Didn't watch "Hemingway and Gellhorn" after all, after Mike Hale's pan in The New York Times convinced me that the HBO movie would be cliched and loaded with bad Hemingway dialogue. Sometime when I want to spend two and a half hours reliving the Hemingway myth, I'll probably watch it on On Demand.
In these days of shrinking print products and signs of cultural decline, small advances are worth celebrating. The London Review of Books has mysteriously shown up at the Barnes & Noble bookstand, and I spent several enjoyable hours on Memorial Day quaffing Guinness Stouts and reading the LBR, particularly Colm Toibin's educational and entertaining review of a new biography of Oscar Wilde's wife, Constance, and an annotated edition of Wilde's "The Portrait of Dorian Gray." Sad to say, before reading the review, I was unaware of Wilde's wife, or the two sons that he fathered with her.
As with so many other previously little known women married to famous men, Constance appears an interesting woman, with an admirable, long-tested loyalty to Wilde. "Feminist" critics and historians continue to illuminate the lives of women who played signicant roles in their men's lives of greatness or notoriety. Not only are these women like Constance Wilde or Clover Adams, whose accomplishments don't match those of their husbands but whose lives are worth examining. They also include those such as Gellhorn, whose more substantial achievements were long underappreciated.
I hope the LBR remains for sale at the Barnes & Noble. A few months ago, the Times Literary Supplement made a similar appearance, then disappeared. When I asked a B&N employee, he claimed the TLS hadn't sold enough copies to remain. I hope the LBR makes the cut; the copy I bought recently was the last one, so perhaps it's selling.