"But man is not made for defeat," he said. "A man can be destroyed but not defeated": Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea; inscribed by him in the year he received the nobel prize in literature

  • The Old Man and the Sea.
  • The Old Man and the Sea.
  • The Old Man and the Sea.

The Old Man and the Sea.


Item Number: 95115

New York: Charles Scribner's & Sons, 1952.

First edition, early printing of Hemingway’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and one of his most famous works. Octavo, original blue cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by Ernest Hemingway on the half-title page in the year he received the Nobel Prize in Literature, “For Adele Ervin with sincere good wishes Ernest Hemingway Finca Vigía 1954.” Finca Vigía was Hemingway’s home in the San Francisco de Paula Ward in Havana, Cuba. He purchased the property in 1940 at the request of his third wife Martha Gellhorn who had become tired of the small room he was renting at the Hotel Ambos Mundos. It was at Finca Vigía that Hemingway wrote much of For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea in its entirety. Near fine in a near fine price-clipped dust jacket. An exceptional example, most rare and desirable signed and inscribed.

Written in Cuba in 1951 and published the following year, The Old Man and the Sea was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and cited by the Nobel Committee as as contributing to their awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Hemingway in 1954. The novel reinvigorated Hemingway's literary reputation, initiated a reexamination of his entire body of work, and was received with such alacrity that it restored many readers' confidence in Hemingway's capability as an author. "In its own terms the book is as nearly faultless as any short novel of our times. The writing has the quality of being familiar and yet perpetually new. That is the essence of classical prose" (Malcom Cowley, New York Herald Tribune). "In the Old man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway has returned to the stripped, lean, objective narrative so characteristic of him at his best...a story which is beautiful in its description, and of clean thrusting power in its pursuit" (Edward Weeks, The Atlantic). It was the basis for the 1958 film directed by John Sturges, with the screenplay by Peter Viertel, starring Spencer Tracy. Dimitri Tiomkin won the Academy Award for Best Original Score for his work on the film. James Wong Howe was also nominated for best color cinematography. The same year, Tracy was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

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