I think I just fell in love! One of the authors I chose to read for my Nobel Literature class is Ernest Hemingway. Father has "Green Hills of Africa" and has been encouraging me to read it, but I wanted to read "The Old Man and the Sea" first since I've never read any of his books. Last night I sat down to read it and fell into the story hook, line and sinker. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. It's a novella, only 127 pages long so I spent the evening reading it. Now I want to read his other books. I loved Hemingway's writing - very descriptive without wasting any words and just gives you the impression of warmth.
In a nutshell: Santiago is an old man, an old Cuban fisherman who has been unlucky. For 84 days the fisherman has been unsuccessful in catching anything and is bound and determined to go out and catch the biggest fish there is. Santiago is old and poor and makes his living fishing. His apprentice Manolin helps take care of him without making it obvious or making it seem like it’s charity. He loves Santiago and is devoted to him. Manolin usually goes out fishing with him, but because the old man has been so unlucky, his father has forbidden it.
On the 85th day Santiago goes out alone beyond the other boats in the early, early morning. He hooks a marlin but it is so big he is unable to reel it in. The fish starts to swim out to sea dragging the skiff behind. The old man holds the line, bearing the weight of it on his hands, back and shoulders, unable to tie it off. He struggles to keep the line from breaking and for two days and nights, the fish drags the boat. When the fish finally tires on the third day and starts to circle the boat, the old man is able to pull in the line and harpoon the fish. He ties the fish to the side of the boat and starts to sail back to the shore. However, sharks attack and though he manages to kill a few, by the time he reaches shore, all that is left of the fish is the skeleton, head and tail.
“Within the frame of a sporting tale, a moving perspective of man's destiny is opened up; the story is a tribute to the fighting spirit, which does not give in even if the material gain is nil, a tribute to the moral victory in the midst of defeat. The drama is enacted before our eyes, hour by hour, allowing the robust details to accumulate and take on momentous significance. ‘But man is not made for defeat’ , the book says. ‘A man can be destroyed but not defeated.’”
Hemingway was born July 21st 1899 and died July 2, 1961 at the age of 62. I'm going to dedicate July as Hemingway month here on the blog and reading another one of his fiction stories plus his nonfiction story "Green Hills of Africa," (since we have it) and also his book on writing "Ernest Hemingway on Writing."
Help me to choose which book to read:
I'm thinking of having a readalong. Who would like to join me?