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Omnilogikos: literati

I'll post here all the book related content that I usually share on my blog, be it comments, reviews, quotes or whatever else.

Currently reading

L'Assommoir (The Dram Shop)
Robin Buss, Émile Zola
Dicionário de Lugares Imaginários
Carlos Vaz Marques, Ana Falcão Bastos, Alberto Manguel, Gianni Guadalupi
Progress: 60/1040 pages

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway

I became curious about Ernest Hemingway after my visit to Cuba, where I saw the place where he stayed and wrote while he lived in Havana. I know little of Hemingway apart from him having lived in Cuba, his work as reporter during the World Wars and others, that he ended up committing suicide and, of course, that he was an awarded writer. I chose to read The Old Man and the Sea because the author himself described it as the best he could ever write and also because of the general acclamation.

Hemingway writes with a simple style, short sentences direct to the point and plain dialogues that contribute to this dichotomous sense of the story. Though I liked the whole text, I was specifically amazed at his accuracy and realism in describing a person thinking and talking to herself. This book consists of a small story about an old fisherman, a boy that helps him and fishing. As simple as this might seem, and the story is told in a straightforward way, the message that it is capable of transmitting is far from obvious and direct. For roughly the first half of the book, I was thinking about fishing as a habit and as a craft, about elderly men working for a living and imagining a community around them. After that, and as I came closer to the end of the story, I started trying to grasp what the story could imply, what Hemingway could be saying while describing the lives of the Cuban people he knew and observed. And it was then that I understood how the man fishing can be interpreted as much more than a report, as a metaphor for life itself, how working the skiff, the lines and the bait can be a person's effort towards the giant fish, the dream, the purpose, how sharks can be trouble, unsolvable problems, failures, how a fish's head can be such a small part of an objective that it can be given away, how the spine can be just a memento of what has become unreachable. I should also say that this is all but one interpretation and the story probably allows for much more. This is a quick interesting book and I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys reading and looking for different meanings and messages from the author.

Overall, I'm glad to have read The Old Man and the Sea although it didn't make me feel very enthusiastic, perhaps for being so short and fast or perhaps for having read it while travelling.

I have published this review on my blog.