He no longer dreamed of storms, nor of women, nor of great occurrences, nor of great fish, nor fights, nor contests of strength, nor of his wife. He only dreamed of places now and the lions on the beach. They played like young cats in the dusk and he loved them as he loved the boy. He never dreamed about the boy. He simply woke, looked out the open door at the moon and unrolled his trousers and put them on
― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
March 4th, 1952 marks the date when Ernest Hemingway (b. 1899) finished his novella, The Old Man and the Sea
, a work that would appear for the first time in the September 1st issue
of Life Magazine
(volume 33, issue 9)
after 16 years of thought and effort.
an immediate success, selling 5 million copies in just two days.
The widely travelled Hemingway lived in Key West, Florida, and in Cuba, the latter of which was the book's inspirational setting. It tells the inspirational story of an aging and luckless Cuban fisherman, Santiago, who has gone 84 days without a take, and how he struggles to catch a giant Atlantic Blue Marlin in the Gulf Coast off the coast of Cuba. Hemingway's masterpiece is widely interpreted as an allegorical work about the author's writing and literary reputation; connection to religion and the natural world; and human relationships. After it was published by Scribner in 1952, Old Man and the Sea
was named a Book-of-the-Month Club selection, and it and earned the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction the next year. It was adapted for film
, in the classic 1958 production starring Spencer Tracey, and it continues to top reading lists in the study and teaching of English.
Hemingway dedicated his 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature to the Cuban people. In all he published seven novels, six short-story collections, and two non-fiction works. The Old Man and the Sea
was Hemingway's last significant work before he committed suicide in 1961 at his home in Idaho. He endured injury as an ambulance driver for the Red Cross during World War I; service as a journalist in the Spanish Civil War; two plane crashes in Africa; several marriages; anxiety and depression; ill health; and other traumatic life experiences.
The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers
, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.
- "The Old Man and the Sea". (1952, Aug 28). Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963)
- Prescott, O. (1952, Aug 28). Books of the Times. New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Cowley, M. (1952, Sep 07). Hemingway's Novel Has the Rich Simplicity of a Classic. New York Herald Tribune (1926-1962)
- Hemingway, E. (1952, Sep 07). "The Old Man and The Sea". Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963)
- Hemingway's 'Old Man' Wins Him First Pulitzer. (1953, May 05). New York Herald Tribune (1926-1962)
- Brumas, M. (1982, Jan 02). Books, Movies Show Hemingway Industry Flourishing. The Hartford Courant (1923-1993)
- Smith, P. (1985, Jan 06). Hooking Up with Hemingway. The Hartford Courant (1923-1993)
- Max, D.T. (1999, Jul 18). Ernest Hemingway's War Wounds. New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Snow, M. (1999, Sep 19). Picturing Hemingway the Man, and the Myth. The Washington Post (1974-Current File)
- McGarry, P. (2002, Jan 19). Dreaming About Lions and His Life on the Sea. The Irish Times (1921-Current File)
- For educational resources, including readings, lesson plans, and book guides for Old Man and the Sea, be sure to check out Teachingbooks.net
- See the University of Maryland's Ernest Hemingway Collection, which contains serials, correspondence, manuscripts, scripts, proofs, and clippings, including some original correspondence to and from Hemingway. See information about the galley proofs for Old Man and the Sea.
- Other books by Ernest Hemingway held at the Gottesman Libraries; books about Hemingway; and more resources via TC SuperSearch.
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