Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Denton interviews Isabel Allende, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch

There are some programmes on TV which I tape and when I get a chance I will watch them later, if I think they are worth watching. I taped this one by accident and watched some of it. I was amazed at how much of what Isabel Allende said seemed to strike a chord with me, mostly about herself and how she feels about life and relationships.

Allende transcript.
ANDREW DENTON - VO: At 45, single, and certain that she would remain that way, Isabel met an Australian called Willie Gordon. What came next surprised both of them.

ISABEL ALLENDE: We met ah in 1987. I was passing by like a like rushing in a, on a book tour, met him, had a one night stand with him and then he took me to the airport the next day and I said, "Do we have some kind of commitment?" He had to pull over, he couldn't believe his ears. You see, I didn't know then that you never ever mention the word commitment in front of an American male and ah he said, "What are you talking about, we just met?" And I said, "Yes, but I live in Venezuela, I'm 45 years old, I don't have any time to waste so I need to know where I stand." And he said, "Look I'm going to visit you in December, eh eh I just cannot answer that question." And I said, "December? This is October. I can be dead by December." He said, "Why, are you sick?" I said, No, I'm not sick but I live in a very dangerous country" and um, he said, "No, ah we don't have any kind of commitment." So I got on the plane and I thought about it. And then I decided that I would get him out of my system. Come back, spend a week with him without an invitation and then, go back to my old life. Here I am 20 years later.
And later:
ISABEL ALLENDE: And I've watched the men around me and I see that they're much more lonely than women are. Women age more in company because they have more relationships. Men have buddies. They have acquaintances, they have they have comrades. Friends as women have, the friends that of the soul that you share everything, that you witness each other's lives, that you talk their, your, heart out, that you cry with, that you ask money when you need, that. Men don't have that match and so when the process of ageing starts, men retire also from what gives them their personality, which is work. And then when they retire they become very very lonely. Women retire also but they don't lose anything because they have been connected always and they're so interested in the world and so so out there.
Some of what she says of her observation of mens' relationships rings true. I have never met any men with really close friends. (Perhaps I've met the wrong men?) I have observed the men who retire and then have no relationships.

The other Denton interview which I saw part of was with Dame Elisabeth Murdoch. (transcript) Here's part of the introduction:

She has walked with monarchs and dined with the leaders of her age. Though her family name is considered one of the most powerful in the world, she has lived a life of service. And beneath it all lies a love story that not even death has been able to diminish. A love story that began 80 years ago for the remarkable Dame Elisabeth Murdoch.

And here's a sample of her views on bringing up children:

DAME ELISABETH MURDOCH: Oh yes. [laugh] Yes. But I think ah something I'm very believe in, loving discipline and I think that's what we got from our parents.

ANDREW DENTON: And how would you define loving discipline?

DAME ELISABETH MURDOCH: Well the affection's there but the discipline has to go alongside it. Ah I think some parents make a grave mistake. They love their children but they don't exercise enough discipline.

ANDREW DENTON: With your own children ah how did you draw the line? What was the line for you?

DAME ELISABETH MURDOCH: Well they were they would say I exercised a lot of loving discipline. I was never indulgent with them because my husband was inclined to be a bit indulgent so I had to swing the other way. [laugh] I think they'd all ah but they all grew up to a- to appreciate my attitude ah about ma-material things, you know? That's the difficult I think it's a very materialistic age and ah children have far too many things.

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