Sunday, September 12, 2021

High Culture: Hemingway and the myth

 We are all museums of fear.
~ Charles Bukowski

Bad taste makes more millionaires than good taste.
Charles Bukowski, Hollywood

The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.
Ernest Hemingway

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick examine the visionary work and the turbulent life of Ernest Hemingway, one of the greatest and most influential writers America has ever produced. Interweaving his eventful biography - a life lived at the ultimately treacherous nexus of art, fame, and celebrity - with carefully selected excerpts from his iconic short stories, novels, and non-fiction, the series reveals the brilliant, ambitious, charismatic, and complicatedy man behind the myth, and the art he created.

Well, Hemingway had his demons,” we say when we get news of another brilliant artist gone to their grave, if not directly by their own hand, then by bad habits so thoroughly indulged that they might as well have.

The literary list is long: Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hunter S. Thompson, David Foster Wallace, and more. Towering over them all, of course, is Ernest Hemingway: terse modernist, wounded veteran, drinker, lover, fighter, hunter, suicide, and subject of master documentary maker Ken Burns’ latest offering. And if Hemingway is about the writer’s larger-than-life life, the series is also about his death.

Call me Papa

Of course, being a Ken Burns project, the series is hardly modest in its ambitions. Hemingwayis an exhaustive biographical portrait of the man, each two-hour episode an exactingly thorough examination of Hemingway’s life and work.

Narrated by Burns regular Peter Coyote, with Jeff Daniels providing Hemingway’s voice, we cover every inch of ground from his childhood in Illinois to his death in Idaho. Along the way we take in his World War I service, his years in Paris, his literary successes, his many loves (Keri Russell, Patricia Clarkson, Mary Louise Parker, and Meryl Streep voice his four wives), his adventures on the hunt and on the front, his struggles with alcohol and depression, his decline, his death by suicide, and his legacy.

Even a hagiographic and uncritical account of Hemingway’s life would be fascinating, but Burns and co-director Lynn Novick go deeper, resulting in a much richer documentary experience.


22 July 2021 — Three-part documentary Hemingway premieres exclusively in Australia on SBS and SBS On Demand on Saturday ...

Angus Wilson once described Aldous Huxley as ‘the god of my adolescence’. When I read those words as a teenager, I was sure I’d one day want to borrow them. It’s a hundred years since the publication of Huxley’s first novel, Crome Yellow, and I’ve been rereading his books at twice the age I was when I first encountered them. 

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Marie Aymard, born in 1713, was a shopkeeper's illiterate daughter. Can her story tell the story of  France  

21ST CENTURY CAREER PATHS: Become a Certified Glute Trainer (Wait, What?)

Related:  The Kardashian Butt Must Die. “A giant pumpkin smothered in oatmeal.”

13 clever ways to fake a home renovation

Rum’s colonial past is proof that even the sweetest of hard liquors has a bitter backstory. 

'LOST THE PLOT': Debate rages as thousands flock to Bondi

While the NSW Health Minister has promised being out in the fresh air is the "safest place to be" amid Sydney's Covid outbreak, some people are concerned about the hoards of people flocking to the beach.

NSW recorded 1599 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, the highest the state has recorded in the pandemic.

Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.  
| Jane Jacobs

Essays & Opinions

When high culture was in high regard, joining the counterculture meant rejecting its values. Now high culture is the counterculture