Monday, July 23, 2007

A funny interlude this morning

in which I was interviewed on camera for an HBO documentary called Love Sick. I must say, it was extremely enjoyable--we were in the studio in the journalism school, so it was all much spiffier than my actual office, which is rather on the tiny-and-squalid side of things (part of the squalor is my own fault, it is rather untidy, but partly it's just in the nature of things, the ongoing mold infestation has caused the books to have to be taken down and cleaned by non-book-type people who put them back on the shelves any which way, I have rearranged several times but I gave up on it after about the third time it happened, also there is always somehow a mousetrap in plain view, I quite often see a little mouse scuttling across the floor and just hope s/he does not get snagged by the trap, really I should throw it away because I will be horrified if I find a dead mouse as opposed to a live one!).

I got to hold forth on (unfortunate) love in literature at some length (in short, think the Iliad, Medea, Paolo and Francesca, Don Quixote and Madame Bovary and the destructiveness of certain kinds of fantasy life, Notes on a Scandal and Enduring Love, folie a deux, the film Heavenly Creatures, etc.) and put in another plug for Call Me By Your Name, which I feel is a novel everyone should read.

Beforehand, while they were figuring out the lighting and stuff, I had a very enjoyable conversation with the person who facilitated the whole thing, Anne Burt. I initially met Anne in a Pilates class at the Columbia gym, but when we got to talking I realized she was (a) the editor of a book I had just been reading about (very good BTW) and (b) the cousin of my old friend Steve.

So our conversation this morning naturally turned to athletic matters (obviously I am generally obsessed with this stuff right now, but also the Pilates connection spurred it) and it turns out that Anne runs also, and I did utter a sentence that will not sound unfamiliar--namely, "It's my heart's desire to run the marathon, but unfortunately I decided it would be more sensible to wait till next year"--and the cameraman gave me a pleasant but inquisitive look and said, "What kind of thing do you do here?"

I told him I was a professor of English, and he nodded like it all suddenly made sense.

"I film a lot of fitness television," he said. "And somehow the people on fitness TV don't talk like you do. Heart's desire--it's like something out of Jane Eyre!"

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