Transcript: Imprint season 13 episode 28 | Mar 20, 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 white top and a lilac blazer.

Tina says HELLO, I'M TINA
SREBOTNJAK.
TONIGHT ON "IMPRINT," WRITERS’
LIVES UNVEILED.
SAVAGE BEAUTY TRACES THE
SCANDALOUS LIFE AND EARLY
DEATH OF EDNA SAINT VINCENT
MILLAY.

Pictures of Edna appear on screen.

Nancy Milford is in her mid-sixties, with chin length slightly wavy white hair with bangs.

She says IF YOU'RE DRINKING WINE OR
SMOKING AND TAKE A SLEEPING
PILL, YOU ARE ONE DEAD BUNNY.

A clip from the movie "Iris" rolls.

A young man asks Iris WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE PRIME
MINISTER?

Iris says YOU'RE ASKING ME?

The young man says YES.

Tina says IRIS MURDOCH'S DECLINE
FROM ALZHEIMER'S IS
DOCUMENTED.
IS THIS MORE THAN WE NEED TO
KNOW?
WHAT DOES THIS TELL US ABOUT
THEIR BOOKS.
AND WRITER AND TEACHER
RICHARD TELEKY TELLS US WHAT
MOTIVATES SOME STUDENTS TO
TAKE UP WRITING.

Richard Teleky’s book "Pack up the moon" appears on screen.

Teleky is in his early fifties, clean-shaven and with short straight brown hair.

He says I'VE HAD KIDS SAY I WANT TO
BE FAMOUS.
I SAID THERE'S SO MUCH OTHER
THINGS YOU CAN DO.
A SERIAL KILLER IS FAMOUS.
YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BE FAMOUS
AS A WRITER.

(music plays)

Fast clips show books and maps in hues of orange and red and a magnifying glass in the shape of a sun. The title "Imprint" appears on screen.

Tina says WE BEGIN WITH THE
STORY OF AN AMERICAN POET EDNA
SAINT VINCENT MILLAY.
THE FIRST WOMAN TO WIN THE
PULITZER PRIZE FOR POETRY.
PASSIONATE AND RECKLESS SHE
WAS FAMOUS FOR POETRY AND
DECADENT LIVE LIFE?
SAVAGE BEAUTY" IS THE LATEST.
IT PAINTS THE PORTRAIT OF THE
POET WHO ROSE FROM OBSCURITY
TO BECOMING ONE OF THE MOST
FAMOUS WOMEN OF HER TIME.

A picture of the book appears.

A female off voice says
MY CANDLE BURNS AT BOTH
ENDS.
IT WILL NOT LAST THE NIGHT.
BUT AH, ME FOES AND OH, MY
FRIENDS, IT GIVES A LOVELY
LIGHT.

A caption reads "Nancy Milford. Savage Beauty."

Nancy says WHY WAS I FIRST INTERESTED
IN EDNA MILLAY?
I WAS SITTING BEFORE A
WINDOW IN THE MIDWEST AND
THINKING TO MYSELF WHAT A
GREAT LIFE IT WAS.
LIVING IN PARIS, LIVING IN THE
VILLAGE OF THE DAYS AND THE
RADICAL MOVEMENT, THE SEXUAL
MOVEMENT SOUNDED BOHEMIAN AND
GLAMOROUS.
I WAS NOT 100 PERCENT WRONG BUT 85 PERCENT
WRONG.
I MEAN BY THAT I DIDN'T
UNDERSTAND THE DEGREE THE
POETRY MATTERED TO HER.

The caption changes to "Molly Peacock. Poet."

Molly is in her mid-forties, with chin-length straight blond hair with bangs.

She says SHE WAS A MODEL BOHEMIAN.
A WILD WOMAN.
SEXY AND BEAUTIFUL.
THE HAIR TOSSER.
THE TINY WOMAN WITH A LOT OF
RED HAIR.
GAVE POETRY READINGS WHERE SHE
ATTRACTED THOUSANDS TO THE
READINGS.
THE MADONNA FIGURE OF HER DAY.

The female voice says SHE IS NEITHER PINK NOR
PALE AND NEVER WILL BE ALL
MINE.
SHE LEARNED HER HANDS IN A
FAIRY TALE AND HER MOUTH ON A
VALENTINE.
SHE HAS MORE HAIR THAN SHE
NEEDS IN THE SUN IS A WOE TO
ME AND HER VOICE IS A STRING
OF COLOURED BEADS OR STEPPING
LEADING INTO THE SEA.
SHE LOVES ME ALL THAT SHE CAN
AND HER WAYS TO MY WAYS RESIGN
BUT SHE WAS NOT MADE FOR ANY
MAN AND NEVER WILL BE ALL
MINE.

At the interview, Nancy says WHEN SHE WAS 16, SHE DID
SOMETHING AMAZING.
SHE GIVE HER THE WORKS OF EDNA
SAINT VINCENT MILLAY.
THAT'S CHEAP.
ISN'T IN?
BECAUSE HER MOTHER HAD THE
WORKS OF SHELLY AND BYRON AND
HERE'S THIS KID WHO HAS
ALREADY BEEN WRITING AND
IMMENSELY GIFTED GIVING BACK
TO HER MOM WHO HAD BELIEVED IN
HER FROM THE BEGINNING.

Molly says OPINION SHE WAS AN
ADVENTURER.
MANY, MANY SEXUAL LIAISONS.
A QUOTE, UNQUOTE, OPEN MARRIAGE AND
WROTE OPENLY ABOUT THE AFFAIRS
AND ELEGANTLY AND
SOPHISTICATEDLY BUT ALWAYS
FRESH.
A KIND OF INNOCENCE ALWAYS
ABOUT HER.

The female voice says AND IF I LOVED YOU
WEDNESDAY, WELL WHAT IS THAT
TO YOU?
I DO NOT LOVE YOU THURSDAY, SO
MUCH IS TRUE.
AND WHY YOU COME COMPLAINING
IS MORE THAN I CAN SEE.
I LOVED YOU WEDNESDAY, YES,
BUT WHAT IS THAT TO ME?

Nancy says POETRY TENDS TO TOUCH MOST
DEEPLY UPON THE LIFE AS YOU
LIVE IT.
WHETHER HER POETRY IS AUTO
BIOGRAPHICAL.
IT WILL SAY AT SOME POINT AND
SAY WHICH MAN WAS THAT WRITTEN
TO AND YOU WANT TO -- YOU KNOW,
IT WAS NOT WRITTEN TO ONE
PARTICULAR PERSON VERY OFTEN.

A picture of Edna in male clothes appears.

Molly says HER VERY FIRST PEOPLE
APPEARED TO CONTROVERSY WHEN
SHE WAS 19 YEARS OLD BECAUSE
SHE FAILED TO WIN A PRIZE WITH
THIS PEOPLE AND THERE WAS AN
OUTCRY.
WHY DIDN'T YOU GIVE THIS
WONDERFUL PEOPLE THE PRIZE.
HER CAREER WAS BORN OF
CONTROVERSY AT AGE 19 AND
ELEVEN YEARS LATER, PULITZER
PRIZE.
THEN CAME THE STRUGGLES TO
MAINTAIN THAT REPUTATION TO
MAINTAIN HER JUICE AS A
WRITER.
ALL OF THOSE THINGS.
AS FOR A WOMAN IN MIDDLE AGE,
THAT REALLY WAS HER CRISIS AND
TO STRUGGLE.

Pictures of Edna and her husband appear on screen.

Nancy says HER RELATIONSHIP WITH HER
HUSBAND HAD AN ELEMENT IN IT
THAT DISTURBED ME AS
PROTECTIVE AS HE WAS.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN YOU'RE
A WOMAN IN YOUR 40s AND YOUR
HUSBAND IS PUTTING YOU TO BED
BECAUSE YOU'RE TIRED.
MAKING SURE YOU EAT ENOUGH.
WRITING DOWN TRANSCRIPTS OF
YOUR PEOPLES.
SOME PEOPLE SAY, WELL, YOU
TREASURED HER, HE VALUED HER
BUT HE INFANTILIZED HER, TOO.
HER HUSBAND TOOK CARE OF
EVERYTHING ON THE HOUSE AND ON
THE FARM AND SHE WAS LEFT TO
WRITE.
THAT SOUNDS MARVELLOUS,
DOESN'T IT.
A PERFECT LIFE BUT I DON'T
THINK IT WAS A PERFECT LIFE.

Molly says SHE WAS A HEAVY DRINKER.
IN THE MILFORD BIOGRAPHY SHE
GOES INTO OTHER KINDS OF
SUBSTANCE ABUSE.
SHE WAS HEAVILY DEPENDENT ON
SUBSTANCES THAT WOULD MAKE YOU
FEEL MORE ALIVE, BUT AT THE
SAME TIME MAYBE NUMB YOU TO
THE WORLD.
THAT'S HOW THAT WORKS.

Nancy says IF YOU TAKE A DRINK OR
DRINKING WINE, SMOKING A
CIGARETTE, AND THEN YOU TAKE A
SLEEPING PILL, YOU ARE ONE
DEAD BUNNY.

The female voice says LOVE HAS GONE AND LEFT ME
AND THE DAYS ARE ALL ALIKE.
EAT, I MUST AND SLEEP, I WILL.
AND WOULD THAT NIGHT WERE
HERE.
BUT AH, TO LIE AWAKE AND HEAR
THE SLOW HOUR STRIKE.
WOULD THAT IT WERE DAY AGAIN
WITH TWILIGHT NEAR.

Molly says EDNA SAINT VINCENT MILLAY WAS
A MODEL FOR WOMEN INTERESTED
IN LITERATURE AND WOMEN POETS
IN HER LIFETIME AND CONTINUES
TO BE AFTER HER DEATH, A
MODEL.

Nancy says EDNA MILLAY NOT FOR THE ILLITERATE
BUT FROM THE HEART
ABOUT PASSIONS AND FEELINGS
THAT ALL OF US HAVE HAD AND I
THINK SHE DID IT WELL.

The female voice says I AM WEIGHTED BY BEAUTY.
WHO WILL WALK BETWEEN ME AND
THE CRYING OF THE FROGS.
OH, SAVAGE BEAUTY SUFFER ME TO
PASS THAT I'M A TIMID WOMAN ON
THE WAY FROM ONE HOUSE TO
ANOTHER.

Tina says "SAVAGE BEAUTY" IS
PUBLISHED BY RAM -- RANDOM
HOUSE.

Music plays. Now an animated book sitting on a rock in a garden reveals books and movie posters about Iris Murdoch and the book "Pack up the moon."

Tina says UP NEXT, THE LIFE AND
DEATH OF "IRIS," DO WE NEED TO
KNOW EVERYTHING?
AND LATER, PACK UP THE
MOON, A NOVEL ABOUT THE POWER
OF FRIENDSHIP BY CANADIAN
WRITER RICHARD TELEKY.

(music plays)

Fast clips show scenes from the movie "Iris" and pictures of the real Iris Murdoch.

Tina says IT'S OSCAR TIME AGAIN AND
HEATING UP THE ACTING
CATEGORIES IS THE MOVIE "IRIS."
ABOUT THE LIFE OF BRITISH
WRITER IRIS MURDOCH.
THE FILM IS BASED ON THE
MEMOIR "ELEGY FOR IRIS."
BOTH DOCUMENT THE DESCENT INTO
THE HAZE OF ALZHEIMER'S
DISEASE AND THE FOUR YEARS
BAYLEY SPENT AS CAREGIVER.
DID HE BETRAY HER PRIVACY BY
TELLING THE STORY OR WAS IT
THE STORY TO TELL?
WHAT DOES IT REALLY TELL US
ABOUT THE WORK.
HELLO, YOU TWO.

Cynthia says HELLO.

Tina says YOU'VE BEEN TO SEE
THE MOVIE.
ROGER EBERT HATED THE MOVIE.

The caption changes to "Cynthia Macdonald. Writer."

Cynthia is in her mid-thirties, with mid-length straight blond hair with bangs. She wears a striped blouse and a red blazer.

Cynthia says I DIDN'T LIKE THE MOVIE
MUCH, EITHER.
TWO ACTRESSES PLAYING IRIS
MURDOCH.
THERE'S NO REAL CONNECTION.
THEY DON'T LOOK ANYTHING
ALIKE.
SHE PLAYS DEMENTED AND KATE IS
VIVACIOUS AND ALL THE REST OF
IT BUT YOU DON'T GET THE
DESCENT INTO ILLNESS.
PEOPLE SAID IT HAS A BEGINNING
AND AN END BUT NO MIDDLE AND
EXACTLY WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT
IT.

The caption changes to "Ian Brown. Writer and broadcaster."

Ian is in his late forties, clean-shaven and with short wavy blond hair. HE wears a beige suit, blue shirt and patterned tie.

He says KATE IS NOT WEARING ANY
CLOTHES IN CERTAIN SCENES
WHICH GAVE IT A LIFT AS FAR AS
I'M CONCERNED.

Cynthia says NOW THAT'S FILM CRITICISM.

Ian says TALKING ABOUT ROGER EBERT
AND WHAT HE THOUGHT OF THE
BOOK.
I THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD FILM.
A MOVING PORTRAIT OF WHAT
HAPPENS WHEN A GREAT MIND
LOSES ITS CURRENCY, LOSES ITS
WORDS, LOSES THE BRICKING THAT
IT HAS BEEN BUILDING VERBAL
HOUSES WITH FOR 40 YEARS AND
THE TERROR THAT JUDI DENCH
MANAGES TO CONVEY AND HER
PERFORMANCE, NAKED OR NOT, NOT
IN JUDI'S CASE, VIVID.

Tina says HER LIFE IS PRIVATE
AND THE QUESTION, THE QUESTION
WE ARE ASKING TODAY IS DID
JOHN BAYLEY DO HER A
DISSERVICE BY WRITING THE
BOOKS.

Cynthia says JOHN BAYLEY WAS ASKED THAT
QUESTION AND HE USUALLY WHEN
HE WAS ASKED SAID, OF COURSE,
SHE WOULDN'T HAVE MINDED AND
THAT'S A STUPID ANSWER BECAUSE
HOW WOULD SHE KNOW.
I LIKED THE BOOK.
IT'S A LOVING TRIBUTE.
I'VE ONLY READ ONE "IRIS."
NOVEL.
ONE OF THE THEMES IS GOODNESS,
HOW TO BE GOOD AND THAT'S THE
PORTRAIT YOU GET.
SHE'S AN EXTRAORDINARILY GOOD
AND KIND PERSON AND MAKES YOU
SORRY YOU NEVER MET HER AND
THAT'S THE BEST WAY TO
EULOGIZE SOMEONE.

Tina says SAW OF THE BOOKS ARE
MORE BEEN JOHN BAYLEY THAN
IRIS MURDOCH.
SOME HAVE NOT BEEN
WELL-REVIEWED.
LIKE WHY DO WE NEED TO KNOW
SHE WAS INCONTINENT AT THE END
OF HER LIFE.
DID JOHN BAYLEY BETRAY HER?

Ian says I DON'T THINK YOU CAN GO
TOO FAR IN A BIOGRAPHY.
ONCE YOU'RE DEAD AND THE WORK
IS OUT THERE, IT STANDS FOR
ITSELF.
THE THING IS READERS,
ESPECIALLY READERS WHO LOVE
HER WORK DESPERATELY WANT TO
CONTINUE THEIR CONNECTION WITH
HER SO THEY WANT TO READ
ANYTHING THEY CAN ABOUT HER
LIFE.
DICKENS BURNED HIS PAPERS AND
MARTIN AMOS SAYS BOOK CHAT
MEDIOCRITIES SHOULD ONLY SPEAK
WITH THE BOOK AND NOT THE LIFE.

Tina says AND MARTIN AMOS WROTE
A BOOK.

Ian says EXACTLY.
MOST DO WANT TO BE WRITTEN
ABOUT AFTER THEY'RE GONE.

Tina says BUT DO YOU THINK THAT
A BIOGRAPHY TELLS US SOMETHING
ABOUT THE WRITER?
YOU CAN MAKE AN ARGUMENT THAT
IT'S ENOUGH TO HAVE READ THEIR
BOOKS AND THAT'S A SOLID
ARGUMENT BUT IS THERE AN ADDED
DIMENSION OR TAKE IT AWAY?

Cynthia says IT IS A WORTHWHILE GENRE.
I RARELY READ.
IF I HAD TIME I'M GOING TO
READ THE NOVELISTS NOVEL
BECAUSE A NOVEL IS BETTER WRITTEN.

Tina says YOU LIKE LITERARY
BIOGRAPHY.

Ian says I DO.
I LIKE TO READ ABOUT WRITERS
AND HOW THEY RESOLVED
PROBLEMS.
AS FOR THIS BUSINESS IN THE
MOVIE AND ELEGY FOR IRIS, YOU
HAVE IRIS PEEING, I DON'T KNOW
IF YOU CAN USE THAT ON TV.
GOING TO THE
BATHROOM ON THE FLOOR AND THAT
DAMAGES HER OR LESSENS HER?
WHY.
IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HER
BOOKS OR HER LIFE.
IT LETS HER SEE HER AS A HUMAN
BEING.
WE ALL PEE AND SOME OF US DO
WORSE AND WE ALL WILL.

Cynthia says BUT THEN ASK THE QUESTION
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE MEMORIAL
MEMORIALIZED IN THAT FORM.
WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR WIFE TO
WRITE A SCENE ABOUT YOU PEEING
ON THE CARPET.
HUMAN NATURE.
MOST WOULDN'T LIKE THAT.

Ian says I WOULD HOPE THE MOVIE
MAKER WOULD USE THE SCENE
BETTER THAN THIS DOES.
THAT'S A SHY SCENE.
HE SIES AWAY FROM IT AND
CONCENTRATE ON THE PEEING AND
ISOLATE IT MORE AND CONNECT
IT.
WHAT IS IT 26 NOVELS?
A COUPLE BOOKS AND PHILOSOPHY,
MAR AND MORE INTERESTING AS I
SIT HERE.
I THINK IT'S OKAY IF MY WIFE
GOES OUT AND HAS A SCENE, I
HAVEN'T PEED ON THE CARPET BUT
I'VE DONE WORSE AND SHE CAN
PUT THAT IN, I THINK.

Cynthia says I AGREE WITH YOU, IAN.
WHAT SURVIVES ABOUT OUR LIVE
IS WHAT IS UNUSUAL.
THE REASON WE REMEMBER THE
DEATH MORE THAN THE LIFE IS
BECAUSE IT WAS BIZARRE.
PUTTING UP MILK AND
COOKIES FOR THE KIDS AND PUT
YOUR HEAD IN AN OVEN IS
TRAGIC.
WHAT THEY DON'T DO EVERY DAY
IS WRITE 23 NOVELS.

Tina says JOHN UPDIKE SAYS WHO
NEEDS IT.
OSCAR WILD SAYS SOME MAN HAS A
DISCIPLE AND IT'S ALWAYS
JUDITH.
A SENSE IS LEAVE US ALONE,
HERE'S OUR WORK, DON'T
INTERVIEW WITH HER LIVES.

Ian says OF COURSE, THEY'RE GOING TO
SAY THAT.
THOSE WRITERS ARE GOING TO SAY
THAT AND WANT THEIR LIVING AND
WANT THEIR WORK TO BE JUDGED
AS WORK AND DON'T WANT FAKE
HELP AND THE READER REALLY
DOES WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THIS
PERSON.
STORIES ARE CRITICAL.
LIKE OUR DNA.
THEY CONNECT US IN WAYS.
THIS CULTURE WE LIVE IN TELLS
MORE FICTIONAL STORIES ON TV
AND BOOKS AND THE RADIO THAN
EVER BEFORE.
A SIGN OF AN ADVANCED
CIVILIZATION.
MORE AND MORE STORIES.
TO STAY WE NEED TO KNOW WHO
CREATES THOSE THINGS.
THE READER'S CONNECTION TO A
LITERARY BIOGRAPHY IS ONE OF A
HUNGRY PERSON WANTING TO BE
FED.
HOW DID WE GET HERE AND WHY AM
I SO INTERESTED IN KNOWING HOW
I GOT HERE AND THAT PERSON WHO
TELLS THE STORY, WHO IS THAT?
WHY ARE THEY DIFFERENT FROM
ME?
WE GREW UP IN CRUMMY VILLAGES
IN ONTARIO BUT WHY IS ONE OF
THEM ALICE MONROE AND ONE IS
US WHO CAN'T TELL THE STORY?

Cynthia says AND ISN'T ALWAYS JUDITH.
AS IN THE CASE OF
J.D. SILINGER.
THIS IS A MAN WHO MISSES HIS
WIFE AND KEEPS WRITING THESE
BOOKS ABOUT HER.

Tina says LET'S GO BACK.

Ian says HE HAS WRITTEN TOO MANY.

Ian says THREE TOO MANY.
NOW IT'S A COMMUNISM FOR
WIDOWERS.

Cynthia says IT IS GETTING TOO MUCH.

Tina says GET BACK TO THE
MOVIE.
WILL JUDI DENCH GET THE
CANCER?

Cynthia says I DON'T THINK SO.
I THINK SISSY SPACEK IS GOING
TO GET IT.
I DIDN'T LIKE THE PERFORMANCE
BECAUSE IN THE FEW BRIEF
SCENES, I DIDN'T GET A SENSE
OF WHAT I READ ABOUT WAS THE
PLAYFULNESS AND
INTELLECTUALITY.

Ian says I SHOULD NOT ADMIT IT IN
PUBLIC BUT I'VE HAD A THING
FOR JUDI DENCH SINCE SHE WAS
QUEEN VICTORIA IN Mrs. BROWN.
ODDLY ENOUGH.

Cynthia says YOU WANTED TO MAKE HER
MISSUS BROWN.

Ian says I WOULD STILL LIKE TO MAKE
HER -- I HONESTLY, I HAVE A
THING, A CHILL, WHATEVER, A
HEAT.
I WAS SHEETED.
I KNOW IT'S BIZARRE.

Tina says HERE'S A MAN WHO
FEELS WE CAN NEVER KNOW TOO
MUCH ABOUT HIM.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING
THE PERSONAL INSIGHTS AND
CYNTHIA, THANK YOU FOR COMING
IN.

(music plays)

Now Tina is alone in the studio.

Tina says A WARNING NOW TO FRIENDS
AND FAMILY OF FICTION WRITERS.
NEVER TRUST A NOVELIST WITH
YOUR INNERMOST SECRETS.
THE AUTHORS WE MET THIS SEASON
AND MOST ARE ONLY TWO WILLING
TO TELL YOUR STORIES IN THE
BOOKS.

Now on an animated slate, clips show different authors answering the question "Do you mine your personal life for your fiction?"

Ronald Write says I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO
AT LEAST CHANGE THE NAMES AND
CHANGE THE DETAILS SO THAT
ONLY THEY WILL RECOGNIZE IT.
ALSO THE PEOPLE, MANY WANT TO
BE IN A BOOK AND MANY WHO
THINK THEY ARE WHEN THEY ARE
NOT.

Ian Rankin says MY DAD THOUGHT HE WAS THE
CHARACTER IN EVERY STORY I
WROTE.
HE'D SAY THAT'S ME, ISN'T IT.
NO, DAD, THAT'S A NUN.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer says I'LL DO SOMETHING AND
THEY'RE SAY OH, THAT'S GOING
IN MY BOOK.
I'M PUTTING THAT IN MY BOOK
SOME DAY.

Ridley Pearson says I'M OUT OF BULLETS WHEN IT
COMES TO CREATING NEW
CHARACTERS OUT OF MY SCHIZOID
HEAD.
I'VE USED THEM UP.

Susan Musgrave says HOW MUCH PRIVACY TO
PILLAGE.
THAT'S WHAT WE ARE, PILLAGERS
OF PRIVACY.
YOU CAN'T HELP WHEN SOMEONE
TELLS A STORY.

Richard B. Wright says I CAN'T HELP THAT SOMEONE
YOU KNOW WON'T APPEAR IN A
NOVEL BUT YOU WON'T RECOGNIZE
THEM.

Lisa Scottoline says I'VE ALIGNED MY PERSONAL
LIFE.
I FOUND OUT I HAD A HALF
SISTER I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT.
AS SOON AS SHE ARRIVED AT MY
DOOR, ANNOUNCED HERSELF, I WAS
TAKING NOTES, BOY.
THIS IS THE NEXT BOOK.
I'M SORRY.
DO YOU MIND?
I DON'T CARE IF YOU MIND.

Richard Ford says ALWAYS THE CASE WHEN
SOMEONE DOES RECOGNIZE SOME
VESTAGE OF HIMSELF OR HERSELF
IN A STORY, THEY DON'T LIKE
IT.
THEY FEEL LIKE, YOU KNOW,
ABORIGINAL PEOPLE WERE
SUPPOSED TO HAVE FELT WHEN
PEOPLE TOOK THEIR PICTURES.
LIKE A PART OF THEIR SOLE HAS
BEEN EXPROPRIATED AND HAVE A
RIGHT NOT TO LIKE IT AND I
ALWAYS TRY TO BLUR THE LENS.

Back in the studio, Tina says NOW TO A WRITER WHO'S
NOVEL IS BASED ON A REAL-LIFE.
RICHARD TELEKY "PACK UP THE
MOON" IS BASED ON A FRIENDSHIP
BACK AT UNIVERSITY.
YEARS LATER HE DISCOVERED SHE
WAS KILLED SHORTLY AFTER THEIR
FRIENDSHIP ENDED.
I SPOKE TO TEACHER AND WRITER
RICHARD TELEKY.

The interview rolls.

Tina says NICE TO MEET YOU.

Richard says NICE TO BE TO MEET YOU.

Tina says THE MAN FINDS HOW
THAT THE WOMAN HAD BEEN
MURDERED SOME YEARS BACK.
THIS, I GATHER, IS LIKE A
SITUATION THAT HAPPENED TO
YOU.
CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT YOU, CAN
YOU TELL ME ABOUT IT?

The caption changes to "Richard Teleky. Pack up the moon."

He says IT DID HAPPEN AFTER I WAS
IN GRADUATE SCHOOL.
I WAS SCHOOL WITH A WOMAN AND
FOR MANY REASONS OUR
FRIENDSHIP CAME TO AN END.
SOME YEARS LATER, 1991 AND 92,
I WAS AT A DINNER PARTY AND
LEARNED SHE WAS MURDERED.
WHEN THAT HAPPENED, IT WAS AS
IF I DIDN'T BELIEVE THE WAY
MEMORY WAS RELEASED.
ALMOST LIKE AN INVOLUNTARY
MEMORY.
FOR DAYS AFTER I COULD
REMEMBER FULL CONVERSATIONS WE
HAD.
DETAILS OF THEM.
SITTING ON THE KITCHEN FLOOR
PAINTING, THAT SORT OF THING
AND IT DISTURBED ME TO REALISE
THAT WE HAVE THAT STORAGE OF
MEMORY AND YOU NEED A CERTAIN
PRESS OF EMOTION TO RELEASE
IT.

Tina says THE MAN AND WOMEN IN
THIS BOOK, CARL IS THE MAN,
STUDENTS, THEY MEET AND HAVE
THIS INTENSE FRIENDSHIP THAT
HAS EVERYTHING IN COMMON BUT
DON'T BECOME LOVERS BECAUSE
CARL IS WAY BUT IN EVERY OTHER
WAY THEY APPEAR TO BE IN LOVE.
DO YOU THINK THAT'S LOVE?

Richard says KIND OF LOVE.
IF YOU WANT TO THINK OF IT
ONLY AS TRADITIONAL ROMANTIC
LOVE, NO.
BUT THEY HAVE THE TRAPPINGS OF
THAT.
BUYING PRESENTS, TAKING EACH
OTHER TO EVENTS.
THEY ARE SOUL MATES AND YOU CAN
FIND SOUL MATES IN UNEXPECTED
PLACES IN LIFE.

Tina says CARL IS GAY AND HE
AND CHARLOTTE HAVE THIS
WONDERFUL VERY MODERN IN OUR
EYES RELATIONSHIP WHICH IS THE
GAY MAN AND STRAIGHT WOMAN.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT THAT DUO THAT
IS SUCCESSFUL?
WHY DO GAY MEN AND STRAIGHT
WOMEN GET ALONG OR IS THAT A
CLICHé?

Richard says IT'S A GOOD QUESTION AND A
HARD ONE TO ANSWER BECAUSE SO
MANY REPRESENTATIONS IN OUR
WORLD TODAY.
SUCH AS "WILL and GRACE," STILL
SEXUAL TENSION BETWEEN THE
CHARACTERS AND EXPRESS HOSTILITY.
I'VE BEEN APPALLED AT THAT.
IN REAL LIFE, THERE'S A
CONNECTION BECAUSE PEOPLE WILL
OCCASIONALLY FEEL TRULY
RELAXED WITH SOMEONE.
WHO WANTS THE BEST FOR THEM.
OFTEN IN FRIENDSHIPS, WE OPEN
UP THE MOST TO PEOPLE WHO WANT
US TO BE FULLY OURSELVES.

Richard sits on a couch and reads an excerpt of his book out loud.

He says FOR 20 YEARS I HAD RARELY
SPOKEN OF CHARLOTTE AND NOW I
THOUGHT OF LITTLE ELSE.
HER DEATH SEEMED UNREAL,
IMPOSSIBLE.
NOT ONLY LOSS PROMISE BUT
SOMETHING MOCKING MY OWN
FAILURE.
FOR YEARS I WAS THE BEST
FRIEND.
CONFIDENT, GOOD NEIGHBOURED.
THE PERSON YOU CALLED FOR
ADVICE ABOUT RESTAURANTS OR
ASKED TO WATER THE PLANTS.
I PRACTICALLY BELONG TO A
TRADITION IN THE MOVIES.
THE SENSITIVE NEIGHBOUR WHO IS
ARTISTIC, BITCHY OR DOOMED.
AT FIRST WE TRY TO MURDER OUR
WOMAN FRIENDS AND HELP THEM
WITH OUR MAKEUP THE WAY NATHAN
HELPS MICHELLE PFEIFFER IN
"MICHELLE AND JOHNNY."
WE CAN TALK WITH WOMEN.
WE HAVE THE GIFT FOR
FRIENDSHIP.
PERHAPS I SOUND BITTER, BUT
NOT THEN.
NOT A AT THAT.
I WAS IN LOVE WITH FRIENDSHIP.

Back at the interview, Tina says AND CARL WAS A GRAFT
DODGER.
WHICH YOU DID, TOO?
WHAT KIND OF EXPERIENCE WAS
THAT?
OBVIOUSLY YOU WERE ABLE TO
BLEND IN LOOKS WISE.
NOBODY WOULD HAVE KNOWN.
WHAT KIND OF EXPERIENCE WAS
THAT?

Richard says A STRANGE EXPERIENCE
BECAUSE YOU BLEND IN ON THE
SURFACE.
YOU THINK YOU'RE STILL IN
NORTH AMERICA, STILL IN THE
SAME PLACE AND OVER TIME YOU
START TO REALISE THAT YOU HAVE
BEEN RAISED IN THE STATES AND
A DIFFERENT WAY THAN CANADIANS
ARE RAISED.
DIFFERENT EXPECTATIONS OF THE
WORLD.
CANADIANS ARE GENERALLY
COMFORTABLE WITH IMMIGRANTS
FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD BUT
NOT NECESSARILY AMERICANS.
SO PEOPLE RARELY SAY TO
SOMEBODY WHO IS ITALIAN WHY
ARE YOU HERE OR WHY ARE YOU A
CITIZEN.
BUT THEY WILL SAY THAT TO
AMERICANS.
A FUNNY QUALITY.
BUT I HEARD A JOKE THAT I
LOVED ABOUT THIS SUBJECT.
A MAN WHO GOES TO THE UNITED
STATES, CROSSES THE BORDER AND
THE BORDER GUARD GOES WHAT'S
YOUR SITUATION.
THE MAN SAYS I'M A CANADIAN
AND AMERICAN.
THE GUARD SAYS THAT'S
IMPOSSIBLE.
YOU CAN'T BE BOTH.
THE MAN SAYS YOU CAN HAVE DUAL
CITIZENSHIP.
FINAL THE GUARD SAYS HERE,
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THERE WAS
A WAR?
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
THE MAN SAYS IT WOULD DEPEND
ON THE CONTEXT OF THE WAR,
WHAT THE GOALS WERE.
THE BORDER GUARD SAYS, YOU'RE
CANADIAN.

Tina says TOO MANY QUALIFIERS.

Richard says BUT BEYOND THAT, INSISTING
ON THE CONTEXT AND THAT'S THE
THING I LOVED ABOUT CANADA
WHEN I CAME HERE AND STILL DO.
A WILLINGNESS TO ALLOW FOR
PUBLIC SCEPTICISM ABOUT A
NUMBER OF ISSUES, NOT
CANADIAN NATIONALISM.

Tina says YOU SEE THAT NOW IN
THE DEBATE, HOW THE PRISONERS
ARE TREATED.
THOSE ARE ISSUES THAT ARE
RAISED.
YOU PUBLISHED YOUR
FIRST BOOK AT 47?

Richard says YES.

Tina says THAT SEEMS OLD
ESPECIALLY THESE DAYS.

Richard says LATE BLOOMING.

Tina says WEARING BLACK
LEATHER.

Richard says THERE ARE A LOT OF WRITERS
WHO WANT TO BE PART OF THE
SCENE.
WHO PREFER TO HAVE WRITTEN
THAN BE AT THE DESK WRITING.
IF YOU CAN FORCE YOURSELF TO
CONFRONT WHY YOU WANT TO WRITE
AND ADDRESS THE FACT THAT THAT
BOOK IS SOMETHING YOU DON'T
CONTROL, I THINK YOU HAVE A
DIFFERENT ATTITUDE TOWARD
REVIEWS TO ANY PUBLIC
RECEPTION.
BECAUSE YOU'RE A LITTLE BIT
AMAZED THAT THE BOOK HAPPENED
AT ALL.
THERE'S A REAL MODESTY THAT
WRITERS NEED TO CULTIVATE.

Tina says DO YOU THINK YOU
COULD HAVE WRITTEN A BOOK AT
30?

Richard says YEAH, I WROTE TWO BOOKS AT
30.
LIKE MANY WRITERS, I HAVE
MANUSCRIPTS THAT I WON'T SHOW
TO ANYONE AND THAT'S PART THAT
YOU SHOULD GO THROUGH AND SO
MANY PEOPLE TODAY WHO ARE
PUBLISHING THEIR APPRENTICE
WORKS.

Tina says LIKE PUBLISHING THEIR
FIRST DRAFT.
SPIT IT OUT AND PUBLISHED
TOMORROW.

Richard says THEY WANT TO BE PUBLISHED
BUT DON'T WANT TO READ
ANYTHING AND CERTAINLY DON'T
WANT TO RATE EACH OTHER'S
WORKS.
THEY WANT THE EGO.
I HAD KIDS SAY I WANT TO BE IN
PUBLIC WRITER BECAUSE I WANT
TO BE FAMOUS.
YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BE FAMOUS
AS A WRITER.

Tina says KIDS DON'T WANT TO
READ BUT YET THEY WANT TO
WRITE.
THEY WANT TO BE IN ""PEOPLE."
MAGAZINE?"
THEY WANT THE END PRODUCT.

Richard says THEY WANT ATTENTION,
GRATIFICATION.
A LOT SAY THEY ARE INTERESTED
IN WRITING AND ASK WHAT THEY
WANT TO WRITE THEY HAVE NO
EXAMPLES.

Tina says THEY SEE SPENDING TIME IN
CHAT ROOMS.

Richard says AS WRITING.

Tina says I'M TOO OLD FOR THIS.
THAT'S UNBELIEVABLE.
THEN THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY OF
READING THE GREAT WORKS OF
LITERATURE STUDYING HEMMINGWAY
OR FITZGERALD, THEY DON'T DO
THAT?

Richard says SOME DO BUT THEY ARE IN THE
MINORITY AND SO MANY
UNIVERSITY COURSES FOCUS ON
THE WRITING OF THE LAST 30
YEARS OR SO, IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME
TO GET A STUDENT INTERESTED IN
READING TOLSTOY.
IN ALL THE YEARS I'VE TAUGHT,
I HAVE ONE PERSON TO READ.
ONE.

Tina says DOES THIS CAUSE YOU
TO DESPAIR THEN?

Richard says IT CAUSES ME TO BE STUBBORN
AND WORK HARDER AND CHALLENGE
THEM MORE.
YOU CAN'T GIVE UP.
LITERACY AT ANY MOMENT IN TIME
CAN VANISH IN A GENERATION.
WE FORGET THAT AS A CULTURE
HOW FRAGILE LITERACY IS.
EXTRAORDINARILY FRAGILE.
ONE OF THE FIRST THING THAT IS
DEFINES US AS HUMAN IS
LEARNING THE LANGUAGE.
ONE OF OUR ESSENTIAL FIRST
TASK IS TO LEARN A LANGUAGE.
IF WE DON'T VALUE THAT AND
RECOGNIZE THAT WE HAVE TO PUT
URGENCY AND INTENSITY AND
PASSIONATE TO TEACHING AND
BETRAY THE CULTURE.
WE BETRAY ALL THE BOOKS WE'VE
LOVED.

Tina says WELL SAID.
I COULDN'T AGREE MORE.

Richard says THANK YOU, DEAR.

Back in the studio, Tina says "PACK UP THE MOON" BY
RICHARD TELEKY IS PUBLISHED BY
THOMAS ALLEN.
TIME TO CLOSE THE BOOK ON
"IMPRINT."
FOR A READING LIST CHECK OUT
THE WEBSITE.
THE ADDRESS IS COMING UP.
GOOD NIGHT.

Theme music plays as the end credits roll.

Special thanks, International Festival of Authors. The Winery. Gisele Corinthios.

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 28