My first Ernest Hemingway read was A Farewell to Arms. That book made me an instant fan. I reread a few pages of it last month, as the book club's theme for May was all about Ernest Hemingway: his works and a bio. Then I realized that some of the lines spoken by the main characters are just so insufferable. I gag, but in a good way.
Here's a rather simpler way to show this to you, dear reader. Man asks, "Do you love me?" Woman responds, "No." Man asks again, "Do you love me?" Woman responds again, "No." Man asks for the third time, "Do you love me?" Woman finally admits, "Yes." To which the man says, "I like your hair." Argh!
|The book club's swag during the discussion|
I wonder if Papa H would approve of all these.
Somehow, I imagine him thinking, "Great. More stuff I don't need."
Anyway, The Old Man and the Sea is the perfect book to read if you haven't read any of Hemingway's works. It's short, which will make you instantly decide if you like his writing style or not. It's also what I would like to call a gateway novel. It connects Hemingway's older works with his later fictions. It won the Pulitzer Prize, and I think it just might be the work that tipped the Nobel committee to award him the Nobel Prize for literature.
|Wasn't Papa Hemingway a hottie? I get palpitations looking at this.|
He served as an ambulance driver during World War I.
Well, he can take me to the hospital anytime.
I don't think the novella is about man versus nature; it's more of a man-versus-himself kind of thing. The old man and the marlin that he has caught and held on for a few days are like mirror images. Only a great man can catch a formidable inhabitant of the sea. And having caught the marlin, the old man proved that he still had it in him. He still got his mojo. He rocks.
What I didn't get in the novella are all those religious references pertaining to the old man. He was supposed to represent Christ. He got wounds on his hands which some people compared to, ummmm, the stigmata. And when he finally went home after having spent several days in the sea holding on to that marlin, he collapsed in his bed in a position similar to Christ being nailed on the cross. Whatever. But the novella did make me crave for sushi. Mmmmm. . . Having fresh sushi—now that's a religious experience.
Oh, and this is the first official book club discussion that I attended this year. There's just been too much work. And I had to keep R. company, as the past few months were a very difficult period for him. Well, it definitely felt good to be back, and what better time than a discussion on one of my favorite authors.
|R. (right) and I (left), after the book club discussion|
Yes, we both wear reading glasses now.
No, we are not hipsters.
|I opted to read A. E. Hotchner's classic memoir of the time|
he spent with Ernest Hemingway. It's a heartbreaking read.