Novelette by Hemingway, published in 1952.
This parable of man's struggle with the natural world, of his noble courage and endurance, tells of the Cuban fisherman Santiago, who for 84 luckless days has rowed his skiff into the Gulf Stream in quest of marlin. At first accompanied by the boy Manolin, with whom he talked of better days and about the great sport of baseball, he is now alone. Aged and solitary, he goes far out and hooks a great fish that tows his boat all afternoon and night and into the next day as he pits his skill and waning strength against it the way he once did as a wrestler called “El Campéon.” As the second night turns to dawn he finally harpoons his catch, lashes it to his small boat, and makes his weary way home. As he sails slowly to port sharks attack his catch and he fights them as best he can with a knife lashed to the tiller gripped in raw hands. When he makes land his marlin is but a skeleton. Proud in defeat, Santiago furls his sail and staggers to his shack, to be found by the boy and other fishermen, who marvel at his catch, while the spent man sleeps and dreams of past experiences.
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Ernest Hemingway (1899—1961) American novelist, short-story writer, and journalist