January 21, 2014 - Michael Chabon & Mariel Hemingway

  • 01/21/2014

Colbert's Book Club begins with a primer on Ernest Hemingway, Michael Chabon talks "A Farewell to Arms," and Mariel Hemingway discusses her grandfather's romantic side.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>> Stephen: OH, HI.

WELCOME BACK TO THE COLBERT BOOKCLUB, EVERYBODY.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>> Stephen: FOLKS, IF YOU ARE

JUST JOINING US AND WANT TOCATCH UP YOU NEED TO DRINK A

FIFTH OF WHISKEY AND MAKE LOVETO A BISON.

TONIGHT IS ALL ABOUT ERNESTHEMINGWAY.

HIS BOOKS HAVE TURNED INTO ATLEAST 15 FEATURE FILMS.

MY FAVORITE, ERNEST GOES TOCAMP.

HEMINGWAY WAS A BADASS.

EVEN ABOUT THE ACT OF WRITING.

SAYING THERE IS NOTHING TOWRITING. ALL DO YOU IS SIT DOWN

AT THE TYPEWRITER AND BLEED.

ASO POIGNANT. IT CALLS TO MINDTHE WORDS OF HEMINGWAY'S

CLEANING LADY, "DEARGOD, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED

IN HERE."

HERE TO TELL US MORE ABOUTHEMINGWAY THE MAN, IS HEMINGWAY

THE WOMAN. PLEASE WELCOMEMARIEL HEMINGWAY. THANK YOU

FOR JOINING US.

-- MARIEL.

WOULD YOU LIKE A GLASS OF WINE?

>>>> Don:

Stephen: YOU DON'T WANT AGLASS OF WINE.

ALRIGHT.

THAT IS THE FIRST SUBJECT.

YOU HAVE A BOOK CALLED "RUNNINGWITH NATURE" YOU WROTE WITH YOUR

PARTNER BOBBIE WILLIAMS.

>> YES.

Stephen: PHOTO, FULL FRAME.

I'M OFFENDED BY HOW HEALTHY ANDHAPPY YOU LOOK IN THE PHOTO.

>> YOU ARE?

Stephen: YOU HAVE A HEALTHYLIFESTYLE.

>> I DO.

Stephen: DO YOU THINK YOURHARD LIVING GRANDFATHER WOULD

AGREE OF A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE OFMICRO BIOTICS AND TEA AND NOT

WINE AND WHISKEY.

>> I THINK HE WOULD HE LIVED INA TIME WHERE THEY DIDN'T REALIZE

DRINKING TOO MUCH, LIKE YOU HAVEBEEN DOING ALL EVENING, AND

LIVING THE HARD LIFE IS NOT GOODFOR YOU.

HE WAS ABOUT UNDERSTANDING THECHARACTERS HE WAS WRITING ABOUT.

THINK IF HE WAS MORE STABLE ITWOULD OF BEEN BETTER FOR HIM.

>> Stephen: YOU HAVE DONE ADOCUMENTARY ABOUT WHAT SOME MAY

CALL ESCAPING THE HEMINGWAYCURSE.

>> I DON'T THINK THERE IS ACURSE.

THERE IS THE MYTH.

THERE IS A MISCONCEPTIONOF HOW HEMINGWAY IS SUPPOSED

TO BE.

YOUR DRESS AND YOUR BEHAVIOR.

A MAN'S MAN.

>> Stephen: I DIDN'T NAIL IT?

>> YOU NAILED IT, YOU GOT ITRIGHT.

>> Stephen: THANK YOU, VERYMUCH.

>> THE IDEA IT'S ABOUT BEING A,YOU KNOW A MAN THAT IS GOING TO

KILL EVERYTHING.

I THINK HE UNDERSTOOD LOVESTORIES.

I THINK HE UNDERSTOOD THECOMMUNICATION BETWEEN MEN AND

WOMEN IN A RELATIONSHIP.

EVEN THOUGH IT WAS A STORY ABOUTWAR.

I REALLY FEEL HIS UNDERSTANDINGOF WOMEN AND THE SUBTLETIES OF

LIFE.

NOT JUST THE MACHISMO, BIGTHINGS.

>> Stephen: THERE IS ROMANCE INTHE STORIES.

WE MEN REALIZE FROM READINGHEMINGWAY TO GET THE GIRL WE MAY

HAVE TO BE DISTANT AND HARDLIVING AND HARD DRINKING.

THAT'S THE ORIGINAL MARLBORO MANFOR AMERICA, HEMINGWAY.

>> MAKING MEN, MEN IS A GREATTHING.

IT'S WHAT WE TAKE FROM HIM.

>> Stephen: THE LADIES LIKE IT.

>> THE LADIES LIKE IT.

I ADMIT THAT.

>> Stephen: TO IMPRESS THELADIES THOSE OF US WHO ARE FANS

FEEL WE HAVE TO GO TO THE FROZENFISH ISLE AND WRESTLE THE GORDON

FISH STICKS AND PUNCH THEMBEFORE PUTTING THEM IN THE

MICROWAVE.

DID YOU HAVE TO READ HIS BOOKSIN HIGH SCHOOL?

WERE YOU ASSIGNED ERNESTHEMINGWAY IN HIGH SCHOOL?

>> I WAS LIKE EVERY OTHER KID.

I READ "OLD MAN IN THE SEA."

DID MY SIXTH GRADE BOOK REPORT.

>> Stephen: DID YOU GET A GOODGRADE?

>>>> Don: JUST KIDDING.

I READ IT WITH MY FATHER INPARIS WHEN I WAS 11 YEARS OLD.

I READ IT BEFORE I WENT TOPARIS.

THEN I READ WHILE I WAS IN PARISAND ANOTHER BOOK ABOUT MY

GRANDFATHER GOING THROUGH PARISWHEN HE WAS MARRIED TO MY GRAND

MOTHER AND HAD MY FATHER WHO ISMENTIONED IN THE BOOK.

>> Stephen: IS THAT LIKE READINGA FAMILY DIARY OR A BOOK?

>> NO, IT FEELS LIKE A BOOK.

I WASN'T ALIVE WHEN HE WASALIVE.

IT -- THERE WAS DEFINITELYSOMETHING ABOUT IT THAT WAS

SPECIAL.

>> Tom: HAVE YOUR FATHER TELLYOU STORIES ABOUT THE DIFFERENT

PLACES THAT HE ACTUALLY GREW UPIN.

IT'S PRETTY POWERFUL WAY TO HEARABOUT IT.

>> Stephen: FOR SUCH A GREATAMERICAN WRITER, SOME SAY THE

GREATEST AMERICAN WRITER OFF THE20th CENTURY.

WHY DID HE WRITE SO MUCH ABOUTOTHER COUNTRIES?

ISN'T THERE SOMETHING IN AMERICATO INSPIRE HIM? HE DOESN'T

NEED PARIS, WE HAVE EPCOT.

DOES THAT OFFEND YOU?

>> YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND YOUKNOW HOW HIS MOTHER DRESSED HIM

FOR SO LONG.

HE WANTED TO GET THE HELL OUT OFDODGE.

WHAT DO YOU THINK THATWAS ABOUT?

>> I DON'T KNOW.

I DIDN'T KNOW MY GREATGRANDMOTHER.

THAT BEGS AN ANSWER.

>> Stephen: YOUR GRANDFATHERSPENT A LOT OF TIME IN CUBA. HIS

BOAT IS THERE, THE PILAR. ANDTHE HOUSE IS THERE.

WHEN FIDEL CASTRO DIES YOU'REOPENING A HOTEL, RIGHT?

YOU HAVE TO, YOU CAN CASH.

IN "I GOT HAMMERED ATHEMINGWAYS" YOU HAVE TO OPEN A

HOTEL.

MARIEL, THANK YOU FOR JOININGME.

MARIEL HEMINGWAY "RUNNING WITHNATURE" WE WILL BE RIGHT

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,

EVERYBODY.

FOLKS, WELCOME BACK TO THECOLBERT BOOK CLUB ALREADY IN

PROGRESS.

LONG TIME VIEWERS OF TO THE'SSHOW KNOW WE'RE TALKING ABOUT

NOBEL PRIZE WINNER AND MYPERSONAL HERO RUGGED MAN'S MAN

ERNEST HEMINGWAY.

WE'RE DISCUSSING HIS WORLD WAR ICLASSIC "FAREWELL TO ARMS."

I REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME I READTHE BOOK.

IT'S LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY.

IT WAS YESTERDAY.

I READ IT FROM THE FRONT COVERTO THE BACK COVER.

I TELL YOU WHAT I NEVER SAWCOMING, $27 U.S.

$30 CANADIAN.

EVIDENTLY IT'S A SLIGHTLY BETTERBOOK IN CANADA.

MY GUEST TONIGHT TO DISCUSS THE"FAREWELL TO ARMS" IS THE

PULITZER PRIZE WINNING AUTHOR,MICHAEL CHABON.

(DOORBELL).

>> Stephen: THERE HE IS NOW.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, MICHAELCHABON.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING ME.

>> I'M SO HAPPY TO BE HERE.

[LAUGHING]>> Stephen: YOU'RE THE BEST

SELLING AUTHOR PULITZER PRIZEWINNER.

A NEW BOOK "TELEGRAPH AVENUE."

>> YES.

Stephen: NEITHER BY ERNESTHEMINGWAY.

YOU'RE A ENORMOUS FAN OFHEMINGWAY, TRUE.

>> YES, LIFE LONG.

Stephen: WHY DO YOU THINKHE'S A GREAT AMERICAN MASTER?

WHY ARE KIDS FORCED TO READ THISIN SCHOOL?

>> WELL, I THINK OF ALL OF THEBOOKS YOU MAY GET FORCED TO READ

IN SCHOOL THIS IS ONE THAT ISLEAST PAINFUL.

I THINK THE THING ABOUTHEMINGWAY THAT STAYS WITH ME.

IT HAS STAYED WITH ALL OF USOVER THE YEARS IS THE WRITING

ITSELF.

THE HEMINGWAY STYLE.

YOU TALK ABOUT THE SPARE,SPARING USE OF ADJECTIVES.

>> Stephen: IF HE WAS PAID BYTHE WORD HE WOULD OF STARVED TO

DEATH.

>> THAT'S THE THING HE LEARNEDHOW TO DO IT BY WORKING AS A

JOURNALIST.

HIS INNOVATION.

IF YOU PICK UP A BOOK OF EARLYHEMINGWAY, FROM THE 20S.

IT'S FREE FRESH, MAY OF BEENWRITTEN YESTERDAY.

THE WRITING IS SO LEAN.

WHERE AS YOU PICK UP SOMETHING,I LOVE FITZGERALD.

BUT THE GREAT GATSBY HAS AVICTORIAN, DATED QUALITY.

HEMINGWAY IS UTTERLY FRESHAND MODERN.

I THINK THAT'S BECAUSE HEINVENTED THE MODERN WAY OF

WRITING.

HE INVENTED THE AMERICANNARRATIVE VOICE.

HIS SHAD OH HE CASTS A LONGSHADOW THROUGH THE 20th

CENTURY.

>> Stephen: FOR SUCH A MANLYMAN.

THERE ISN'T A LOT OF SEX INTHIS.

WE'RE NOT ENTIRELY SURE.

IT'S FREDERICK HENRY AND THENKATHRYN.

WHAT'S HER LAST NAME.

>> I FORGET.

SORRY. I DIDN'T KNOW -->> Stephen: IF YOU REMEMBERED, I

HAD REMEMBERED IT WOULD SEEMLIKE ONE OF US HADN'T READ THE

BOOK.

>> ARE YOU GOING TO HOLD ME --Stephen: CATHRYN.

>> YES FREDERICK AND CATHRYN.

Stephen: YOU'RE NOT SURE HOWCATHRYN GETS PREGNANT.

"50 SHADES OF GREY" SOLD A TON.

WHY NOT MORE LIGHTS ON, WILDSTYLE?

FOR A MANLY MAN WHY NOT SEXYTIME.

>> WELL, SPEAKING AS A MANLYMAN.

I THINK, YOU KNOW THE TIME HEWAS WRITING --

[LAUGHING]>> THE TIME HE WAS WRITING IT

WAS JUST, HE DID PUSH BOUNDARIESFOR WHAT WAS ACCEPTABLE IN A

WORK OF FICTION IN TERMS OFTABOOS.

THEY WERE FAIRLY STRONG.

HE HAD TO EDIT OUT A LOT OFLANGUAGE.

I THINK HE USED MORE FOUR LETTERWORDS IN THE ORIGINAL DRAFT.

A LOT OF THAT WAS TAKEN OUT.

>> Stephen: WHY, WHY IF YOU WANTTO WRITE SOMETHING SO

EMOTIONALLY SPARE WHY DO ANOVEL.

WHY NOT MANUALS FOR IKEAFURNITURE.

PUT PEG B IN SLOT A.

WHICH IS PROBABLY SEXIER THAN --[LAUGHING]

>> Stephen: -- HE WROTE IN HERE.

WHY DO YOU THINK?

WHY DO YOU THINK HE WENT FROMJOURNALISM TO NOVELS.

JOURNALISM IS DRY.

DON'T WE WANT GOOEY GUSHY IN THENOVEL?

>> TO THE EXTENT OF THE GUSHYSTUFF IT'S THE DETRIMENT TO THE

BOOK.

WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK SOMAGNIFICENT TO ME ARE THE WAR

PASSAGES.

YOU MENTIONED IN THEINTRODUCTION HEMINGWAY

EXPERIENCED SEVERE TRAUMA INWAR.

ALMOST FATALLY INJURED.

YOU KNOW HE WENT OFF LOOKING FOREXCITEMENT.

HE VOLUNTEERED, AS YOU SAID.

WHAT IS REMARKABLE ABOUT THEBOOK IS IT IS, IF NOT THE

EARLIEST ONE OF THE EARLIESTEFFORTS OF A VETERAN OF WAR TO

TRY TO WRITE ABOUT THEEXPERIENCE OF WAR FROM A

SOLDIERS, AN ORDINARY SOLDIER'SPOINT OF VIEW.

>> Stephen: DO WE NEED THATANYMORE, WE HAVE "CALL OF DUTY"

NOW?

15 HOURS OF THAT YOU'RE LIKE NOMORE CHEETOS I WANT OUT.

>> YOU'RE RIGHT.

THINK YOU'RE RIGHT.

THERE IS ALMOST AN EXACTEQUIVALENT SEE BETWEEN CALL OF

DUTY -->> Stephen: THE GRAPHICS.

BACK THEN THEY DIDN'T HAVE THEGRAPHICS.

>> NO.

IT WAS LIKE 8 BIT I THINK.

>> Stephen: LET'S TALK ABOUT THEBOOK ITSELF.

HE SURVIVED THE WAR.

GOES OFF WITH CATHRYN.

SHE DIES IN CHILD BIRTH.

>> YEAH.

Stephen: SPOILER ALERT.

IT SPOILS YOURMOOD.

>> YA, I MEAN THE -- THE, IT'S AFUNNY BOOK IN A WAY.

>> Stephen: HILARIOUS.

HILARIOUS.

IS IT YOUR FAVORITE HEMINGWAY?

HIS GREATEST BOOK.

>> I THINK THIS AND THEN THESHORT STORIES CALLED THE "NICK

ADAMS STORIES."

IT'S AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL.

THEY TAKE A CHARACTER, NICK,FROM HIS BOYHOOD THROUGH WORLD

WAR I.

>> Stephen: I READ THAT "OLD MANIN THE SEA" THAT'S SUPER SHORT.

I DID A BOOK REPORT IN SIXTHGRADE.

>> HOW DID YOU DO?

Stephen: I GOT AN "A."

I DON'T WANT TO BRAG.

IN THAT BOOK, YOU KNOW THERE ISAN OLD MAN.

THERE IS THE SEA.

>> YA.

Stephen: IS FREDERICK THE OLDMAN, YOU KNOW IN THIS BOOK, AND

IS CATHRYN, HER NAME BEGINS WITHA "C."

IS SHE THE SEA?

IS THERE A PARALLEL OR IS SHETHE MARLIN?

>> I -- YOU KNOW THAT'S HARD TOMAKE A CONNECTION BETWEEN THESE

TWO BOOKS.

>> Stephen: I DID IT I DID ITTWICE.

I SHOULD OF BEEN THE GUEST ONTHIS SHOW.

MICHAEL, THANK YOU SO MUCH FORJOINING ME.

MICHAEL CHABON, THE BOOK IS"TELEGRAPH AVENUE" WE WILL BE

RIGHT BACK.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

HEMINGWAY WAS A MASTER OF PROSE.

FAMOUS FOR HIS SHORT UNADORNEDSENTENCES.

A STYLE EMULATED BY MANY ANDPERFECTED BY A FEW LIKE THE

INCREDIBLE HULK.

HULK SMASH, CLASSIC HEMINGWAY.

HEMINGWAY HAS SO MANY GREATNOVELS I'M WILLING TO TELL

PEOPLE I HAVE READ THE OLD MANIN THE SEA TO WHOM THE BELL

TOLLS ABOUT A MAN WAITING FOR ASIGNAL THAT HIS MICROWAVE

BURRITO IS DONE.

TRAGICALLY THE INSIDE IS STILLCOLD.

TONIGHT I WILL SIT DOWN WITHAUTHOR MICHAEL CHABON TO DISCUSS

AU"A FAREWELL TO ARMS" AN EPICSSTALE

OF LOVE, WAR, LOYALTY AND DEATH.

IT'S THE "HUNGER GAMES" WITHMUSTARD GAS.

FIRST LET'S GET TO KNOW THE MANBEHIND THE MARLIN CARCASS.

IN PART ONE BETTER KNOW AHEMINGWAY.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY.

HE WAS BORN IN OAK PARK,ILLINOIS IN 1899.

HE HAD A UNUSUAL BOYHOOD.

IN THAT IT WAS PART GIRLHOOD.

FOR THE FIRST SIX YEARS OF HISLIFE HIS MOTHER DRESSED HIM AS A

GIRL CALLING HIM ERNESTENE WHICHHE IN NO WAY SPENT THE REST OF

HIS LIFE COMPENSATING FOR.

AT 18 HE VOLUNTEERED FOR WORLDWAR I AS A AMBULANCE DRIVER ON

THE ITALIAN FRONT WHERE HEWAS WOUNDED BY MORTAR FIRE BUT

HE STILL CARRIED A SOLDIER TOHSAFETY, FOR WHICH HE RECEIVED

THE ITALIAN MEDAL OF BRAVERY ANDUNLIMITED BREADSTICKS.

AFTER THE WAR HEMINGWAYJOINED A GROUP OF EX PATRIOTS IN

PARIS INCLUDING F SCOTTFITZGERALD, JAMES JOYCE AND

OWEN WILSON.

IN 1926 HE PUBLISHED HIS FIRSTNOVEL "THE SUN ALSO RISES" BASED

ON RUNNING WITH THE BULLS.

IT'S CONSIDERED HIS GREATESTWORK.

SOME HOW HE MANAGED TO TYPE ITWHILE FLEEING BULLS.

THREE YEARS LATER HE FINISHEDTONIGHT'S BOOK "A FAREWELL TO

ARMS."

IT ADDRESSES THE QUESTION, IFYOU SAY FAREWELL TO YOUR ARMS,

WHAT DO YOU WAVE TO SAY GOODBYE?

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE][CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

>> YOU KNOW THE NICE THING ABOUTSANGRIA IS YOU ALREADY KNOW WHAT

IT WILL LOOK LIKE WHEN YOU THROWIT UP.

[ APPLAUSE ]>> Stephen: THAT'S CALLED

FORESHADOWING.

[LAUGHING]>> Stephen: WHEN WORLD WAR II

BEGAN HEMINGWAY RETURNED AS AJOURNALIST.

HE WAS BUSY LANDING A MARLIN ATSEA AND NEVER GOT OFF THE

VESSEL.

HE WAS A LEGENDARY SPORTS MANAND HUNTER.

HIS BIG GAME TROPHIES INCLUDE ARHINO, A LION AND A LEOPARD.

THESE WERE THE BASIS FOR HISBOOK

"I'LL SEE YOU IN HELL BARBAR."

THE YEARS OF HARD LIVING TOOKTHEIR TOLL ON PAPA.

HE DIED FROM A SELF INFLICTEDGUN SHOT WOUND.

SADLY THE KILLER WAS NEVERFOUND.

52 YEARS LATER ERNESTHEMINGWAY'S WORKS ARE CHERISHED

BY READERS, WRITERS AND ANYONEWHO HATES ADJECTIVES.

WHEN WE RETURN I WILL BE JOINEDBY ANOTHER PULITZER PRIZE

WINNING AUTHOR, MICHAEL

CHABON. WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

>> STEPHEN COLBERT REPORTS THECOLBERT BOOK CLUB.

TONIGHT'S SELECTION.

>> A FAREWELL TO ARMS BY ERNESTHEMINGWAY.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE][CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE][CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

>> Stephen: WELCOME, EVERYBODY.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING ME.

THANK YOU, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.

>> Audience: STEPHEN!

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE][CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

>> Stephen: LADIES ANDGENTLEMEN, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR

BEING HERE TONIGHT.

IN HERE, OUT THERE, JOINING MEFOR THE ANHISTORIC THIRD

EDITION OF THE COLBERT BOOKCLUB.

I STARTED AS A TRIBUTE TO ANDCOPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT UPON MY

DEAR FRIEND OPRAH WINFREY.

AS EVERYONE KNOWS OPRAH GIVES METHINGS, WHETHER IT'S

SWEATERS, AVOCADOS, OR CEASE ANDDESIST LETTERS.

PREVIOUS INSTALLMENTS OF THECOLBERT BOOK CLUB INCLUDE "THE

GREAT GATSBY" AND ANYTHING BUT"CATCHER AND THE RYE."

THEY'RE WONDERFUL SHOWS FILLEDWITH THOUGHTFUL LITERARY

ANALYSIS.

NONE OF WHICH I CAN REMEMBERBECAUSE I WAS [BEEP] ON

CHARDONNAY.

TONIGHT, TONIGHT IS A SPECIALNIGHT.

A NIGHT THAT IS COLD, AND DARK,AND HARD, AND FILLED WITH

REGRET.

A NIGHT THAT WE DISCUSS A WRITERNAMED ERNEST HEMINGWAY.

NOW SIT DOWN, AND BE QUIET.

TO CELEBRATE THIS AMERICAN ICONI'M WEARING A RUGGED SAFARI

OUTFIT AND OCCASIONALLY DRINKINGFROM A GOAT BLADDER WINESKIN.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>> Stephen: MMMM.

THAT IS SOME GOOD BLADDER.

AND OF COURSE I'M SURROUNDED BYDEAD ANIMALS.

A WILD BORE, ELEPHANT TUSKS, ABEARSKIN RUG, A MARLIN, AND AN

AUTHENTIC LEOPARD THROW FROMDEEPEST DARKEST POTTERY BARN.

MY BIGGEST TROPHY TONIGHT IS THERHINO.

THEY'RE ENDANGERED SO I ONLYKILLED THE FRONT HALF.

I LET THE BACK HALF GO TOREPRODUCE.

PERHAPS THE MOST MAG NIFF SENTTROPHY ON THE WALL IS ME.

THERE I AM AS PAPA AS I MAY LOOKLATER IN LIFE, AT THE AGE OF TWO

YEARS AGO.

MY SHOW IS KILLING ME.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,

EVERYBODY.

FOLKS, THAT CONCLUDES OURCOLBERT BOOK CLUB ON HEMINGWAY

"A FAREWELL TO ARMS" I HOPE YOULEARNED A LOT.

I DID. FOR INSTANCE,ITALY IS A COUNTRY IN EUROPE.

I ALWAYS THOUGHT IT WAS A TYPEOF FOOD.

GOOD NIGHT, EVERYBODY.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]