The Old Man and the Sea.

"But man is not made for defeat," he said. "A man can be destroyed but not defeated": First Edition of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea; inscribed by him to close friend Sara Murphy

The Old Man and the Sea.


Item Number: 133730

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

First edition of Hemingway’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and one of his most famous works. Octavo, original blue cloth. Association copy, with one of Hemingway’s calling cards tipped which is inscribed by him, “Dearest Sara you might like this one Ernest.” The recipient, Sara Murphy and her husband Gerald Clery Murphy were expatriate Americans who moved to France in the 1920s and, through their generous hospitality and flair for parties, created a vibrant social circle of artists and writers on the French Riviera. The group included a number of great artists and writers of the Lost Generation including Ernest Hemingway, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, Cole Porter, John Dos Passos, and Robert Benchley. Prior to their arrival on the French Riviera, the fashionable only wintered there, abandoning the region during the high summer months. The activities of the Murphys, however, fueled the same renaissance in arts and letters as did the excitement of Paris, especially among the cafés of Montparnasse. The Murphys were rumored to have been the inspiration for characters in both Fitzgerald’s Tender Is The Night and Hemingway’s Garden of Eden. Fitzgerald’s characters Nicole and Dick Diver of Tender Is the Night are widely recognized as having been based on the Murphys, mainly because the obvious physical similarities, although many of their mutual friends saw similarities to Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald themselves. Set mainly in the French Riviera, specifically in the Côte d’Azur, Ernest Hemingway’s The Garden of Eden chronicles the relationship of a couple who also bear similarities to the Murphys. Pablo Picasso, too, was inspired by the couple, painting Sara several times in 1923. Near fine in a near fine bright dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Photograph of Hemingway by Lee Samuels. A very fine association.

Upon its publication in 1952 by Charles Scribner's Sons, The Old Man and the Sea was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction the following year and was cited by the Nobel Committee as contributing to the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Hemingway in 1954. The novel reinvigorated Hemingway's literary reputation. It initiated a reexamination of his entire body of work. The novel was received with such alacrity, that it restored many readers' confidence in Hemingway's capability as an author. Indeed, the publisher even wrote on an early dust jacket, calling the novel a "new classic," and it was compared by many critics to such revered works as William Faulkner's "The Bear" and Herman Melville's Moby-Dick.

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