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Hemingway Adventure

Chicago, Illinois

Michael Palin - Hemingway AdventureIt’s a rather fussy little room, full of frills and lace, but I’m told it has a profound effect on people. A man from Belarus broke down in tears when he saw it, and an Israeli Hemingway scholar who described herself as ‘not a goose bumps type of person’ was deeply moved by the thought that, as she put it, ‘This is where American literature was changed for ever.’

Maybe this is why there is a living author currently at work in the turreted attic of the house. His name is William Hazelgrove and he’s working on a book called Hemingway’s Attic. It’s a bit of a shock to find him there in the gloom.

‘I came here to find the ghost of a man who did not grow up on television, a man for whom commerce was a necessary stream, not the flood we find ourselves in now.’

I’m not sure I can take this. Another writer looking for Hemingway, and it’s only my first day.

Hemingway was born in the dying months of the nineteenth century and the first sounds he would have heard outside would have been of horses’ hooves and not the soft swish of traffic that is pretty much constant today. Inside, he would have become used to the sound of his musically gifted mother composing away in the parlour. She wrote songs like ‘Lovely Walloona', a paean to the family retreat on Walloon Lake in north Michigan.
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  • Series: Hemingway Adventure
  • Chapter: Chicago, Illinois
  • Country/sea: USA
  • Place: Chicago, Illinois
  • Book page no: 19

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