Transcript: Imprint season 14 episode 24 | Mar 19, 2003

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 blue blazer over a white polo-neck blouse.

TINA says HELLO THERE, I'M TINA SREBOTNJAK.
TONIGHT ON IMPRINT, VIRGINIA
WOOLF GOES TO HOLLYWOOD.

(Piano music plays)
In animation, the title "Imprint" appears against a waving background in orange hues.

A clip shows a distraught woman who complains to a man.

She says I AM ATTENDED BY DOCTORS,
EVERYWHERE, I AM ATTENDED BY
DOCTORS WHO INFORM ME OF MY OWN
INTERESAINT

A photo portrait shows Virginia Woolf.

TINA says A LITERARY ICON IS
BROUGHT TO LIFE ON THE SILVER SCREEN.
WILL THIS HELP OR HINDER HER REPUTATION?
SURPRISE GILLER NOMINEE LISA MOORE.
THE PARTY'S OVER, BUT THE
BENEFITS CONTINUE.
(Lively music plays)

Blonde Lisa Moore sits talking to Tina.

LISA says I THINK IN A
CERTAIN WAY THERE'S A NEW
PERMISSION.
I FEEL LIKE, UM --
I FEEL AS IF SOMEONE HAS SAID GO
AHEAD TO WHATEVER YOU LIKE.
WE'RE GOING TO LISTEN FOR A
LITTLE WHILE.

TINA says AND WRITER LINWOOD
BARCLAY EXTOLS THE WONDERS OF
READING.

Linwood, graying in his fifties, talks from a podium.

LINWOOD says YOU DON'T
HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE PAGES TO
DOWNLOAD.
[ Laughter ]

LINWOOD says IT'S THERE, OKAY.
AND THEN YOU WANT TO GO TO THE
NEXT ONE, WATCH THIS, OKAY.(Flips the page)
IT'S THERE.
[ Laughter ]

(Piano music plays)
In fast-clip animation, the title "Imprint" appears against a waving background in orange hues. The Imprint sun symbol and samples of modern art appear. A pair of speckled hands opens a blank book.

TINA says HERE'S HOLLYWOOD'S TAKE
ON LITERARY ICON VIRGINIA WOOLF.

A clip plays.

A maid says GINGER, MADAM?

The lady of the house says I'D LIKE TO GIVE THE CHILDREN
A TREAT.

The maid says WE'D HAVE TO GO TO LONDON FOR
GINGER, MADAM.
I HAVEN'T FINISHED THIS, AND
THERE'S THE REST OF LUNCH TO GET READY.

The lady of the house saysHE 12-30 TRAIN, NELLIE, WILL
GET YOU INTO LONDON JUST AFTER ONE.
IF YOU RETURN ON THE 2-30, YOU
SHOULD BE BACK IN RICHMOND SOON
AFTER THREE.
DO I MISCALCULATE?

The maid says NO.

The lady of the house says WELL, THEN, IS SOMETHING
DETAINING YOU, NELLIE?

To herself, she says I CAN'T THINK OF ANYTHING
MORE EXHILARATING THAN A TRIP TO LONDON.

TINA says TAKE THAT.
THAT WAS FROM "THE HOURS," A
FILM THAT'S UP FOR SEVERAL
ACADEMY AWARDS THIS WEEKEND.
THE MOVIE AND NICOLE KIDMAN'S
PROSTHETIC NOSE HAVE PUT
VIRGINIA WOOLF BACK ON
EVERYONE'S RADAR SCREEN AND
TURNED WOOLF'S BOOK "MRS.
DALLOWAY" INTO A HUGE BEST-SELLER.
IS THIS RECENT BOUT OF LITERARY
CELEBRITY A GOOD THING OR DOES
IT SULLY THE REPUTATION OF A
LITERARY ICON?
TWO VIRGINIA WOOLF FANS ARE HERE
TO TACKLE THESE QUESTIONS TODAY,
BRONWYN DRAINIE, EDITOR OF "THE
LITERARY REVIEW OF CANADA," AND
LESLEY HIGGINS, ASSOCIATE
PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH AT YORK
UNIVERSITY.
HELLO...

LESLEY HIGGINS, in her forties with gray hair in a bob, says HI.

BRONWYN DRAINIE, in her fifties with short blond hair, says HI.

TINA says LET'S START WITH THE MOVIE.
BRONWYN, YOU SAW "THE HOURS."
WHAT DID YOU THINK?

BRONWYN says WELL,
SOMETIMES A REALLY RISKY PLOY
COMES UP ACES, AND IT'S A THRILL
WHEN IT HAPPENS, AND I THINK
THAT'S TRUE WITH "THE HOURS,"
BOTH THE BOOK AND THE MOVIE.
I MEAN, IT'S SUCH A WEIRD,
ECCENTRIC NOTION FOR A BOOK.
YOU KNOW, TO TAKE AN OBSCURE
BOOK LIKE "MRS. DALLOWAY," A
DIFFICULT BOOK, BY VIRGINIA
WOOLF AND TO SORT OF UPDATE IT,
TO RE-VISIT IT, AND SHOW HOW
IMPORTANT IT'S BEEN IN THE LIVES
OF THREE WOMEN WHO LIVE ON
COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CONTINENTS
IN COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TIMEFRAMES.
I MEAN, IT'S, LIKE, THE WORST
IDEA YOU CAN POSSIBLY THINK OF
FOR A BOOK, AND YET IT WORKS,
AND THEN THE MOVIE SURPRISINGLY
WORKS AS WELL, ON TOP OF THAT.
AND IT REALLY IS ONE OF THE BIG
SURPRISES OF THE SEASON.

TINA says I LOVED IT.
DID YOU LIKE IT, LESLEY?

A caption reads "Lesley Higgins. York University."

LESLEY says I THOUGHT IT
WAS VISUALLY STUNNING; I THOUGHT
THAT THE MOVIE WAS EMPTY.
I THINK THAT IT WAS A BETTER
VERSION OF THE NOVEL THAN THE
NOVEL, BECAUSE I THOUGHT THE
BOOK WAS REALLY SHALLOW.

TINA says MM-HMM.

LESLEY says GREAT
PREMISE, AS YOU SAY, JUXTAPOSING
THE THREE DIFFERENT PERIODS, BUT
IT HAS --
IT ROBS THE NOVEL OF ANY --
OR, WELL, WOOLF'S WRITINGS OF
ANY SORT OF POLITICAL DEPTH OR
ANYTHING MORE THAN HYSTERICAL
WOMEN HAVING THREE BAD DAYS IN
THE MIDST OF ALL THEIR PRIVILEGE.
I DIDN'T LIKE IT AT ALL.

TINA says SO PARTICULARLY IT'S
THE PORTRAYAL OF VIRGINIA WOOLF
THAT YOU FIND FAULT IN?
YOU DON'T LIKE THE MOVIE, BUT
IT'S PARTICULARLY IN THE FIELD
FOR VIRGINIA WOOLF, IT DIDN'T DO
IT FOR YOU.

LESLEY says IT DOES A
VERSION.
I DON'T THINK THAT --
I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANY TRUE
VERSION OF WOOLF ANYMORE; THERE
IS EVERYBODY'S COMPETING VERSIONS.
I THOUGHT THAT THE MOVIE WAS,
ALTHOUGH VISUALLY GORGEOUS, YOU
KNOW, STUNNING ACTING, I
THOUGHT, FUNDAMENTALLY, WE HAVE
THREE WOMEN OF PRIVILEGE WHO ARE
FUNDAMENTALLY HYSTERICAL, AND I
THOUGHT THAT IT WAS --
IT BETRAYED HOW PROFOUNDLY
MISOGYNISTIC THE NOVEL WAS,
FUNNILY, AND IN THAT SENSE I
THOUGHT DIDN'T REALLY DO JUSTICE
TO WOOLF AT ALL OR ANY OF THE
WOMEN WHO WERE ACTING SO BRILLIANTLY.

TINA says WELL, LEAVING ASIDE THE
OTHER TWO WOMEN, IN THE
PORTRAYAL OF VIRGINIA WOOLF,
BRONWYN, DID YOU GET THAT SENSE
THAT SHE WAS THIS HYSTERIC, THIS
SHALLOW HYSTERIC?

A caption reads "Bronwyn Drainie, Literary Review of Canada."

BRONWYN says ACTUALLY NOT.
I FELT THAT NICOLE KIDMAN'S
PERFORMANCE WAS QUITE WONDERFUL.
IT WAS SO CONTROLLED AND
RESTRAINED, AND THE PORTRAYAL
THAT SHE WAS WORKING ON FROM THE
BOOK OF "THE HOURS" WAS NOT A
HYSTERICAL ONE AT ALL.
YES, THIS WAS A DEEPLY TROUBLED WOMAN.
I FELT YOU KNEW THAT FROM THE
VERY FIRST FRAMES OF THE MOVIE
WHERE SHE WALKS INTO THE RIVER
AND KILLS HERSELF, BUT WE ALL
KNOW THAT ABOUT VIRGINIA WOOLF.
WHAT SHE SHOWED WAS THE KIND OF --
THE SOLID, FLOWING RIVER OF
IDENTITY BENEATH THAT SURFACE I
THOUGHT VERY, VERY WELL.
AND SO I DIDN'T FIND IT A
SHALLOW PERFORMANCE IN ANY WAY.

LESLEY says I DIDN'T
THINK THE PERFORMANCE WAS.
I THOUGHT THAT THE PARTICULAR
TAKE ON WOOLF.
THERE'S A PROBLEM, OF COURSE,
WHEN ANY AUTHOR HAS, OR ANY
PERSON HAS, A PARTICULARLY
SPECTACULAR, INTERESTING DEATH,
SHALL WE SAY.
THEN THERE'S A TENDENCY TO MAKE
EVERYTHING FIT THE DEATH.

TINA says WELL, YOU KNOW, IT'S
INTERESTING, SYLVIA PLATH'S
DAUGHTER IS NOW SAYING --
SHE'S TALKING ABOUT A
FORTHCOMING FILM THAT'S GOING TO
BE OUT ABOUT SYLVIA PLATH AND
HER HUSBAND --

LESLEY says MALCOLM.

TINA says RIGHT.
AND SO WHAT THEY'RE TALKING --
WHAT SHE SAID, THE DAUGHTER, HER
QUOTE WAS THE REASON SHE WAS
AGAINST IT WAS SHE WAS AFRAID IT
WOULD MAKE HER MOTHER INTO A,
QUOTE, SUICIDE DOLL.
AND, YOU KNOW, I THOUGHT --
THAT REALLY GAVE ME PAUSE.
ARE YOU SAYING, THEN, THAT THIS
IS WHAT WE'VE MADE VIRGINIA
WOOLF, THAT'S SHE'S KIND OF
BECOME A SUICIDE DOLL?

LESLEY says I THINK
THAT'S A VERY PUNGENT WAY OF
PUTTING IT, BUT, YES, I THINK
THAT IT --
OBVIOUSLY YOU'RE SHOWING ONE DAY
IN HER LIFE, AND YOU CHOOSE THE
DAY THAT REPRESENTS A CERTAIN
IMAGE THAT YOU HAVE OF HER, BUT
IT'S THE WAY, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT
THEIR WORK AS PUBLISHERS IS SORT
OF TOSSED OFF AS MERELY FOR
THERAPY FOR THE DAY, AND THE WAY
IN WHICH --
YOU KNOW, THE IDEA THAT SHE
CAN'T CONTROL THE SERVANTS, AND
SHE HAS A KIND OF INCESTUOUS,
INTENSE RELATIONSHIP WITH HER SISTER.
NONE OF THESE THINGS ARE UNTRUE,
BUT IT'S THE WAY THAT THEY'RE
COLLAPSED INTO BEING THE ONLY
TRUTH ABOUT HER LIFE.

TINA says BUT --

BRONWYN says BUT MOVIES
HAVE TO COLLAPSE THINGS, YOU KNOW.
AND, I MEAN, BOTH THE AUTHOR OF
THE BOOK, MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM,
AND THE DIRECTOR OF THE FILM
HAVE HAD TO PICK AND CHOOSE WHAT
THEY'RE GOING TO DO.
NOW, YOU KNOW, YOU'RE A WOOLF
SCHOLAR.
YOU KNOW HER LIFE INSIDE OUT
FROM READING THE DIARIES, FROM
READING THE JOURNALS.
I MEAN, YOU KNOW, YOU'VE
ABSORBED HER LIKE A SPONGE, SO
NATURALLY IT LOOKS LIKE A THIN
AND SHALLOW PERFORMANCE TO YOU.
BUT MOST PEOPLE GOING INTO THE
MOVIE THEATRE THESE DAYS DON'T
HAVE A CLUE ABOUT VIRGINIA WOOLF.
THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT HER
EXCEPT THAT SHE HAD A LONG, THIN
NOSE AND --

TINA says [Laughing]

BRONWYN says TRUE, TRUE.
THAT'S THE THING PEOPLE KNOW
ABOUT HER -- IS HER STARTLING
LOOKS --

LESLEY says RIGHT.

BRONWYN says AND HER
DEATH BY SUICIDE GOING INTO THE RIVER.

LESLEY says RIGHT.

BRONWYN says THOSE ARE
THE TWO THINGS EVERYBODY KNOWS.
NOW THIS MOVIE COMES ALONG AND
IT DOESN'T GIVE US THE FULL
PICTURE BY ANY MEANS, BUT IT
DOES FLESH OUT, I THINK TO A
LARGE EXTENT, WHAT AN --
WHAT AN INTERESTING, A DEEPLY
INTERESTING, WOMAN SHE WAS AND A
DEEPLY INTELLIGENT WOMAN SHE WAS.

LESLEY says I THOUGHT
THAT ONE OF THE THINGS THEY DID
REALLY WELL WAS TO DO THE
IMPOSSIBLE, WHICH IS TO SHOW
SOMEBODY THINKING.

TINA says MM-HMM.

LESLEY says NOW, WHAT ARE
THEY GOING TO DO, PUT A CAMERA
ON HER, GO... (Puts on a thoughtful expression)
I MEAN, SHE HAS --
SHE HAS THIS VIVID INTERIOR
LIFE, AND I THOUGHT THAT THE
NOVEL AND THE MOVIE ESPECIALLY
WERE PARTICULARLY GOOD IN
DEMONSTRATING THAT OTHER REALITY
THAT WAS SO MUCH A PART OF
WOOLF'S LIFE.
IT'S JUST HOW TENUOUS THEY MADE
HER HOLD ON EVERYDAY REALITY.

TINA says OKAY, LET US STOP AND
TAKE A LOOK AT ANOTHER CLIP FROM
THE MOVIE SO WE CAN GET ANOTHER
LOOK AT THE NOSE, BRONWYN, WHICH
WE WILL BE TALKING ABOUT, AND
HERE'S VIRGINIA WOOLF PLEADING
WITH HER HUSBAND TO GO BACK TO LONDON.

A clip of the movie shows Woolf sitting on a railway station bench while her husband stands nearby.

She says IT IS TIME FOR US TO MOVE
BACK TO LONDON.

To herself, she says I MISS LONDON.
I MISS LONDON LIFE.

he comes up to her and says
THIS IS NOT YOU SPEAKING, VIRGINIA.
THIS IS AN ASPECT OF YOUR
ILLNESS, IT'S NOT YOU.

She says IT IS ME, IT IS --

He says IT'S NOT YOU.

She says IT IS MY VOICE.

He says IT IS NOT YOUR VOICE.

She says IT'S MINE AND MINE ALONE.

He says IT'S A VOICE THAT YOU HEAR.

She screams and says IT IS NOT, IT IS MINE!
I'M DYING IN THIS TOWN!

He says IF YOU'RE THINKING CLEARLY,
VIRGINIA, YOU'D RECALL IT WAS
LONDON THAT BROUGHT YOU LOW.

She says IF I WERE THINKING CLEARLY.
OH, IF I WERE THINKING CLEARLY.

He says WE BROUGHT YOU TO RICHMOND TO
GIVE YOU PEACE.

She says IF I WERE THINKING CLEARLY,
LEONARD, I WOULD TELL YOU THAT I
WRESTLE ALONE IN THE DARK, IN
THE DEEP DARK, AND THAT ONLY I
CAN KNOW, ONLY I CAN UNDERSTAND,
MY OWN CONDITION.

TINA says I THINK SHE'S FABULOUS.
I'VE GOT TO SAY, NICOLE KIDMAN
HERE. OKAY, THE NOSE.

BRONWYN says [Laughing]
AH, THE NOSE IS FINE.

TINA says THE NOSE IS FINE.

BRONWYN says BUT WHAT'S
INTERESTING IS WHAT IT DOES TO
AN ACTRESS, RIGHT, BECAUSE
NICOLE KIDMAN WAS ALWAYS A VERY
GIFTED ACTRESS BUT SHE WAS SO
PRETTY THAT HER LOOKS ALMOST
WORKED AGAINST HER ACTING, IN A SENSE.
SHE PUTS ON THAT NOSE, SHE JUST --
SHE DISAPPEARS.

TINA says NOW, THIS WAS A SCENE
FROM A MARRIAGE, AND I WONDER,
LESLEY, WHAT YOU THINK THIS SAYS
ABOUT THEIR MARRIAGE?
IT'S AN ACCURAT PORTRAYAL, DO
YOU THINK?

LESLEY says IT WOULD BE
PRESUMPTUOUS OF ME TO SAY CAN I
IMAGINE THE WOOLFS HAVING THAT
CONVERSATION IN PUBLIC?
ABSOLUTELY NOT.
BUT THERE ARE, AGAIN,
CONFLICTING STORIES.
THERE'S LEONARD, THE WHITE
KNIGHT, WHO SAVED HER FROM HERSELF.

TINA says MM-HMM.

LESLEY says THERE'S
LEONARD, THE SORT OF CASTRATED-
CUM-EUNUCH-CARETAKER WHO
BASICALLY PUT UP WITH HER AND
JUST SHEPHERDED AND SMOTHERED
HER, AND I DON'T THINK EITHER
ONE OF THOSE REPRESENTATIONS ARE
ACCURATE.
I THINK THAT THE MOVIE
REPRESENTS A PASSION THAT THEY
CERTAINLY HAD.
THE FACT THAT THEY RARELY HAD
SEX TOGETHER DOESN'T SEEM TO MATTER.

TINA says MM-HMM.

LESLEY says BUT WOULD
THEY HAVE THAT CONVERSATION
ON -- YOU KNOW, ON A PLATFORM IN PUBLIC?
I DOUBT IT.
BUT, AGAIN, THAT'S THE KIND OF
DRAMATIC LICENCE YOU HAVE TO TAKE.

TINA says THEY HAD TO FOR THE MOVIE.

LESLEY says EXACTLY, BETTER SCENERY.

TINA says BUT I WANT TO ASK
BRONWYN, BECAUSE WE TALKED ABOUT
HER BEING A SUICIDE DOLL, BUT
VIRGINIA WOOLF HAS BECOME A KIND
OF POSTER GIRL.
I MEAN, CERTAINLY IN MY
GENERATION, SHE WAS A FEMINIST
ICON, PARTLY BECAUSE SHE HAD
WRITTEN "A ROOM OF ONE'S OWN."
THEN SHE BECAME SORT OF A POSTER
GIRL FOR, IF NOT LESBIANISM THEN
BISEXUALITY, BECAUSE OF HER
RELATIONSHIP WITH VITA
SACKVILLE-WESAINT

LESLEY says YES, THAT'S
RIGHT.

TINA says WHAT IS IT ABOUT
VIRGINIA WOOLF, DO YOU THINK,
THAT MAKES HER --
YOU KNOW, THAT MAKES PEOPLE WANT
TO GRAB ONTO HER AND SAY, OH,
SHE'S ONE OF US OR SHE'S WITH US?

BRONWYN says I'M NOT SURE
I CAN ANSWER THAT QUESTION,
BECAUSE THERE'S MORE THINGS ON
THE LISAINT
SHE'S A POSTER GIRL FOR CHILD
SEXUAL ABUSE.

TINA says YES.

BRONWYN says IT'S THOUGHT
THAT ONE OF HER STEPBROTHERS MAY
HAVE ABUSED HER AND THAT THAT
HAS --
IS THE KEY TO HER PERSONALITY.
AND I CAME ACROSS A BOOK THE
OTHER DAY "WHO'S AFRAID OF
LEONARD WOOLF," WHERE SHE'S THE
VICTIM OF A TRULY AWFUL,
MONSTROUS HUSBAND.
SHE WAS SAYING HE WAS CRAZY AND
HE'S THE ONE RESPONSIBLE FOR HER
SUICIDE, SO SHE REALLY HAS BEEN
BUFFETED ABOUT BY VIRTUALLY
EVERY PSYCHOLOGICAL TREND THAT'S
GONE THROUGH THE 20TH CENTURY,
AND I DON'T KNOW THE REASON FOR IT.

TINA says WELL, AND SHE SEEMED TO
BE AWARE OF IT HERSELF.
I THINK, LESLEY, IN ONE OF HER
DIARY ENTRIES SHE'D SAID I MUST
NOT SETTLE INTO A FIGURE.

LESLEY says YES.

TINA says YOU KNOW, SHE DIDN'T
WANT TO BECOME, YOU KNOW, A
PROP; SHE DIDN'T WANT TO BECOME
SOMEONE ELSE'S IDEA OF HER.

LESLEY says AND I THINK
THAT THERE WERE SO MANY CLICHES
EVEN AT THE TIME.
SHE WAS --
BECAUSE OF HER ASSOCIATION WITH
LYTTON STRACHEY AND E.M. FORSTER
AND BLOOMSBURY, PEOPLE HAD
PRECONCEPTIONS ABOUT THEIR
PRIVILEGE, THE KIND OF BOHEMIAN
LIFE THAT THEY LED.
I THINK THAT INTERESTINGLY THE
PERSON SHE DOESN'T BECOME A
POSTER GIRL FOR --
OR A POSTER PERSON FOR --
ARE POST-COLONIAL CRITICS AND
PACIFISTS AND ANTI-WAR CRITICS.
SHE WAS A PROFOUNDLY POLITICALLY
ENGAGED PERSON.
I THINK THAT'S WHAT THEY HAD IN
COMMON AS PEOPLE AND AS WRITERS,
AND THAT ASPECT, THAT'S WHEN I
SAY THAT THE MOVIE, BECAUSE IT
FOLLOWS "THE HOURS," THE NOVEL,
SO CLOSELY, EVACUATES ALL OF THAT.

TINA says MM-HMM.

LESLEY says AND IT'S
WOOLF THE PERSON WHO ACTUALLY
THOUGHT CAREFULLY AND DEEPLY AND
PROFOUNDLY, THAT'S THE PERSON
WHO REALLY, EVEN IN ACADEMIC
CIRCLES, HAS ONLY EMERGED IN THE
LAST TWENTY YEARS.

TINA says LET'S TALK ABOUT HER
WRITING, THEN, A BIT, BRONWYN.
I MEAN, I THINK WE'RE ALL FANS
OF HER WRITING, AND CERTAINLY
FOR MY GENERATION SHE WAS ONE OF
THE SEMINAL WRITERS FOR US, BUT
WHAT IS IT ABOUT HER WRITING, DO
YOU THINK THAT'S KEPT --
YOU KNOW, "MRS. DALLOWAY" IS NOW
FLYING OFF THE SHELVES BECAUSE
OF THIS MOVIE, I'M SURE.

BRONWYN says [Laughing]

TINA says BUT OBVIOUSLY HER BOOK
HAS BEEN OUT THERE.

BRONWYN says WELL, IT'S
GOING TO BE INTERESTING TO SEE,
ALL THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE
GRABBING IT OFF THE SHELVES,
WHETHER ANY OF THEM CAN MAKE
ANYTHING OF IT, BECAUSE
"MRS. DALLOWAY" IS A VERY, VERY
DIFFICULT BOOK.

TINA says MM-HMM.

BRONWYN says BUT WHAT
GIVES HER STAYING POWER IS THE
EXTRAORDINARY COMPLEXITY.
SHE'S WORKING ON FOUR LEVELS AT
ANY GIVEN TIME IN HER BOOKS, AND
IT'S SO INTERESTING TO COMPARE
THAT WITH "THE HOURS."
ITSELF, WHICH ALTHOUGH I FOUND
IT A VERY DELIGHTFUL READ, IT
REALLY STRUCK ME THAT WE CALL
THAT A SERIOUS PIECE OF
LITERATURE TODAY IN THE YEAR
2000 WHEREAS, YOU KNOW, YOU
COMPARE IT WITH WHAT WAS A
SERIOUS PIECE OF LITERATURE IN
1941 AND THERE'S JUST NO
COMPARISON AT ALL.
IT'S SO LIGHTWEIGHT, "THE
HOURS," COMPARED TO THE HEAVINESS.
BUT I'M NOT SAYING HEAVINESS IN
A STYLISTIC WAY.
SHE HAS A WONDERFUL DEFTNESS OF
STYLE, BUT THERE IS JUST THIS
SENSE OF BALLAST THERE, OF MIND
AND OF EDUCATION, AND MOST OF US
AS READERS AREN'T EVEN EQUIPPED
TO HANDLE A LOT OF THAT TODAY.

TINA says I'M AFRAID WE HAVE TO GO.
I COULD TALK ABOUT
"MRS. DALLOWAY" ALL DAY.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

(music plays)
An orange box bearing the word Imprint and the sun logo sits on a coffee table. Its lid opens and clips on a screen show a woman in an exotic pose and a man waving a book on a podium..

In off, TINA says COMING UP, LISA MOORE.
STILL BASKING IN THE GLORY OF GILLER.
AND LATER, WRITER LINWOOD
BARCLAY ON BOOKS VERSUS COMPUTERS.

In the studio, Tina says LAST YEAR AT THE PRESS
CONFERENCE ANNOUNCING THE
FINALISTS FOR THE GILLER PRIZE,
A LOUD SHRIEK RANG OUT WHEN IT
WAS ANNOUNCED THAT NEWFOUNDLAND
WRITER LISA MOORE HAD MADE THE
SHORT LISAINT
HER PUBLISHER, PERHAPS?
MOORE EMERGED FROM RELATIVE
OBSCURITY TO BECOME A SURPRISE
FINALIST FOR THE COVETED AWARD.
SHE WAS NOMINATED FOR "OPEN," A
COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES
ABOUT LOVE, LOSS AND POSSIBILITY.

The book cover appears featuring a woman's torso in a blue bra. Blonde Lisa sits facing Tina. A caption reads "Lisa Moore, Open."

TINA says LISA MOORE, HELLO.

LISA says HI.

TINA says NOW, I LOVE THE NAME OF
YOUR BOOK.
I DON'T KNOW WHETHER IT'S AN
ADJECTIVE OR A VERB, BUT TELL ME
WHY YOU CALLED IT "OPEN."

LISA says I WANTED IT TO BE
BOTH THOSE THINGS.
IT'S AN IMPERATIVE.
IT ASKS PEOPLE TO OPEN THE BOOK,
AND IT ALSO I THINK ASKS PEOPLE
TO BE OPEN TO THE IDEAS IN THE
BOOK, AND IT'S ABOUT --
IT'S ABOUT VULNERABILITY, AND I
THINK THAT PEOPLE ARE OPEN TO
LEARNING WHEN THEY'RE
VULNERABLE, AND I THINK
VULNERABILITY IS A THEME THAT
RUNS THROUGH THE BOOK.
SO IN THAT WAY IT'S AN APT TITLE.

TINA says IN ONE STORY, AN
OBSERVATION IS MADE, WHICH IS
THIS ... WE ARE MOST OURSELVES WHEN
WE ARE CHANGING.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?

LISA says I THINK OFTEN WE
GO AROUND WITH AN UNDERSTANDING
OF OUR OWN IDENTITY.

TINA says MM-HMM.

LISA, using gestures, says AND WE FULFIL IT,
THIS PRECONCEIVED NOTION OF WHO
WE ARE.
BUT WHEN WE'RE CHANGING, WE'RE
BECOMING SOMETHING NEW AND WE'RE
GROWING, AND THOSE MOMENTS WHEN
WE'RE NOT AWARE OF OURSELVESS,
WHEN WE'RE NOT SELF-CONSCIOUS,
ARE THE MOMENTS WHEN WE'RE BEING
SOMEHOW DYNAMIC, AND I THINK
IT'S THAT DYNAMISM OF CHARACTER
THAT IS ESSENTIAL TO IDENTITY.

TINA says NOW, TELL ME ABOUT
SHORT STORIES.
WHY IS THIS YOUR MEDIUM OF CHOICE?
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT SHORT STORIES?

LISA says THESE STORIES
JUST WERE STORIES.
THAT'S JUST THE WAY THEY CAME OUT. IT'S --
THAT WAS THE LENGTH OF --
THAT IT TOOK TO TELL THE TALE, I GUESS.

TINA says MM-HMM.

LISA says BUT ALSO THEY --
I THINK THAT THESE STORIES WORK
ALMOST AS MOSAICS; THAT THERE
ARE FLASHES OF MEMORY AND IMAGES.
THERE'S A DESCRIPTION I READ
SOMEWHERE OF HOW A HAIKU WORKS
AND THAT IT'S A RAFT THAT BRINGS
THE READER TO AN EMOTION, BUT
THE HAIKU IS NOT THE ART ITSELF;
IT'S THE TRANSPORTATION TO THE
ART, WHICH IS THE EMOTION THAT
YOU ELICIT IN THE READER.
THAT'S WHAT I WAS TRYING DO OVER
A SHORT STORY.
I WANTED TO SEE IF I COULD THROW
IMAGES AND GESTURES AND BITS OF
DIALOGUE AND THOSE SORTS OF
THINGS TOGETHER AND HAVE IT
ACCUMULATE BY THE END INTO AN
EMOTION.

TINA says MMMM.
I WANT TO TALK ABOUT MARRIAGE
AND RELATIONSHIPS, BECAUSE QUITE
A FEW OF YOUR STORIES --
OR I SAY ALL OF THEM, I GUESS,
ARE ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS.

LISA says MM-HMM.

TINA says THERE'S A COUPLE WHERE
THE HUSBAND SAYS TO THE WIFE,
I'M THINKING ABOUT LEAVING YOU,
WHICH IRRITATED ME SO MUCH.
I FELT LIKE SAYING, WELL, THEN,
JUST LEAVE.
DON'T SAY YOU'RE THINKING OF IT.

LISA says [Laughing]

TINA says BUT ANYWAY, TELL ME
ABOUT --
YOU KNOW, THESE ARE MARRIAGES IN FLUX.

LISA says MM-HMM.

TINA says WHERE THINGS ARE
OBVIOUSLY CHANGING, THINGS ARE
VERY VOLATILE, VERY PRECARIOUS,
AND NO ONE KNOWS REALLY HOW IT'S
GOING TO COME OUT.
WHAT INTERESTS YOU ABOUT
RELATIONSHIPS LIKE THAT?

LISA says PART OF LOVING IS
BEING OPEN TO DISASTER, I GUESS,
BUT YOU CAN'T, IT SEEMS TO ME,
LOVE WITHOUT THAT DANGER, AND
THE DANGER IS THE EXCITING PART
OF IT.
SO I THINK THAT'S WHAT I WANTED
TO EXPLORE.
AND THERE'S THE -- WHAT IF HE DOES LEAVE?
WHO WILL ANY WIFE IN ANY OF
THESE STORIES, OR LOVER, WHO
WILL THEY BECOME, AND IT'S THE
BECOMING THAT INTERESTS ME AS WELL.
SO IT'S A SITUATION RIFE WITH POSSIBILITY.

LISA, reading from her book, says WHERE IS PHILLIP?
AT THE HEART OF EVERYTHING, SHE
THINKS, IS THE QUESTION OF
BEHAVING WITH GRACE.
HE IS FALLING IN LOVE WITH
SOMEONE ELSE.
THEY HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING, IS
THE PHRASE PEOPLE SAY.
COUPLES WHO AGREE TO AN OPEN
MARRIAGE, AN UNDERSTANDING.
AN UNDERSTANDING IS SOMETHING
FOR WHICH YOU MUST ACQUIRE A
TASTE, LIKE ALL THE OTHER GREAT
THINGS IN LIFE --
COFFEE, WINE, OYSTERS, BUNGEE JUMPING.

TINA says LET'S TALK ABOUT
SAINT JOHN'S, BECAUSE THE STORIES
TAKE PLACE IN MANY LOCALES.

LISA says MM-HMM.

TINA says IN QUITE A FEW
DIFFERENT COUNTRIES, BUT
SAINT JOHN'S IS CLEARLY --
OR, YEAH, IT'S CLEARLY IN THERE.
I MEAN, THE CHARACTERS ARE
NEWFOUNDLANDERS.
TELL ME ABOUT THE SAINT JOHN'S
THAT, YOU KNOW, THE SORT OF
MODERN SAINT JOHN'S THAT YOU'RE A
PART OF.
WHAT KIND OF CITY IS IT?

LISA says I ABSOLUTELY LOVE
SAINT JOHN'S AND MY PARENTS WERE
BOTH FROM THERE, MY GRANDPARENTS
ON BOTH SIDES ARE BOTH FROM
SAINT JOHN'S.
AND IT'S A VERY GORGEOUS CITY.
FOR ANYONE WHO HASN'T SEEN IT,
THERE'S A HARBOUR THAT COMES IN
THROUGH TALL CLIFFS THAT --
CALLED THE NARROWS BECAUSE THEY
COME VERY CLOSE TOGETHER, AND
IT'S A VERY SHELTERED HARBOUR,
AND THEN THE CITY SORT OF RISES
UP ON HILLS FROM THE HARBOUR,
AND BRIGHT, BEAUTIFUL CLAPBOARD
HOUSES ARE DOWNTOWN SAINT JOHN'S,
AND THAT'S WHERE I LIVED.

TINA says NOW TELL ME ABOUT --
I THINK YOU'RE A PART OF A
WRITING GROUP CALLED BURNING
ROCK.

LISA says MM-HMM.

TINA says WHICH IS A GREAT NAME,
BECAUSE OF COURSE THEY CALL
NEWFOUNDLAND THE ROCK.

LISA says MM-HMM.

TINA says TELL ME ABOUT THAT.

LISA says WELL, WE CALL IT
BURNING ROCK, BECAUSE THERE'S A
COMMUNITY JUST A LITTLE BIT OFF
THE COAST OF NEWFOUNDLAND CALLED
BELLE ISLAND WHERE THERE WAS A
CHURCH, AND IN THE '50'S, A BALL
OF LIGHTNING TORE THROUGH A
CHURCH, WENT DOWN THE CENTRE
AISLE AND OUT THE BACK.

TINA says NO!

LISA says IT'S TRUE.
AND SO WE SORT OF HAD THE IDEA
THAT'S WHAT WE'LL DO WITH OUR
WRITING, WE'LL TEAR THROUGH, WHATEVER.
AND SO WE CHOSE THAT NAME.

TINA says WELL, IT'S A GREAT NAME.
SO WHAT DO YOU GUYS DO?

LISA says THERE'S ABOUT --
THERE'S BETWEEN 8 AND 10 OF US,
AND WE GET TOGETHER PROBABLY
ONCE EVERY TWO WEEKS, AND WE
HAVE 500 WORDS MINIMUM, BUT
SOMETIMES PEOPLE BRING WHOLE
STORIES OR, YOU KNOW, CHAPTERS,
AND WE READ TO EACH OTHER AND WE
LISTEN AND OFFER CRITICISM AND
DRINK BEER AND EAT FOOD.
SO I THINK THE GREATEST THING
ABOUT IT IS THAT YOU QUICKLY
KNOW WHAT TO CUT.

TINA says MM-HMM.

LISA says YOU KNOW WHERE TO
CUT, BECAUSE YOU'RE GETTING AN
IMMEDIATE RESPONSE.

TINA says YOU WERE AN ART CRITIC,
IS THAT RIGHT, A VISUAL ART
CRITIC?

LISA says I HAVE WRITTEN, YES.

TINA says SO DO YOU SEE --
DOES THAT AFFECT THE WAY YOU
WRITE AT ALL, I MEAN YOUR EYE
FOR ART, FOR VISUAL ART?

LISA says WELL, I WENT TO
ART SCHOOL.

TINA says MM-HMM.

LISA says AND EVERY NOW AND
THEN I WILL PAINT AGAIN, NOT AS
OFTEN AS I WOULD LIKE, BUT
THERE'S AN EXPERIENCE WHEN
YOU'RE PAINTING AN OBJECT THAT'S
PRESENT RATHER THAN, SAY, AN
ABSTRACT PAINTING, WHERE YOU
REALLY, REALLY HAVE TO LOOK AT
THAT OBJECT, SOMETIMES FOR FIVE
HOURS AT A TIME, AND YOU'RE
NOTICING WHERE THE SHADOWS ARE
AND IF IT'S AN ORANGE, JUST HOW
ORANGE IS IT, LIKE, JUST WHAT IS
THAT EXACT SHADE OF ORANGE.
AND YOU'RE SO ABSORBED IN THE
DETAILS OF WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING
AT, THAT YOUR EYEBALLS TINGLE.
YOU KNOW, IT ALMOST BECOMES NOT
AN ORANGE ANYMORE.

TINA says IT BECOMES THE ESSENCE
OF ORANGE, YES, YES, YES.

LISA says IT BECOMES
SOMETHING ELSE.
AND I THINK THAT WAY OF LOOKING,
THAT KIND OF EXTENDED
CONCENTRATION IS SOMETHING THAT I --
YOU KNOW, THAT KIND OF THINKING
IS WHAT I BRING TO WRITING.

TINA says YOU WERE NOMINATED FOR
A GILLER.

LISA says MM-HMM.

TINA says AS IT SAYS RIGHT ON
YOUR BOOK COVER, AND I KNOW THIS
WAS, YOU KNOW, SUCH AN EXCITING
MOMENT, AND I REMEMBER YOU AT
THE GILLER DINNER EVENING WHERE
YOU HAD I THINK A LOUD CHEERING
SECTION, AND YOU JUST LOOKED SO
BEAUTIFUL.

Lisa appears as she goes onstage to receive her award.

Tina continues SO TELL ME WHAT THAT EXPERIENCE
WAS LIKE.
WERE YOU COMPLETELY SURPRISED TO
BE NOMINATED?

LISA says OH, COMPLETELY
AND TOTALLY SURPRISED AND THRILLED.
IT WAS JUST --
IT WAS JUST --
YOU KNOW, GETTING ALL DRESSED UP
AND BEING FLOWN TO TORONTO AND
STAYING IN THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL.
MY MOTHER CAME, MY SISTER CAME,
MY SISTER-IN-LAW, SEVERAL FRIENDS.
IT WAS JUST THE EPITOME OF
LUXURY AND IT WAS A BLAST!

A newspaper article shows her reacting ecstatically to the news of her award, throwing her head back and opening her arms wide.

TINA says SO DO YOU THINK THIS
WILL HAVE AN EFFECT ON YOUR
WRITING?
I MEAN, HAVING --
OBVIOUSLY, IT'S GOOD FOR SALES,
TO HAVE THE STICKER ON.

LISA says MM-HMM.

TINA says BUT I MEAN IN TERMS OF
HOW YOU WILL WRITE.
DO YOU FEEL MORE PRESSURE NOW?
HAS THERE BEEN ANY EFFECT, DO
YOU THINK, AT ALL?

LISA says I THINK IN A
CERTAIN WAY THERE'S A NEW
PERMISSION.
I FEEL LIKE --
I FEEL AS IF SOMEONE HAS SAID,
GO AHEAD, DO WHATEVER YOU LIKE.
WE'RE GOING TO LISTEN FOR A
LITTLE WHILE.
IT'S A GREAT SENSE OF FREEDOM
MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE.

The book appears again.

TINA says "OPEN" BY LISA MOORE IS
PUBLISHED BY HOUSE OF ANANSI.

(music plays)
On an orange screen, orange goldfish swim over an open book lying at the bottom of a fish tank. The word Imprint appears in black type over the book.

TINA says TAKE 400 STRESSED-OUT
TEACHERS AND GIVE THEM A BREAK
FROM THE TOUGH JOB OF GETTING
KIDS TO READ.
EVERY YEAR FOR NEARLY 30 YEARS
NOW, TEACHERS FROM ACROSS
ONTARIO HAVE GATHERED FOR A
CONFERENCE CALLED READING FOR
THE LOVE OF IT.
IT'S THEIR CHANCE TO SHARE NEW
WAYS TO GET KIDS EXCITED ABOUT BOOKS.
BUT THERE'S ALSO TIME FOR SOME
COMIC RELIEF, AND THAT'S WHERE
WRITER LINWOOD BARCLAY CAME IN
AT THIS YEAR'S BANQUET.

(Applause)
[ Laughter ]

A man speaks from a podium, he is graying in his fifties. A caption reads "Linwood Barclay, Author-Columnist."

LINWOOD says NOW, I
SUPPOSE I SHOULD EXPLAIN WHY
SOMEONE LIKE ME IS SPEAKING TO
FOLKS LIKE YOU.
I DON'T HAVE ANY OF YOUR
EXPERTISE, I'M NOT A TEACHER.
NOW, I DO HAVE A COUPLE OF
QUALIFICATIONS, I SUPPOSE.
FIRST OF ALL, I AM MARRIED TO A TEACHER.
MY WIFE NEETHA IS A KINDERGARTEN
TEACHER, AND I'VE ALWAYS THOUGHT
THAT NEETHA, MY WIFE NEETHA, I
ALWAYS THOUGHT SHE WOULD MAKE A
FANTASTIC SCIENCE-FAIR EXPERIMENT.
[ Laughter ]

LINWOOD says BECAUSE SHE
STARTS THE WEEK AS A SOLID.
[ Laughter ]

LINWOOD says AND THEN ON
FRIDAY, HER PRINCIPAL JUST SENDS
HER HOME IN A BUCKET.
[ Laughter ]

Offstage, speaking for the camera, LINWOOD says
READING AND
LITERACY MEAN A LOT TO ME.
I WRITE --
I MAKE MY LIVING FROM WRITING,
AND IF PEOPLE DIDN'T WANT TO
READ, I'D BE IN A LOT LOT OF
TROUBLE, AND IT'S NICE TO COME
TO HONOUR, YOU KNOW, TEACHERS
WHO ARE SO INVOLVED IN THAT.
WHAT'S MORE IMPORTANT THAN
GETTING KIDS INTERESTED IN BOOKS?

DEBORAH CHISHOLM, a Conference Organizer, gray in her fifties, says THE READING FOR THE LOVE OF IT CONFERENCE IS
A CONFERENCE THAT PROVIDES
QUALITY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
FOR TEACHERS.
IT'S IMPORTANT FOR TEACHERS TO
HAVE A PROFESSIONAL OPPORTUNITY
LIKE THIS WHERE THEY CAN COME
DOWN AND HAVE A RELAXING TIME
AND ABSORB NEW IDEAS AND THEN
TAKE THEM BACK AND TRY THEM OUT
IN THEIR CLASSROOMS.

MARGUERITE CAMPBELL, a teacher in her thirties with short black hair, says THE BOTTOM LINE TO TEACHING READING
AND LOVING READING IS TO COME TO
CONFERENCES LIKE THIS TO GET NOT
ONLY THE NITTY-GRITTY, HOW TO DO
GUIDED READING IN MY CLASSROOM,
WHAT'S A GUIDED LITERACY PROGRAM
LOOK LIKE, THAT KIND OF THING,
BUT TO REALLY BE ABLE TO
UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS THAT WE
BELIEVE IN ABOUT READING.

SHARON MORRIS, a blond Conference Organizer in her fifties, says TEACHERS COULD USE A PROFESSIONAL TONIC, AND
THIS HAS BECOME A PROFESSIONAL
TONIC FOR OVER 30 YEARS.

On the podium, LINWOOD says LET'S
SUPPOSE YOU HAD SOMEONE COME
INTO YOUR CLASSROOM OR SAY YOU
WORKED IN A LIBRARY, AND YOU HAD
SOMEONE COME IN WHO WAS TOTALLY
UNFAMILIAR WITH THE CONCEPT OF
READING A BOOK.
LIKE, SAY, I DON'T KNOW, LIKE A
RECENTLY RETIRED PROVINCIAL
PREMIER, SOMEBODY --
[ Laughter ]
[ Applause ]

LINWOOD says AND SO YOU'D
BE ABLE TO TELL THEM HOW TO GO
ABOUT IT.
AND SO I BROUGHT ALONG A COPY OF
MY LAST BOOK, WHICH IS TOTALLY
INAPPROPRIATE AND INCREDIBLY
SELF-SERVING, AND I'LL JUST USE
THIS TO DEMONSTRATE SORT OF WHAT
I WANT TO TALK ABOUT, ABOUT HOW
TO READ A BOOK.
SO WHAT YOU EXPLAIN TO
INDIVIDUALS IS THAT BOOKS ARE
NOT AS DIFFICULT TO OPERATE AS
THEY MIGHT FIRST APPEAR.
FIRST OF ALL, YOU HOLD THE BOOK
BY THE SPINE, WHICH IS THE SIDE
WHERE THERE'S NONE OF THE WHITE
STUFF.
IT'S THE SIDE WITH SOME LETTERS
ON IT.
YOU HOLD IT BY THE SPINE, HAVE
IT UP ON YOUR LEFT, THEN YOU
MOVE ON, AND YOU SHOULD BY ABOUT
THIS POINT YOU'LL GET TO
SOMETHING CALLED CHAPTER 1 OR
PROLOGUE OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.
AND HERE'S THE REALLY, REALLY
NEAT THING.
THAT YOU DON'T HAVE TO WAIT FOR
THE PAGES TO DOWNLOAD.
[ Laughter ]

LINWOOD says IT'S THERE, OKAY.
AND THEN YOU WANT TO GO TO THE
NEXT ONE, WATCH THIS, OKAY.
(Flips the page) IT'S THERE.
[ Laughter ]
[ Applause ]

LINWOOD says IT'S FASTER
THAN CABLE, OKAY?
[ Laughter ]

Teacher ANDREW LITTLE says WE'RE SITTING
HERE TALKING SHOP, WE'RE TALKING
ABOUT READING AND LEARNING AND
ALL THE ADVENTURES OF BEING WITH CHILDREN.
IT REALLY REINFORCES THE
PROFESSION, AND I'M GOING TO GO
BACK RE-ENERGIZED TO THE
CLASSROOM ON MONDAY.

Offstage, LINWOOD says THERE'S SO
MANY DIFFERENT, YOU KNOW, THINGS
TO DISTRACT KIDS FROM READING,
AND, YOU KNOW, JUST TO BE ABLE
TO STILL SIT WITH A BOOK IS SUCH
A VALUABLE EXPERIENCE, AND I
HOPE KIDS NEVER LOSE THAT.

TINA says "IT'S FASTER THAN CABLE."
ISN'T THAT A GREAT LINE?
WE'VE GOT LOTS OF BOOKS TO KEEP
YOU PUMPED UP ABOUT READING TOO
ON OUR WEB PAGE.
CHECK OUT IMPRINT@TVO.ORG FOR
THAT AND FOR INFORMATION ABOUT
OUR SHOW.
I'M TINA SREBOTNJAK.
THANKS FOR WATCHING AND
GOODNIGHT.

Theme music plays as the end credits roll.

Special Thanks, Bravo!NewStyleArtsChannel, Mary Wilson.

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 2003, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Imprint season 14 episode 24