM TO BELONG TO THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE WRITTEN THEM M I DON'T WANT PEOPLE PICKPOCKETING

[OVERLAPPING VOICES]

Antanas says I CAN'T BELIEVE THE MORAL STANCE. WHAT ARE KE TALKING ABOUT? QUOTATION MARKS. YES. PEOPLE WHO LOVE WORDS USE THEM WELL. I SUPPOSE WE COULD SAY IF YOU INTRODUCE MATERIAL FROM OTHERS AN USE IT WELL, WELL DONE. IN SCHOOL WE SEE THE ONE WHO CAN'T THINK OF ANYTHING. [OVERLAPPING VOICES] SO YOU HAVE A PERSON WHO IS INCAPABLE OF WRITING AND YOU GET A BRILLIANT PAPER. [OVERLAPPING VOICES].

Suanne says IT ONLY COUNTS IF THE AUDIENCE RECOGNIZE IT AS ILLUSION.

Tina says WE ARE OUT OF time. WILL WE BE SEEING THIS MORE?

Suanne says ABSOLUTELY. PARTLY BECAUSE OTHERS LIKE MY COLLEAGUE HERE WILL PLAY GAMES WITH OTHERS WRITING. MANY WILL BE TEMPTED TO STEAL.

Antanas says YES. THERE IS GOING TO BE MORE. YOU CAN'T STOP IT. ITS THE WAY THINGS HAPPEN. YOU CAN TRY TO REGULATE IT. POWER TO YOU.

Tina says THANKS VERY MUCH YOU TWO.

An animated slate shows artwork in hues of orange.

Then, Tina says TWO A NEW CHAPTER NOW IN THE TRAGIC LOVE STORY OF TED HUGHES AND SYLVIA PLATH. EVER SINCE THE SUICIDE IN 1963, PEOPLE BLAMED TED HUGHES FOR DRIVING HER TO IT. WAS HE THE PHILANDERING HUSBAND WHO MADE HIS WIFE TAKE HER OWN LIFE? ELAINE FINESTEIN THINKS ITS TIME TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT. HER NEW BOOK SETS OUT TO REDEEM THE WRITER'S REPUTATION.

A picture shows a book titled "Ted Hughes. The life of a poet." The cover is white, with a black and white portrait picture of Ted Hughes in his thirties.

Tina continues I MET WITH ELAINE TO TALK ABOUT HER BOOK. FIRST, HERE IS TED HUGHES READING FROM HIS OWN WORK.

As pictures of young Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath flash by, a male voice says DEEP IN HER GOLD BODY, THRILLS, SPASM. HER HALF DREAMS LIFT OUT OF HER, LIGHT-MINED SUE SIDES. COP YOU LAIGS AND DEATH.

Now Tina sits in a living room with the woman in her seventies seen before.

Tina says YOU SAY IN THE BOOKS INTRODUCTION THAT SYLVIA PLATH'S SUICIDE HAD EACHED INTO THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF A WHOLE GENERATION THE IMAGE OF TED HUGHES AS A HUSBAND WHOSE INFELT DROVE HER TO KILL HERSELF ONE MORNING IN LONDON. THAT IS NOT THE TED HUGHES YOU KNEW?

A caption reads "Elaine Feinstein. Ted Hughes: The life of a poet."

Elaine says NO. I REALIZE THAT HIS ADULTERY PRECIPITATED HER MISERY. ANY LOOK AT THE DOCUMENTATION SHOWS HE WAS A MOST UNUSUALLY SUPPORTIVE HUSBAND. NOT JUST SUPPORTIVE. OUT OF HIS TIME, MODERN AS A HUSBAND, TAKING HALF THE CHORES AND KNOWING HER AMBITIONS TO BECOME A POET, HE WAS VERY KEEN TO SUSTAIN THAT AND GIVE HER HOURS EVERY DAY IN WHICH SHE COULD WRITE. THAT IS UNUSUAL.

Tina says THEY MET AT CAMBRIDGE. HE IS FROM YORK SURE WHICH HAD AN INFLUENCE ON HIM. BUT HE MET HER THERE. SHE WAS FROM THE STATES. YOU DESCRIBE THEIR MEETING. ITS ALMOST AS IF AN E ELECTRIC CURRENT PASSED BETWEEN THEM.

Elaine says ABSOLUTELY GLOR OUS DRUNK ENCEPHALITIS COUNTER. TED WAS WITH ANOTHER WOMAN BUT FROM THAT MOMENT WAS COMMITTED TO SYLVIA. THAT WAS TED THAT WAS OVERWHELMED.

Tina says SILL YI YEAH PLATH IS FAMOUS SUE SIDES. BUT THERE IS AMBIGUITY ABOUT WHY SHE DID IT. WHAT IS YOUR THEORY?

Elaine says I HAVE SOME THEORIES. THEY ARE ONLY THEORIES. THE FIRST IS SUPPORTED BY A LETTER FROM TED WHO LAYS THE BLAME ON DRUGS SHE WAS TAKING.

Tina says ANTIDEPRESSANTS.

Elaine says YEAH. THE THING ABOUT THAT IS THEY DO RELEASE YOU FROM YOUR PROBLEMS BUT THEY ALSO MAKE IT POSSIBLE TO DO THINGS YOU OTHERWISE MIGHT NOT HAVE DONE. SO THAT MIGHT HAVE DECIDED HER. WHY WOULD SHE WANT TO? I THINK THE QEE QUESTION IS SHE WONDERED WOULD HE STOP SEEING THE OTHER? IF HE SAID HE WAS GOING TO STOP SEEING HER, COULD SHE BELIEVE HIM? WOULD SHE EVER BE ABLE TO RELAX AND TRUST AGAIN?

Tina says THE WOMAN IS THE WOMAN THAT TED LEFT Sylvia FOR. AS YOU PAINT HER IN THE BOOK, A COMPELLING PRESENCE, BEAUTIFUL, THREE TIMES MARRIED, YOU KNOW... VERY AWARE OF HER SEXUAL CHARMS.

Elaine says ABSOLUTELY.

Tina says A WOMAN WHO WAS DEVASTATING IN HER OWN RIGHT. THEY HAD THIS MAGNETIC COMING TOGETHER. YET WE SORT OF WANT TO SAY TO TED, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WHAT IS GOING ON? DON'T YOU LOVE SILL YI YEAH?

Elaine says I THINK IT WAS SIMPLE. THEY HAD A RATHER DIFFICULT FOUR MONTHS UP UNTIL MAY OF THAT YEAR.

Tina says HE AND SYLVIA.

Elaine says YES. BECAUSE SHE WAS VERY TIREDDED. SHE HAD TWO CHILDREN NOW. SHE WAS BREAST-FEEDING. SHE DESCRIBES HERSELF AS HAVING THE LOVING SL O VILENSS OF MOTHERHOOD. THE OTHER WOMAN WAS PER FUMD, BEAUTIFUL. SYLVIA HAD ANIMATION, GOOD LOOKS SOME DAYS, OTHER DAYS NOT. BUT THE OTHER WOMAN WAS BEAUTIFUL ALL THE TIME. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN HARD TO RESIST. I THINK THERE IS NO DOUBT I WOULD PUT THE BLAME ON THE OTHER WOMAN. SHE INTENDED TO SEDUCE HIM.

Tina says SHE TALKED ABOUT PUTTING ON HER WAR PAINT TO MEET HIM. SO THERE WAS INTENTION THERE. YET HER OWN STORY IS... WELL, ALMOST ERIE BECAUSE OF THE ECOES OF SYLVIA'S STORY. SIX YEARS AFTER SHE GASSED HER, THE OTHER WOMAN KILS HERSELF IN THE SAME MANNER. THERE IS SOMETHING UNBELIEFABLY SPOOKY ABOUT THAT. IF A PERSON TOLD YOU THAT, YOU WOULD THINK IT WASN'T TRUE.

Elaine says RIGHT. ITS A VERY, VERY STRANGE STORY. IN PART I THINK IT WAS INTENTIONED.

Tina says SHE MEANT IT TO BE?

Elaine says YES. IT WAS LIKE ALL SUE SIDES, DESIGNED TO HURT IN THE THE HARDEST WAY. BUT SHE HAD IN THE LAST TWO YEARS OF HER LIFE HAD TO PUT UP WITH SERIOUS WITH HAUNTING BY SYLVIA HERSELF. SHE HAD COME BACK HAVING LEFT TED, TAKEN UP HER OLD JOB IN ADVERTISING AND FOUND THAT SYLVIA HAD BECOME A CELEBRITY. SHE WAS NEVER WAS IN HER LIFETIME BUT SHE WAS THEN. SHE WAS ON THE NEWS, COVER OF TIME AND NEWSWEEK. EVERYBODY KNEW THIS BRILLIANT DYNAMIC WOMAN. WHEREVER SHE WENT, PEOPLE WHO KNEW THE STORY AND KNEW HER TURNED THEIR BACKS ON HER.

Tina says YOU DON'T MAKE MORAL JUDGMENTS IN THE BOOK BUT WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE LIFE HE LED ON THE PHILANDERING SIDE, HE LOST THE TWO WOMEN, MARRIES CAROL, HIS SECOND WIFE. BEFORE HE MARRIES HER HE IS INVOLVED IN AFFAIRS WITH TWO OTHER WOMEN. ONCE TEMPTED TO BRING UP THIS HORRIBLE EXPRESSION SEX ADDICT. WHAT WAS AT PLAY HERE? WHY DID HE KEEP... HE FELT SOME NEED TO HAVE MANY WOMEN IN HIS LIFE.

Elaine says HE SAYS SO. HE DID NEED MORE THAN ONE WOMAN. IN FACT, PROBABLY HE ALWAYS NEEDED THE OTHER WOMAN TO PROVIDE THE TIGHT IN EXCITEMENT. HE NEEDED TO BE EXCITED REALLY TO FUNCTION.

Tina says I DON'T KNOW HOW HE RAN HIS LIFE. HOW DID HE KEEP THEM ALL STRAIGHT. I WANT TO ASK YOU ABOUT THIS CULT OF SYLVIA PLATH THAT CERTAINLY IS... WAS MOSTLY AN AMERICAN SITUATION. TED HUGHES WAS DEMONIZED AS THE MAN WHO DROVE HER TO HER DEATH. WHAT WAS IT ABOUT AMERICAN FEMINISM THAT SEIZED UPON SYLVIA PLATH AS A POSTER GIRL?

Elaine says NOW DAYS I THINK POST FEMINISM, IF YOU LIKE, ANYBODY WHO HAD A SUFFICIENT AWARENESS OF THEIR OWN WORTH WOULD NEVER TAKE THEIR LIFE JUST BECAUSE OF A MAN. THAT WAS A PHENOM NON OF A DIFFERENT AGE. IN ORDER TO LAY THAT SQUARELY AT TED'S FEET, THEY HAD TO TURN HIM INTO AVILLE LAN. NOW FOR SIX OF THE SEVEN YEARS OF THEIR MARRIAGE, HE WAS FAR FROM AVILLE LAN. CONSULT SYLVIA'S JOURNALS. THERE WASN'T BULLYING. HE WASHED UP, CHANGED DIAPERS.

Tina says HE WAS A GOOD FATHER.

Elaine says EXCELLENT FATHER. HE LOVED HIS DAUGHTER. HE READ TO HER. HIS GREAT CRIME WAS THE ADULTERY. NOW, HE IS NOT THE ONLY MAN IN LONDON OR IN CANADA TO HAVE COMMITTED ADULTERY. HE DIDN'T WANT TO BREAK UP THE MAR RANL. IT WAS SYLVIA, BY THE WAY WHO THREW HIM OUT.

Tina says YOU HAVE BEEN ON A TOUR OF PARTS OF AMERICA. WHEN BERKLEY LETTERS CAME OUT IN 1998, TED HUGHES BRILLIANT BOOK OF LETTERS HE WROTE OVER 30 YEARS, DID THAT HELP HIS REPRESENTATION?

Elaine says IN THE STATES HE HAS NOT BEEN REHABILITATION TATED TO THE EXTENT OF BEING TAUGHT IN SCHOOLS. OR TAUGHT AT UNIVERSITY LEVEL EVEN. A LOT OF HIS BOOKS ARE STILL OUT OF PRINT IN THE STATES. THE REHABILITATION IS STILL TO COME. I HOPE IT WILL BECAUSE HE IS SA MAJOR POET. WHEN HE WAS IN ENGLAND, THERE WERE NO ARGUING VOICES. HE WAS THE FIRST AMONG EQUALS.

Back in the studio, Tina says TED HUGHES, THE LIFE OF A A POET.
THAT IS A WRAP FOR THIS EDITION OF IMPRINT. WE LEAVE YOU WITH THOUGHTS FROM WRITERS ON THE SUBJECT OF PUBLIC READINGS. SOMETIMES NOT QUITE AS MUCH FUN AS THEY HAD IMAGINED. GOOD MIGHT.

A slate reads "Describe your worst experience reading in front of a crowd."

Peter Robinson, in his fifties, clean-shaven and balding, says I USED TO WRITE POETRY. I REMEMBER READING IN A PUB NEAR MANCHESTER. THERE WAS ME, A DRUNK, A PROSTITUTE, MAYBE A COUPLE OTHERS. HALFWAY THROUGH THE READING THE DRUNK CAME ON THE STAINL, GOT THE MIKE AND STARTED SINGING YOUR CHEATING HEART.

Robert J. Sawyer, in his forties, balding, with a goatee, says YOU NEVER HAVE A BA EXPERIENCE IN FRONT OF A CROWD. ITS WHEN ITS ONE GUY WHO SHOWS UP AND MAKES YOU STAY FOR THE FULL HOUR BUT WON'T MAKE EYE CONTACT. READING IN FRONT OF A CROWD IS A JOY. READING TO ONE PERSON IS A NIGHTMARE.

Pearl Luke, in her forties, with short brown hair, says WE WERE SPEAKING AT A UNIVERSITY. THE READINGS THAT WE GAVE AS A PANEL HAD A COMMON THREAD. THEY SEEMED TO BE MILDLY EROTIC. NO ONE READ ANYTHING VERY EROTIC BUT THERE WAS A THREAD THAT RAN THROUGH THE EVENING. SOMEONE UP, A STUDENT GOT UP AND SAID WE WERE HEADING INTO A MORAL AM GED DEN... ARM GED DON.

David Eddie, in his late thirties, with receding blond hair and a goatee, says THINK WORST EXPERIENCE IS THERE NOT BEING A CROWD THERE.

Ronald Wright, in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair, says THE WORST EXPERIENCE IS THE READING WHERE YOU TURN UP EXPECTING A HUNDRED PEOPLE AND THERE ARE FIVE. THE RULE OF THUMB IS IF ITS ONLY THREE, GO TO THE BAR.

David Gilmour, in his late forties, clean-shaven, with curly gray hair, says THE WORST EXPERIENCE, HAVING NO ONE TURN UP AT A READING THEN A NATIONAL FILM CREW TURN UP. TOP OF THE LIST.

Theme music plays as the end credits roll.

Special thanks, True Grits Restaurant.

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 2002, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Imprint season 13 episode 21