City Journal: Jonathan Clarke reviews Hemingway, the new documentary series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. An excerpt:
Myths, received ideas, and ancient controversies tend to obscure the work of a great writer, making it almost superfluous to the legend. This is especially true of Ernest Hemingway, whose myth has proved particularly seductive to those who make movies and commercial television. Hemingway’s work is understood almost entirely in biographical terms, as an extension of his personal virtues or, less charitably, as a product of his pathologies. Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s mission, in their three-part, six-hour Hemingway, airing nationally on PBS affiliates, is to provide a more naturalistic portrait of Hemingway the man and thereby return us to the indelible work itself. They have succeeded marvelously.