Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

Montage of images and link description. Houdini Imagemap: linked to kids and home
The Film and More
Imagemap(text links below) of menu items
The American Experience
The Film & More
Reference
Interview Transcripts | Further Reading

E.L. Doctorow, writer, on:
being a hero"

E.L. Doctorow Desperation was the theme of his life. Completely, totally, and in every minute, that desperate desire to turn himself into something almost superhuman if he possibly could. But at the same time knowing the trickery that underlay it all, and therefore increasing the desperation, increasing the kinds of feats, the difficulty of feats he attempted, increasing his anxiety and his attempts to incorporate the real world in his act, and either by hanging upside-down alongside buildings or jumping into freezing rivers, and other ways involving the real world as an environment for his stunts. That was all an attempt to cross over from show business into a genuine state of heroism and accomplishment. And of course, he could never do it

back to Interview Transcripts


Program Description | Enhanced Transcript | Reference

The Film & More | Special Features | Timeline | Gallery | People & Events | Teacher's Guide
The American Experience | Kids | Feedback | Search | Shop | Subscribe

©  New content 1999 PBS Online / WGBH

Exclusive Corporate Funding is provided by: