There might be a cure for the summertime blues after all.
As Trump's bizarro world rumbles toward a grinning apocalypse, sperm counts fall, polar ice caps melt, baseball lumbers on and football players prepare for another season of damaging their brains, let's escape into the lives of writers who wrestled with the American experiment and enriched its language.
Yes, all of them men. Two of the biographers are women though.
As Russia's shadow grows across the land, Trump spews his paranoid rantings to Boy Scouts and Twitter, and Congress prepares to wreck health care, several literary biographies have appeared to take our minds off the dismal present.
Liquor is quicker, of course.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
David S. Brown's "Paradise Lost:A Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald," seeks to see the Jazz Age chronicler in a different light, as a moralist upholding 19th century fortitude against 20th century nihilism. I've made a lackluster beginning with the Harvard University Press book, finding its academic tone stuffy and forbidding.
I've often found the first part of biographies boring, when the biographer looks back at old grandpappy coming to America and opening a store, etc. Maybe the book will pick up when F Scott gets to Princeton.
In celebration of his 200th birthday, Henry David Thoreau receives a sympathetic look from Notre Dame's Laura Dassow Walls. Thoreau is a frequent target of those who see him as an unpleasant curmudgeon, most recently blasted by Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam. A hack in other words.
As a Thoreau acolyte, I hope to find Walls' book entertaining, although it looks a bit like Brown's in my first cursory glance.
Unlike the word-challenged Trumps, Ernest could write, at least in his early days. From reviews I've read, Dearborn fearlessly examines why Hemingway built such an unpleasant persona, while appreciating his extraordinary talent. The macho posturing grew as the writing ebbed.
I've probably had enough of Hemingway for one lifetime. But who knows, I might plunge in.