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Author Topic: The Old Man And The Sea  (Read 14808 times)

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The Old Man And The Sea
« on: November 05, 2008, 03:49:53 AM »

It has begun. At 12:32am PST.

Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man And The Sea read by Charlton Heston : 2 x LP clocking in at 2h 22m 56s
Side A: Beginning to Page 41  -  36:00
Side B: Pages 42 - 68  -  34:52
Side C: Pages 68 - 97  -  36:18
Side D: Pages 97 to end  -  35:46

I'm going to go through the whole book four times. So you East Coast people should have some fun reading material come work time.

Let me start this all out with some background.
I absolutely HATE Ernest Hemingway. It was a leftover feeling from my teenage years after reading The Old Man and the Sea in High School. I've held on to my feelings all this time. Earlier this year, I decided to give Hemingway another chance, so I got a book that contains 5 of his works and read The Sun Also Rises. I quickly found that my hatred for Hemingway was completely founded and remains...but now there is a greater festering hate.

Hemingway's writing makes me cringe. It's mediocre at best and has no substance whatsoever. He should have remained in Journalism. The fact that this book won the Pulitzer prize is astonishing. I'll have to research what the other books were up for nomination in 1953 later tonight.

Secondly, I love vinyl. I love it, but I hate when it's scratched. This record has a few pops in it, so that should add to the annoying factor for me later on. I picked this record up at a Goodwill store a few weeks back to give as a gag gift to another book snob at work. Little did I know how handy it would be for this...

And then there's the voice of Heston. NRA gun-toting film star. More on him later.

It's only been 20 minutes. Yikes.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2008, 08:47:56 AM by Andrews »


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Re: The Old Man And The Sea
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2008, 04:34:22 AM »

On to side TWO.
This is one of those records that has sides 1 and 4 on one record and side 2 and 3 on the other. That's kinda annoying in a way. Mostly for my vinyl snobbery.

So, I found the Pulitzer Prize website. There is no record of the other fiction books up for the 1953 Pulitzer. They did not start recording finalists until 1980. Sad.  :(

They do however have a complete list of winners from 1953 HERE
Interesting note: No award was given in 1953 for music.

Some events from 1953 (via wikipedia):
Truman announces US Hydrogen Bomb development
CIA discusses UFO Phenomenon
63% of US TV sets tune in to I Love Lucy to watch her give birth
Presidency changes from Truman to Eisenhower

Disney's Peter Pan premieres
Transsexual Christine Jorgenson returns to New York after successful sexual reassignment surgery in Denmark. (First widely known sexual reassignment patient).
The first 3D film, Bwana Devil opens
Georgia approves the first literature censorship board in the United States

Stalin and Prokofiev die on the same day
25th Academy Awards ceremony, the first one broadcast on television
Nuclear test in Nevada
Queen Mary Dies
Polio Vaccine announced

Ian Fleming publishes his first James Bond novel, Casino Royale in the United Kingdom

Hussein is crowned King of Jordan
Aldous Huxley first tries the psychedelic hallucinogen mescaline, inspiring his book The Doors of Perception
Jackie Cochran becomes the first woman to break the sound barrier (she flew in a F-86 Sabrejet at an average speed of 652.337 miles-per-hour).
Nuclear testing: At the Nevada Test Site, the United States conducts its first and only nuclear artillery test
Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay perform the first successful ascent to the summit of Mount Everest

Coronation of Elizabeth II
CIA Technical Services Staff head Sidney Gottlieb approves of the use of LSD in a MKULTRA subproject
The first Chevrolet Corvette is built

Fidel Castro and his brother lead a disastrous assault on the Moncada Barracks - preliminary to the Cuban Revolution.
Korean War ends

Ohio admitted as a US state, retroactive to 1803
Soviet Union has a hydrogen bomb
Addiction: First meeting of Narcotics Anonymous in Southern California
Kinsey report is issued

Discovery of REM sleep
United Nations does not accept Soviet Union's suggestion to accept China as a member
Rationing of cane sugar ends in the UK

The UNIVAC 1103 is the first commercial computer to use random access memory
United States tests H-Bomb
Cold War: US President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally approves the top secret document of the United States National Security Council NSC 162/2, which states that the United States' arsenal of nuclear weapons must be maintained and expanded to counter the communist threat

Cambodia becomes independent from France
Puerto Williams is founded in Chile as the southernmost settlement of the world
Authorities at the British Natural History Museum announce that the skull of the "Piltdown Man", one of the most famous fossil skulls in the world, is a hoax.

Hugh Hefner publishes the first issue of Playboy Magazine, selling 54,175 copies at $.50 each
Conductor Arturo Toscanini performs what he claims is his favorite Beethoven symphony, the Eroica, for the last time. The live performance is broadcast nationwide on radio, and later released on records and CD
Albert Schweitzer was given the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of Reverence for Life
The FCC approves color television
The first color television sets go on sale for about $1,175

There are a few pops in side two. Of note, the old man talks to his hand and promises to eat more for it (??)
He also promises to say Hail Marys if he catches the fish.
There was also talk of eating the tuna before the sun comes up.
Also, it is revealed that the old man is a fan of the New York Yankees.

It's been only one hour. Unbelievable.


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Re: The Old Man And The Sea
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2008, 05:05:28 AM »

Side Three.
3/16ths of the way done when this side is done.

Some words about Hemingway's demise (wikipedia):

Hemingway attempted suicide in the spring of 1961, and received ECT treatment again. On the morning of July 2, 1961, some three weeks short of his 62nd birthday, he died at his home in Ketchum, Idaho, the result of a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. Judged not mentally responsible for his final act, he was buried in a Roman Catholic service. Hemingway himself blamed the ECT treatments for "putting him out of business" by destroying his memory...

(comment: I find this extremely interesting, as suicides are considered especially heinous by the Catholic Church. They make an exception for the "insane" since they are not mentally fit to understand the dilemma. The morals of suicide according to the Catholic Church can be found AQUI.)

...Hemingway is believed to have purchased the Boss & Co. shotgun he used to commit suicide through Abercrombie & Fitch, which was then an elite excursion goods retailer and firearm supplier. In a particularly gruesome suicide, he rested the gun butt of the double-barreled shotgun on the floor of a hallway in his home, leaned over it to put the twin muzzles to his forehead just above the eyes, and pulled both triggers. The coroner, at request of the family, did not do an autopsy.

Other members of Hemingway's immediate family also committed suicide, including his father, Clarence Hemingway, his siblings Ursula and Leicester, and possibly his granddaughter Margaux Hemingway. Some believe that certain members of Hemingway's paternal line had a hereditary disease known as haemochromatosis (bronze diabetes), in which an excess of iron concentration in the blood causes damage to the pancreas and also causes depression or instability in the cerebrum. Hemingway's father is known to have developed haemochromatosis in the years prior to his suicide at age fifty-nine. Throughout his life, Hemingway had been a heavy drinker, succumbing to alcoholism in his later years.

Hemingway is interred in the town cemetery in Ketchum, Idaho, at the north end of town. A memorial was erected in 1966 at another location, overlooking Trail Creek, north of Ketchum. It is inscribed with a eulogy he wrote for a friend, Gene Van Guilder:

    Best of all he loved the fall
    The leaves yellow on the cottonwoods
    Leaves floating on the trout streams
    And above the hills
    The high blue windless skies
    Now he will be a part of them forever

    Ernest Hemingway - Idaho - 1939

Quite a few pennies there.

I like the pencil.



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Re: The Old Man And The Sea
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2008, 05:47:18 AM »

Side FOUR:

It's been a trial to get this far and I'm only 1/4 of the way there by the time I finish this post. I figured that I have time to do a post for each side...

So, yeah, Charlton Heston. Voice filled with pompous pride. His voice grates on my ears like nails on a chalk board.

Yes, he was the star of:
The Greatest Show On Earth, Ben-Hur, The Ten Commandments, Planet of the Apes, El Cid, Antony and Cleopatra, blah, blah, blah. This guy made TONS of films. He even won an Oscar for Ben-Hur. Good for him.

While he seems like a decent guy, and maybe he was...at the beginning, I find his flip-flopping opinions and quotes from speeches appalling.

Some notable political actions:
Campaigned for Kennedy
Accompanied MLK in 1963
Stood against segregation and said that he helped the civil rights cause ""long before Hollywood found it fashionable."
Opposed the Vietnam War
Supported Johnson's Gun Control Act in 1968
Was approached by the Democratic Party to run for Senate in 1969. Decided acting was more important.

By the 1980's:
Opposed affirmative action
Supported Gun Rights
Changed from Democratic to Republican and said "I didn't change. The Democratic party changed."
Campaigned for Regan and both Bush's

(pulled from wikipedia)
In a 1997 speech, he rhetorically deplored a culture war he said was being conducted by a generation of media, educators, entertainers, and politicians against:

    "...the God fearing, law-abiding, Caucasian, middle-class Protestant-or even worse, evangelical Christian, Midwestern or Southern- or even worse, rural, apparently straight-or even worse, admitted heterosexuals, gun-owning-or even worse, NRA-card-carrying, average working stiff-or even worse, male working stiff-because, not only donít you count, you are a down-right obstacle to social progress. Your voice deserves a lower decibel level, your opinion is less enlightened, your media access is insignificant, and frankly, mister, you need to wake up, wise up, and learn a little something from your new-America and until you do, would you mind shutting up?"

In an address to students at Harvard Law School entitled Winning the Cultural War, Heston said, "If Americans believed in political correctness, we'd still be King George's boys - subjects bound to the British crown." He went on:

    "The Constitution was handed down to guide us by a bunch of wise old dead white guys who invented our country! Now some flinch when I say that. Why! Its true-they were white guys! So were most of the guys that died in Lincoln's name opposing slavery in the 1860s. So why should I be ashamed of white guys? Why is "Hispanic Pride" or "Black Pride" a good thing, while "White Pride" conjures shaven heads and white hoods? Why was the Million Man March on Washington celebrated by many as progress, while the Promise Keepers March on Washington was greeted with suspicion and ridicule? Iíll tell you why, Cultural warfare!"

He later stated, "Political correctness is tyranny with manners."

In a speech to the National Press Club in 1997, Heston said, "Now, I doubt any of you would prefer a rolled up newspaper as a weapon against a dictator or a criminal intruder."

Heston was the president and spokesman of the NRA from 1998 until he resigned in 2003. At the 2000 NRA convention, he raised a rifle over his head and declared that a potential Al Gore administration would take away his Second Amendment rights "from my cold, dead hands." In announcing his resignation in 2003, he again raised a rifle over his head, repeating the five famous words of his 2000 speech. He was an honorary life member.

In the 2002 documentary film Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore interviewed Heston in his home, asking him about an April 1999 NRA meeting held shortly after the Columbine high school massacre, in Denver, Colorado. Moore criticized Heston for the perceived thoughtlessness in the timing and location of the meeting. Heston, on-camera, excused himself and walked out. Moore was later criticized for his perceived ambush.

Wow. What a guy.

I decided the next go-round will be with headphones. I'm going to read along as well. Make sure I fully absorb it. Typing and listening to words gets confusing and I start ignoring one or the other...I think part of it is the wee morning hour. It's almost 3am.

One round down. Three more to go.


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Re: The Old Man And The Sea
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2008, 08:46:15 AM »

Alrighty. Two rounds down now.   :-\

Random observation:
I found myself reading much faster than the narration and had to consciously slow down to keep on track.

If I keep this up, I'm going to start picking the story apart. I might even count the number of times the word 'fish' appears.

Four cups of coffee so far. In 4 more hours (just before the end of my torturethon) I'll have been awake for 24 hours.

Here's some interesting information on the vinyl pressing process:


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Re: The Old Man And The Sea
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2008, 09:00:22 AM »

This is scary. Good luck!
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Re: The Old Man And The Sea
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2008, 09:21:19 AM »

A Yiddish translation of the book:

That's a nice image.

An old BBC News story about the man who is thought to be the source of inspiration for the novella:
BBC News

Here's a review from some Swedish person (from Amazon):
The old man and the sea is the best book of all times!I have this book in many languages and enjoy collecting every edition of it ! here we follow a man who represents us all in a way ,and the fish represents our struggle in life. Our hero in this book is not a King , a prince, a knight or a leader who has all the materialistic powers in the world, but here we meet Santiago who is a very old ,poor cuban fisherman who struggle in life and we follow this simple mans struggle of his in this book . In todays world where everything is about materialism ,one can read this book and understand the simplest and important things in life.

I would like to box that person. Their punctuation and sentence structure is about as good as Hemingway's.

I don't know if I mentioned this, but I'm a grammar freak. I know that I make mistakes with my own writing, but I get really uptight about it in general. Maybe it has something to do with the abbreviating that texting has brought about.

I think my favorite part about this whole experience is that side two of the record ends with bravado in Heston's voice:
"I don't know," he said aloud. "I never had a bone spur."

« Last Edit: November 05, 2008, 11:53:40 AM by Andrews »


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Re: The Old Man And The Sea
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2008, 10:08:25 AM »

Alright, 3/4 of the way done.
I think I am going to smash this record instead of giving it as a gag gift.

The Old Man and the Sea:
127 pages
26,500 words
253 instances of the word "fish" (approx. I may have missed a few)
(minus fish-less, fisherman, fished, fishing, etc. I did however count fish's, fishes and flying fish since they all pertain to the subject.)

Or 1.99 fishes per page.
Or one fish per 104.74 words.
That's a lot of fish.



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Re: The Old Man And The Sea
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2008, 10:28:10 AM »

I thought this story was bad. 3 times in a row so far and I can't believe I haven't jumped off my balcony yet.   :'(

I'm running out of things to dig up and post about the book. There's not much to say. It's horrible. I don't know why it's a "classic". I think that making it "required reading" for teenagers is a detriment to our society.

It's a story about an old man. And his few days spent on the sea. Fighting a marlin. Who ends up a skeleton by the time he gets home. Poop.

There's a theory that Santiago (the old man) is a symbol for Jesus.

Santiago represents Christ suffering. Hemingway compares him to Jesus Christ on several occasions. He describes Santiago's cry as a "...a noise such as a man might make, involuntarily, feeling the nail go through his hand and into the wood" (107). Santiago also "...picked the mast up and put it on his shoulder and started up the road. He...[sat] down five times before he reached his shack" (121) much like Jesus did on the journey to his crucifixion, carrying the cross. Later Santiago sleeps "...face down ... with his arms out straight and the palms of his hands up" (122), the position of Jesus on the cross. All throughout the book the old man wishes for salt, a staple seasoning in the human diet. He is a fisherman, similar to Christ's disciples. It is also quite ironic that he is longing for salt in the environment that abounds in besides open space, salty sea water. Quite like the predicament of man, he feels he is surrounded by "it" yet it is precisely "it" that he longs for. He wishes the dissolved salt could crystallize and be intelligible to him.

The marlin represents what man is searching for whether it may be good or bad. Some men love their gods, but he hates the fish as men hate their gods. The fish was very beautiful and huge and Santiago felt a connection with it, considering it his brother. Hemingway says that Santiago is not a religious man, but he seems to have some faith as shown by his offers to say his "Hail Marys" and praises if he catches the marlin.

I don't know how accurate that all is. I can see some of it, but some of it is a stretch. Santiago refers to the fish as his brother repeatedly. I don't get the feeling that he truly hates the fish. I think, if anything, he hates himself. As far as the "Hail Marys", that seems to me to be a saying like when people in predicaments make their God promises.

Can you tell that I'm getting delirious? 


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Re: The Old Man And The Sea
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2008, 10:30:22 AM »

I don't even need to read any further. I graciously hand the T-thon mantle to Andrews this year.

Even if timing was such that I could have participated, it would never beat this. ;D
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Re: The Old Man And The Sea
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2008, 11:04:19 AM »


I should have picked something like "hair metal" to torture myself with.
This is horrible, but it's almost over. I hope.
You know when you're getting close to a desired time and then all of a sudden, the clock starts dragging?
I really hope that doesn't happen this morning. I need to go to bed soon. My brain is shutting down.

I've considered putting the record player on 45 RPM to get through it faster.  :laugh:

Here's a map of Havana, where the story begins and ends.

During the story, Santiago sails (well, is pulled) north-west into the Gulf of Mexico.

He probably would have ended up HERE

I wonder if there's a correlation between this story and the Florida Marlins...

Oh, there is one decent part. Santiago reminisces about popping Man o' Wars under his feet. That sounds kinda fun.



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Re: The Old Man And The Sea
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2008, 11:16:41 AM »

1.5 hours remain.

Some other audio treasures from Charlton Heston:
1.  Charlton Heston Reads the Old Testament
2.  Five Books of Moses
3.  Charlton Heston Reads from the Life and Passion of Jesus Christ
4.  All You Want To Know About The Giants Of Philosophy: Plato, Aristotle
5.  Ben Hur Fun-pack
6.  The Old Man and The Sea
7.  Baruch Spinoza: The Netherlands
8.  Ernest Hemingway Audio Collection
9.  Where He Walked
10.  The Snows of Kilimanjaro
11.  Nietzsche
12.  Soren Kierkegaard: Denmark
13.  Plato: Greece
14.  Aristotle: Greece
15.  The Death of Outrage: Bill Clinton and the Assault on American Ideals
16.  The Bible
17.  Life & Passion of Jesus Christ According to Gospel




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Re: The Old Man And The Sea
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2008, 11:45:18 AM »

I'll be elated when this is over.
I cannot bear to hear this old man talk to himself anymore.
Both Santiago and Heston. One more hour. And twelve minutes. About.

"Be patient hand," he said "I do this for you."

WTF is that?!?!? Who talks to their hand?
I hate. Hate. Hate this book more than ever.
Every time I see a copy of this, I'll want to burn it. Forever.
Eternal flames of Hemingway. That would be bliss.

Currently, there are more than 122 items available on eBay related to "Old Man & The Sea"
You can get yourself a copy of the gem I've been listening to all night for only $14.99 plus shipping!!

Released in 1976 by Caedmon [TC 2084]
Recorded at Capitol Records, Hollywood, CA
Library of Congress #: 76-740411


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Re: The Old Man And The Sea
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2008, 12:26:35 PM »

Final Tally (in no particular order):
2 pots of coffee
9 cigarettes
1 banana
2 slices of pizza
5 ounces of "super" trail mix
1 glass of orange juice
16 record flips
Countless amounts of internet crap
Almost 9h of Heston's voice
The word "fish" heard over 1000 times

Done. Done. Done. Done. Done. Done. Done. Done. Done. Done. Done. Done. Done. Done. Done. Done.
Time to sleep now. Goodnight.

I predict that I dream of the lions.  :P

You'll get that if you're familiar with the story.
psst...that's how the book ends.
"The old man was dreaming about the lions."


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Re: The Old Man And The Sea
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2008, 01:39:19 PM »

Kudos, andrews! Fine job, sir.

I agree with whigs: if there be a winner, let it be andrews.
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