Sunday, 6 April 2014

Raymond Sheppard, C. F. Tunnicliffe and Ernest Hemingway and The Old Man and the Sea: Part One

A bit of background
Title page
Spencer Tracy was an actor I loved as a kid (and still do). Boy's Town had me in tears when I first saw it. "[Ernest] Hemingway's agent, Leland Hayward, had previously written to the author: "Of all Hollywood people, the one that comes the closest to me in quality, in personality and voice, in personal dignity and ability, is Spencer Tracy."" (Taken from Wikipedia). Which part did he have in mind? That of "The Old Man and the Sea", or Santiago as he is called in the novella. The DVD is readily available The Old Man and the Sea [1958]

The Old Man and the Sea is a novel written by the American author Ernest Hemingway in 1951 in Cuba, and published in 1952. It was the last major work of fiction to be produced by Hemingway and published in his lifetime. One of his most famous works, it centers upon Santiago, an ageing fisherman who struggles with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. The Old Man and the Sea was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1953 and was cited by the Nobel Committee as contributing to the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Hemingway in 1954. (from Wikipedia)

On recently re-reading this book (an unusual activity for me!) I was stunned at how the book is still a really good read. The loneliness of Santiago as he strives to claim that elusive prize of a large fish; the description of enduring pain; the whole vocabulary around fishing in a small boat on the ocean; the conversations he has with himself and with no-one in particular - all are so vivid.

p.7 Santiago carries the mast while the boy follows
For background to Hemingway and his writings we are fortunate in that his papers reside in the John F Kennedy Library and Museum (the Ernest Hemingway Collection).
Hemingway Letters and Documents from Cuba Now Available in the U.S. for the First Time at the JFK Library read a news release in October 2009:
Boston, MA – Through a groundbreaking initiative with the Government of Cuba, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library announced today that it is making available to researchers archival replicas of 3,000 letters and documents written by and to Ernest Hemingway while he was living at the Finca VigĂ­a, the Nobel-Prize winning author’s home outside of Havana. The treasure trove of documents includes the corrected proofs of The Old Man and the Sea, the ‘Final’ movie script based on that novel,[letters from Adriana Ivanich, who] designed the dust jacket for [the first edition of ] The Old Man and the Sea
The Guardian newspaper has an article about the archive and mentions Adriana too as she figures large in Hemingway's list of women. A biography can be found here - apparently she too committed suicide in 1983, 22 years after Hemingway killed himself.

p.16: The boy looks after the worn out man

The old man, Santiago, was probably based on Gregorio Fuentes, who died aged 104 in2002, fifty years after the first publication of the story.

Hemingway, Gregorio and friend!

The story appeared in Life magazine dated September 1952 and apparently five million copies of the magazine were sold in two days!

The first edition of Old Man and the Sea - with the cover by Adriana Ivanich - was published in 1952 and the illustrated version, with the strange set up of two illustrators (more on that next time) appeared in 1953, published by the Reprint Society "by arrangement with Messrs Jonathan Cape"

First edition Cover by Ivanich

1953 First illustrated edition
Cover art C. F. Tunnicliffe

The Reprint Society (22 Golden Square, London W1 - telephone GERrard 6185-9) published a bulletin called Broadsheet, "the bulletin of World Books" and the following article was written by Eric Linklater at the time of the reprint publication

World Books Broadsheet Aug 1953, p.2
Right Mouse > Save As for larger version

Listen to Ernest Hemingway reading his remarks prepared for the Noble Prize Banquet, which he did not himself attend.
p.28 Santiago heads out to sea

All the illustrations above are by Raymond Sheppard and from the 1953 edition of the book. In the next blog article I'll show the rest of the images and some unpublished ones too.

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