Sometimes I contemplate an alternate timeline where “Sherlock” never existed and wonder whether “Endeavour” and its star Shaun Evans may have claimed whatever secret chamber in our hearts that Benedict Cumberbatch’s detective conquered.
The two detectives have a few things in common, after all. Sherlock Holmes and Endeavour Morse are two of many crime-solvers adapted from literature featured under the “Masterpiece Mystery!” tent recently interpreted as younger men in their prime.
Each has a long relationship with television, although Holmes’ overcoat has been worn by an assortment of actors. Morse is associated with two: Evans and the late John Thaw, who originated the character in “Inspector Morse,” which aired from 1987 through 1993, and was revived for five special installments that ran between 1995 and 2000.
Editor’s Note: Books and images from Hemingway’s life and works are shown in the PBS Exhibition. It’s done in conjunction with the new Burns’ documentary, “Hemingway.”
Corporate funding for HEMINGWAY was provided by Bank of America. Major funding was provided by the Annenberg Foundation, The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, and by ‘The Better Angels Society,’ and its members John & Leslie McQuown, the Elizabeth Ruth Wallace Living Trust, John & Catherine Debs, The Fullerton Family Charitable Trust, the Kissick Family Foundation, Gail M. Elden, Gilchrist & Amy Berg, Robert & Beverly Grappone, Mauree Jane & Mark Perry; and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS.
Ken Burns and Lynn Novick started working on their new docuseries about Ernest Hemingway almost seven years ago, when conversations about toxic masculinity and cancel culture were still at least a presidency away. But you’d be forgiven for thinking the series was a pandemic project, because Hemingway, and the conversations that take place within it, feel utterly of the moment.
From gender fluidity and mental illness to sexual misconduct and racism, today’s most charged topics are discussed at length in the series because they were part and parcel of the iconic, mercurial writer, whose own ex-wife Hadley Richardson once described as having so many sides to him that he defied geometry. Throughout the three-part, six-hour series, Hemingway is portrayed as both violent and tender, self-aware and self-aggrandizing, with an equal, outsize capacity for both joy and depthless depression.
It’s no wonder then why the writer Michael Katakis says at the start of the series that Hemingway the man is so much more interesting than the whiskey-doused, hypermasculine myth that obscures him. In separate interviews, Burns and Novick walked us through how making the film transformed the way they understand Hemingway—the man, the myth, and his literary legacy. Below, we’ve spliced together the two conversations, which have been edited and condensed for clarity.
By Steve Paul Special to The Star, April 04, 2021 05:00 AM, Updated April 04, 2021 08:44 AM
Three and a half decades ago, the earth moved beneath the foundation of the Ernest Hemingway industry. The old-school, tired image of the great American writer as a brawling, blustery simpleton took a self-inflicted punch in the gut.
Hemingway — master of the fishing rod, the shotgun, the declarative sentence — had killed himself in 1961. His literary stature was stuck in a long recession, but, as had happened three times earlier, an unfinished manuscript was plucked from his archives, tailored into a certain commercially agreeable shape, and, in 1986, landed before the reading public, this time with startling revelations.
You must be logged in to post a comment.