Ernest Hemingway’s problematic legacy is reexamined, both in Ken Burns’ new documentary and author's hometown

CHICAGO — It’s a spring morning in Oak Park and I’m seated at a desk in the childhood home of Ernest Hemingway. He was born in a room above my head, 122 years ago. His father, a doctor, delivered him. My laptop is open and I’m working on the story you’re reading right now. I’m wondering — what exactly am I supposed to be feeling here? Reverence? Adventure? The mix of self-loathing and self-regard that carried Hemingway far from Oak Park? Or a sheepishness? You could argue, after all, that Hemingway is exhibit A of the Dead White Male 20th Century Author with fading relevance in the 21st centur…

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