New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1952.
8vo [205 x 138 mm] of (1) l., 140 pp., (1) bl. l. Preserved in the editor’s light blue cloth with the author’s name blind-stamped at the bottom of the front cover and the author’s name and the title of the book gilt-stamped on the flat spine. With the superb illustrated dust jacket in perfect condition.
First edition first issue of Hemingway’s masterpiece.
Copy from the first issue with the “A” and Scribner’s stamp on the copyright page.
This copy also presents the first issue of the dust jacket, with Hemingway’s photograph on the back cover of the dust jacket printed in a bluish tint. This photograph would be printed with a green tint in later issues, and the mention of Hemingway winning the Pulitzer Prize would also appear later on the dust jacket.
“A story published in 1952 by the North American writer Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961). ‘Once upon a time there was an old man, all alone on his boat, fishing in the middle of the Gulf-Stream’; gestures as old as the world inscribed in a language that wants to be of all times and for all times, the ‘story’ will never leave this tone. The old man’s name is Santiago. For weeks no fish has come to bite the bait of his lines, but he does not despair and for the eighty-fifth time takes to the sea. At dawn, he goes far out to sea; at noon, he hooks a big fish. The fight is bitter, because the animal moves in depth and drags the boat; the hours pass and the night without anything to interrupt this race during which the two adversaries give the best of themselves. They are not enemies, but to kill or to be killed is in the natural order of the world of the sea […] For having known how to refuse defeat, he has enriched the community forever, and young and old, who were waiting for him, now know why they will admire him, who knew, in solitude, how to make models of their pain and their hope […] The success of this book is in the purely literary beauty of the writing, and this is its best chance of lasting. (T.F. Gallimard, 1952, Dictionnaire des Œuvres, VI, 668).
It is the last major work of fiction produced by Hemingway and published during his lifetime. It remains his most famous and sought-after work.
It earned Hemingway the dual honor of the Pulitzer Prize on May 4, 1953, and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954.
The Old Man and the Sea was cited when Hemingway’s Nobel Prize was announced in 1954: “for his mastery of the art of narrative, most recently demonstrated in The Old Man and the Sea, and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style.”
A perfectly well preserved copy of Hemingway’s most sought-after novel, with the beautiful illustrated dust jacket preserved without defect.