Hemingway, Ernest: The Old Man and the Sea
(researched by Brendan Tansill)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1952
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
The first edition is printed on paper.
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
[i]-[ii] + [1]-[142], as follows: [i] blank; [ii] BOO
KS BY; [1] half title; [2] blank; [3] title page; [4] notices of copyright, note of origin, reservation of rights, Scribner's "A," and Scibner's press device; [5] dedication: TO CHARLIE SCRIBNER | AND | MAX PERKINS; [6] blank; [7] half title; [8] blank;
9-140 text; [141]-[142] blank.
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
There was no editor and there was no introduction
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
The drawing on the dust jacket is by "A" and the photograph of Hemingway on the back cover was taken by Lee Samuels.
7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available
8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)
The text is extremely readable. The font is large and there is limited text o
n each page. Therefore, the book is reader-friendly. The dust cover is aesthetically pleasing as is the book in general.
9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available
10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)
The quality of the paper is remarkably good. The paper is thick, but not overly so. It has not hardened or darkened substanti
ally over the years. Clearly it has been well maintained for the past 45 years.
11 Description of binding(s)
The binding is light blue cloth with the author's signature blind-stamped on the backstrip.
12 Transcription of title page
The title page reads as follows: THE OLD MAN | AND | THE SEA | ERNEST HEMING
WAY | CHARLES SCIBNER'S SONS, NEW YORK | 1952
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
Galley proofs, 1952, The Old Man and The Sea. Advance Uncorrected Galley Proofs, 17 sheets, for the first publication of this work in Life Magazine, 6250-o, special collections department, Alderman Libr
ary.
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
Eleven days in advance to the book's publication the full text of the 27, 000-word novella appeared in twenty pages of Life, XXXIII (September 1, 1952).
Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History
1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A
Yes. The original publisher, Charles Scribner's Sons, has been publishing the book annually ever since the first edition. In September of
1960, Charles Scribner's Sons published the college edition ($1.60). This edition had "SPECIAL STUDENTS EDITION" printed on the front flap and "COLLEGE EDITION" stampted in gold on the back cover. In October of 1960, it published the illustrated edit
ion ($5.00) which was illustrated by Raymond Shepard and C. F. Tunnicliffe as indicated by the publisher's note on page [9]. The front and back cover of the dust jacket are two illustrations from the book. In June of 1961, it published the school editi
on ($1.60) which did not include a dust jacket. The front cover had a drawing stamped on it in black ink. The text of the book was followed by a study guide, notes on the text, questions for discussion, and a list of other books by Hemingway. In Januar
y of 1965, it published the first paperback edition ($1.25) which had gray stiff paper covers. Charles Scirbner's Sons has published The Old Man and The Sea ever since but all later editions are similar to one of the above mentioned editions.
2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available
3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available
4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?
The first printing consisted of 50, 000 copies.
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
Louisville: American Printing for the Blind, 1961. Paris: Librairie Generale Francaise, 1991. New York: Bantam Books, 1965. New York: Collier Books, 1952. Tokyo: Nan'un-do, 1957. Norwalk: Easton Press, 1990. Genes: Cideb, 1992. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995. Littleton: Sundance Publishers and Distributers, 1993. London: Arrow, 1993. Thorndike: G. K. Hall, 1952. London: Jonathan Cape, 1963. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1966. London: Book Club Associates, 1955. Leningrad: Gosudarstvennoe Uchebno-Pedagogicheskoe Izdatelstvo Ministerstva Prosveshchenilia RSFSR, 1962. Franklin Center: Franklin Library, 1985. London: Reprint Society, 1962. Moskva: Nakladatelstvi Progress, 1970. Tokyo: Eichosha, 1975. New York: The Limited Editions Club, 1990. New York: MacMillan, 1952. Chicago: Time, Inc., 1952. London: Granada, 1952. London: Heinemann Educational, 1952. St Albans: Triad: Panther, 1952. San Francisco: National Aid to Visually Handicapped, 1964. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publication House, 1963. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1967.
6 Last date in print?
The Old Man and The Sea is still in print today.
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
11 days prior to the book's publication, the book appeared in Life Magazine. The piece occupied seventeen pages and was the major form of advertisement for the
book. This manuscript is held by the University of Virginia in the special collections department of Alderman Library (6250-o).
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
11 Other promotion
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
Movies Richmond Hill, Onc.: BFS Video, 1995. Burbank, CA: Warner Home Video, 1958. Recordings New York: Harper Collins, 1976. Newport Beach, CA: Books on Tape, 1990. New York: Caedmon, 1976. Prince Frederick, MD: Recorded Books, 1996. New York: Easton Press, 1959
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
All books listed below are translations of The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway. The language is in parathensis followed by the place of publication, the publisher, and the year of publication. (Postuguese) Lisboa: Livros do Brasil, 1956. (Spanish) Mexico: Editores Mexicanos Unidos, 1996. (Korean) Soul: Ch'ongmoksa, 1985. (Chinese) T'ai-nan shih: Ta ch'ien ch'u pan shih yeh kung ssu, 1991. (German) Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1995. (Russian) Minsk: Izd-vvo "Vysheshaia shkola", 1976. (Japanese) Tokyo: Shinchosha, 1993. (Polish) Warszawa: KAMA, 1994. (Dutch) Hasselt: Uitgeverij Heideland, 1965. (Yiddish) New York: Der Kva, 1958. (Hebrew) Tel Aviv: 'Am 'oved, 1994. (Persian) Tehran: Khvarazmi, 1984. (Gujarti) Mumbai: Srimati Nathibai Damodara Thakarasi Mahila Viyapitha, 1992. (French) Paris: Gallimard, 1952. (Norwegian) Oslo: Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, 1952. (Greek) Athens: Ikaros, 1954. (Italian) Verona: Arnoldo Mondadori editore, 1952. (Finnish) Helsinki: Tammi, 1952. (Slovenian) Ljubljana: Cankarjera zalozba, 1975. (Arabic) 'Akka al-Qadimah: Maktabat wa-Matba 'at al-Surujay, 1981. (Albanian) Prishtine: Rilindja, 1985. (Ukrainian) Kyiv: Dnipro, 1991. (Indonesian) Jakarta: Pustaka Jaya, 1973. (Hungarian) Budapest: Magyar Helikon, 1962. (Czech) Bratislava: Smena, 1980. (Icelandic) Akureyri: Bokaforlag Odds Bjornssonar, 1955.
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
The Old Man and the Sea was published in a seventeen page piece in Life Magazine eleven days prior to the book's publication. The book is so short that this piece included the text in its entire
ty.
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
N/A
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
Ernest Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He was the second child of Clearence Edmunds Hemingway, a physician, and his wife Grace Hall, a music instructor. His parent
s offered a strict, but loving household. As a youth, Hemingway was encouraged to remain active; he enjoyed the competition of sports, as he participated in football, boxing, and swimming. As a form of relaxation and bonding, he and his father frequentl
y went on fishing and hunting trips. It was also during high school that his interest in writing began to surface; he commonly wrote poetry and short stories. This interest gained in magnitude throughout high school until, upon graduation, he went to th
e Kansas City Star for work. He remained with the paper until World War I when he became an ambulance driver on the Italian front. He was severely injured while in the line of duty and returned to Oak Park. It was at this time that he rededicated himsel
f to his dream of being a writer. He got a job with the Toronto Star. In 1921, Hemingway embarked on his first of four marriages with Hadley Richardson, with whom he had his first of two children, John Hadley Nicanor. The two newlyweds promptly moved t
o Paris, which proved to be a great source of inspiration in his early work. After they divorced in 1927, Hemingway divorced and remarried three more times. He immediately married her friend Pauline Pfeiffer, with whom he had his second child, Gregory Pa
trick. This marriage lasted only thirteen years, for in 1940 he divorced her and married Martha Gellhorn. Only five years later he divorced her and married Mary Welsh, his wife until death. He lived the remainder of his life in Key West, Florida, Cuba,
and Ketchum, Idaho where he eventually committed suicide on July 2, 1961 because of depression, paranoia, and hypertension. This, however, did not come as a huge shock as his father passed away in the same manner. During his life he enjoyed traveling a
great deal, particularly in Africa. While touring Africa, Hemingway survived two serious plane crashes that resulted in lasting ailments. He was also heavily involved in both the Spanish Civil War and World War II. In the later, Hemingway served as a
war correspondent and as a pilot in the Air Force, and was part of the American army's charge that broke through the German blockade into France and Germany. Hemingway is clearly one of the most influential American writers to date. His concise, yet descriptive style has captivated audiences like few other authors in history, as evidenced by his Pulitzer Prize in 1953 for The Old Man and The Sea, his Nobel P
rize for Literature in 1954, and his Award of Merit from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1954. He addressed the same issues in many of his works, simply because of his autobiographical tendencies as an author. His hero is generally honorable
and chivalric, but inevitably succumbs to the rigors of life. He was first published when he was 24; the work was Three Stories and Ten Poems, and it was published in Paris by Contact in 1923. Hemingway proved to be a prolific writer, writing the follo
wing novels: The Torrents of Spring: A Romantic Novel in Honor of the Passing of a Great Race, the Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, To Have and Have Not, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Across the River and Into the Trees, The Old Man and the Sea, Islands in
the Stream, and The Garden of Eden. (The last two novels are posthumous publications.) He also published several short stories and collections of poems and countless letters and articles. He did not appear to have any consistent editor or agent, but Sc
ribner did publish an overwhelming majority of his work. He readily admits to having been greatly influenced by Ring Lardner, Sherwood Anderson, Ezra Pound, and Gertrude Stein. Many of Hemingway's papers still exist today in the hands of Scribner, as he
has published many of his works posthumously.
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
The Old Man and The Sea was well-received upon its publication in 1952. Nearly every accessible review of the book declared its brilliance and quality in extremely complementary language. Hemingway is praised f
or telling a moving tale of man's persistence and doing so in a concise, disciplined fashion. Those select few that dissent argue that his prose's simplicity is not a product of brilliance, but rather a limited mastery of the English language. Those tha
t subscribe to this belief are few and far between, but they nonetheless exist. An example of one such critic is Seymour Krim who writes, "Hemingway has already done the significant part of his life's work. . . He is, by our living needs and standards,
a true, brilliant, but very limited artist, and I believe that we have gotten all we can from him now." (Commonwealth 56:584 S 19 1952 1600w) Another such critic is J. D. Scott. He states "The Old Man and The Sea is intended to be a ?universal' book, d
ealing, however briefly, with the suffering of humanity as a whole. Its compassion is not exclusive. If it succeeded it would be a masterpiece surpassing anything that Mr. Hemingway has written. In my opinion it has not succeeded. Despite its great vi
rtues....it does not plumb these depths of primitive tragic simplicity at which it obviously aims." (New Statesman and Nation 44:297 S 13 1952 650w) These two opinions were the only two of their sort. The rest of the reviewers praised Hemingway for his
creation of a tale told in simple prose confronting intricate issues. "The Old Man and The Sea has almost none of the old Hemingway truculence, the hard-guy sentimentality that sometimes gives even his most devoted admirers twinges of discomfort. As a
story, it is clean and straight. Those who admire craftsmanship will be right in calling it a masterpiece." (Time 60:114 S 8 1952 900w) "It is a tale superbly told and in the telling Ernest Hemingway uses all the craft his hard, disciplined trying ove
r so many years has given him." (R. G. Davis N Y Times p1 S 7 1952 1750w) These two reviews are extremely indicative of the general sentiment of the critics as a whole. They all found that Santiago, the old man, "enters the gallery of permanent heroes
effortlessly". (Sat R 25:10 S 6 1952 240w) The one theme that seems to present itself in each of the reviews that I read is a comparison between this work and each of his previous efforts. This tale seems to have been unanimously voted superior. Criti
cs discuss how in previous works he as shown "truculence" and a lack of discipline and restraint. They further comment how he was able to rectify these problems while sacrificing nothing. Generally speaking, The Old Man and the Sea was immediately recog
nized as a classic for the ages. The critics seemed surprised that such an effort came from Hemingway, but they were accurate in their predictions as to its influence in years to come.
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
The Old Man and The Sea was well-received upon its publication in 1952. Nearly every accessible review of the book declared its brilliance and quality in extremely complementary language. Hemingway is praised f
or telling a moving tale of man's persistence and doing so in a concise, disciplined fashion. Those select few that dissent argue that his prose's simplicity is not a product of brilliance, but rather a limited mastery of the English language. Those tha
t subscribe to this belief are few and far between, but they nonetheless exist. An example of one such critic is Seymour Krim who writes, "Hemingway has already done the significant part of his life's work. . . He is, by our living needs and standards,
a true, brilliant, but very limited artist, and I believe that we have gotten all we can from him now." (Commonwealth 56:584 S 19 1952 1600w) Another such critic is J. D. Scott. He states "The Old Man and The Sea is intended to be a ?universal' book, d
ealing, however briefly, with the suffering of humanity as a whole. Its compassion is not exclusive. If it succeeded it would be a masterpiece surpassing anything that Mr. Hemingway has written. In my opinion it has not succeeded. Despite its great vi
rtues....it does not plumb these depths of primitive tragic simplicity at which it obviously aims." (New Statesman and Nation 44:297 S 13 1952 650w) These two opinions were the only two of their sort. The rest of the reviewers praised Hemingway for his
creation of a tale told in simple prose confronting intricate issues. "The Old Man and The Sea has almost none of the old Hemingway truculence, the hard-guy sentimentality that sometimes gives even his most devoted admirers twinges of discomfort. As a
story, it is clean and straight. Those who admire craftsmanship will be right in calling it a masterpiece." (Time 60:114 S 8 1952 900w) "It is a tale superbly told and in the telling Ernest Hemingway uses all the craft his hard, disciplined trying ove
r so many years has given him." (R. G. Davis N Y Times p1 S 7 1952 1750w) These two reviews are extremely indicative of the general sentiment of the critics as a whole. They all found that Santiago, the old man, "enters the gallery of permanent heroes
effortlessly". (Sat R 25:10 S 6 1952 240w) The one theme that seems to present itself in each of the reviews that I read is a comparison between this work and each of his previous efforts. This tale seems to have been unanimously voted superior. Criti
cs discuss how in previous works he as shown "truculence" and a lack of discipline and restraint. They further comment how he was able to rectify these problems while sacrificing nothing. Generally speaking, The Old Man and the Sea was immediately recog
nized as a classic for the ages. The critics seemed surprised that such an effort came from Hemingway, but they were accurate in their predictions as to its influence in years to come.
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and The Sea was an immediate classic upon publication in 1952. Its release as a novel was highly anticipated because of its appearance in Life Magazine just eleven days prior to it
s arrival in bookstores nationwide. Book reviewers, particularly those writing for major print media, were nearly unanimous in their praise of the short novel. This, however, was not the case with scholars and more serious literary critics. Such litera
ry authorities were at first divided as to the book's greatness. Some felt the tale was Hemingway at his best, demonstrating masterful understanding of the English language and offering elaborate description through clear, concise prose. Others felt tha
t the story was dark and depressing, lacking the boundless symbolism others claimed to have found. There was even a contingent that felt the book was not worthy of the title of "novel," given its lack of plot and conflict. One critic went so far as to c
all The Old Man and The Sea a "fishing anecdote." Today, The Old Man and The Sea is widely regarded as Hemingway's crowning accomplishment, his masterpiece that unquestionably places him among the best writers in the language's history. His style is use
d throughout the English speaking world to dispel the notion that bigger words and longer sentences are necessary to convey more thorough, complex ideas. Students everywhere are required by teachers to read this book not only because of its literary valu
e, but also because of the instruction it offers as to how to write properly. Finally, the tale is incredibly revealing as to Ernest Hemingway, the man. Santiago, much like many of Hemingway's protagonists, is considered to be extremely autobiographical
and thus reveals great insight to this American hero's psyche. Ernest Hemingway first emerged as a public figure in 1926, after the publication of his first major work, The Sun Also Rises. The book's focus was American expatriates in Paris, and is considered to have given birth to a theme that emerged throughout He
mingway's career-- it was somewhat autobiographical. He, himself, was an American that had relocated to Paris. At the age of twenty-seven, Hemingway began his ascent to international fame. He covered the first World War for Collier's and developed a re
lationship with other famous authors such as Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and Scott Fitzgerald. By the end of the war, he was known worldwide. His beard and imposing physique became among the most recognizable appearances in the world. It a
lso was responsible for his nickname-- Papa. His public persona was similar to that of John Grisham. He mingled with Hollywood stars and was seen only at the ritziest hotels and restaurants. He owned extravagant homes in nations around the globe, most
notably his finca in Cuba. He was a glamorous man that lived, largely by choice, in the spotlight; however, his public frivolity was apparently not indicative of his general sentiments toward life. Privately he was known to practice binge drinking. It
was not rare for him to appear drunk in an interview or in public. After surviving two near-fatal plane crashes in Africa, Hemingway began his demise. He suffered from constant pain for some time and became paranoid about plots by the United States gove
rnment to destroy him. On November 30, 1960, Hemingway checked into the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He was released only three months later, but the progress made was clearly insufficient. On April 23, 1961, Ernest Hemingway first attempted to
commit suicide with a shotgun. On July 2 of that same year, he was successful. Additionally, posthumously, Hemingway's public reputation took several blows. It was rumored that he had hit his wives and that he had assaulted poet Wallace Stevens over a
petty literary disagreement. It is, however, noteworthy that throughout the trials and tribulations of his life and even in the wake of the unfortunate posthumous revelations, Hemingway is revered as a literary god. He was shoved into the spotlight at
a young age and stayed there for forty years; this unquestionably took its toll. Behind closed doors, Hemingway was clearly unhappy. But his public adored him. He was a celebrity of unparalleled popularity. Even the decline in the quality of his work
and the personal battles with depression could not erase the memory of his earlier brilliance and that famous face. Those that recognize Hemingway as a literary genius do so because of his simplicity, which he attributed to the teachings of Gertrude Stein. He credited her for teaching him the beauty of the "simple declarative sentence." Because of her, he sought to
eliminate extraneous words from any sentence, creating direct, efficient prose. This task, according to most, was never more masterfully accomplished than in The Old Man and The Sea. Malcolm Cowley of the New York Tribune expressed the sentiments of man
y when he said the following: I couldn't even write a short report on the book without paying tribute to Hemingway's prose. It is as different from Melville's prose in Moby Dick as anything could be and still remain English. There is no attempt in it to express the inexpressible by
inventing new words and turns of phrase; instead Hemingway uses the oldest and shortest words, the simplest constructions, but gives them a new value-- as if English were a strange language that he had studied or invented for himself and was trying to wr
ite in its original purity.
J. H. Jackson of the San Francisco Chronicle agrees: Hemingway has never written more cleanly, more precisely, with less waste-- not that he is very often a man to waste a word.... he evokes struggle and sea with a skill that very few-- oh well, what few, then? no one else writing today-- could touch.
Among reviewers for major print media, there was nearly no dissent. Each felt that Hemingway's diction was flawless and that the subject was approached beautifully. The strength of the story was as much the characters and the plot as it was the manner i
n which both were presented. It was in this last area that scholars and serious literary critics voiced displeasure. The most obvious and frequent complaint about The Old Man and The Sea is the book's length; many literary critics call it a short story rather than a novel. Phillup Rahv, in his essay "Hemingway in the Early 1950's, said "Moreover, it is in no sense a
novel, as the publishers would have us believe. At its core it is actually a fishing anecdote..." This opinion was voiced by many. They argued that the book simply did not carry the plot and character development, that there was simply insufficient act
ion for the tale to be considered a novel. Others denounced The Old Man and The Sea as a morbid, dark tale that left the reader depressed. Many attribute this to his personal troubles. He had suffered through three failed marriages and was known to b
e an alcoholic. His depression had begun to set in and, according to many, he himself had begun to doubt his ability to write. He expressed this sentiment to A. E. Hotchner over the phone directly prior to his death: Hotch I can't finish the book. I can't. I've been at the goddamn worktable all day, standing here all day, all I've got to get is this one thing, maybe only one sentence, maybe more. I don't know, and I can't get it. Not any of it. You understand, I
can't.
There is no question that the book confronts rather dark issues. Santiago, the old man that the title of the book makes reference to, is knocking on death's door. He sets out to sea on a fishing trip in September, towards the end of the year when nature
metaphorically dies. Finally, the climax of the book is his encounter with a great marlin, which eventually is eaten by sharks before being brought on board. The book discusses death, failure, and learning to deal with these to inevitable aspects of an
y existence; however, today the book is read in a different light. Santiago has come to represent man's resilience and persistence, and certainly courage. According to Carlos Baker, "The Admirable Santiago, Hemingway's ancient mariner and protagonist of this triumphant short novel, enters the gallery of permanent heroe
s effortlessly, as if he had belonged there from the beginning." Santiago's battle was not with a fish, but rather with the rigors of life and, in particular, with the reality of death. Even at his age and physical condition, he braves the tides and ba
ttles the marlin courageously. The book's intention, it now seems, is to give hope, to motivate. Leo Gurko agrees when he says "Santiago is confronted with a universe filled with tragedy and pain, but these are transcended, and the affirming tone is in
sharp contrast to the pessimism permeating such books as The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms." Santiago, rather than submitting to adversity, greets it and although he fails to catch the fish, he succeeds in challenging life. Many scholars have arg
ued that Santiago is somewhat of a Christ figure. The theory is that both figures basically see death in the immediate future and still manage to never fall from grace. They never submit to fear, and they accept the road that lay ahead. The immediate success of The Old Man and The Sea was largely due to the success of his earlier novels and the popularity of Hemingway himself. His previous novels were all well received; thus any new release had the literary world chomping at the bit.
Hemingway had become a national hero. He had participated in two war efforts and then matured into the nation's finest writer. Simply put, during his lifetime, what he published, people read. What is interesting about The Old Man and The Sea is that it
has outlasted nearly all of his other major works. This is for any number of reasons. First of all, the book is widely recognized as an autobiographical piece. It offers great insight into perhaps the most influential American writer of the twentieth
century. Leo Gurko, in his Hemingway and the Pursuit of Heroism claims "The Old Man and The Sea is the culmination of Hemingway's long search for disengagement from the social world and total entry into the natural." He, like many other critics, argues
that Santiago serves as an emotional outlet for Hemingway. The national spotlight and international stardom had lost their luster, that rather than bask in the glory of his fame and fortune, Hemingway would prefer to live in isolation, free to live in pe
ace with himself and nature. Hemingway would love nothing more than to sail out to sea and take on the challenges that life offers without do so under constant public scrutiny. Additionally, by the time he was writing this book, life had worn him down a
fair bit. Much like Santiago, Hemingway felt as though life was presenting insurmountable obstacles and that defeat was inevitable. His four marriages each brought great strain to his life. As if this was not enough, his father while in the midst of a
battle against diabetes put a bullet through his head. (Somewhat foreshadowing as to Ernest's fate?) He was an alcoholic. In fact, after a few cocktails at a party late one night, he got in a car accident that resulted in serious head trauma. The fame
that had brought him so much joy as a youth now made him miserable. It was, however, too late. The nation had fallen in love with his uniquely simple prose and his rough, courageous protagonists. Ernest Hemingway was Santiago. The Old Man and The Sea is still remarkably popular today. Hemingway is rarely read for pleasure alone, but this is simply because his works are generally required of every student at some point during his education. His style is an extremely effective
in instructing students to write clearly and concisely. Additionally, he, perhaps better than anyone to date, mastered the sympathetic protagonist. In describing the success of Hemingway, Irving Howe, in his A World More Attractive: A View of Modern Li
terature and Politics, said the following: Of all the writers who began to print after the First World War, Hemingway seems to have best captured the tone of the human malaise in an era of war and revolution; yet it is noteworthy that, while doing so, he rarely attempted a frontal or sustained rep
resentation of life in the United Sates, for he seems always to have understood that common experience was not within his reach. By evoking the "essence" of the modern experience through fables of violence that had their settings in Africa and Europe, He
mingway touched the imagination of American readers whose lives, for all their apparent ordinariness, were also marked by the desperation which would become his literary signature and which is, indeed, central to all "modernist" writing.
Santiago captured better than any of his other protagonists, this same very desperation. Because both the content of his writing and the writing itself are both so masterful, this book's popularity will not curtail in the foreseeable future. Hemingway h
as etched himself a place in history as one of the premier writers in the English language, and therefore his legacy will live on long into the future.
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