Thoughts on Reading the Yanks; Watch The Old Man and the Sea

Being originally from the Great White North, my schooling consisted more of reading Atwood, Davies, and Leacock rather than Faulkner, Fitzgerald and Hemingway. So, when the family packed up and moved south of the border, I embarked on a little re-education, voraciously reading all those American classics that weren't, as a result of culture and geography, rammed down my throat in school.

I spent a year gorging on Steinbeck and Fitzgerald (never finished a Faulkner) before turning my attention to Papa Hemingway. My co-editor at Hidden Chapter had tried to turn me on to Hemingway many years ago, but I had never gotten around to cracking the spine. I didn't know what I was missing.

When I began reading him, I got that same feeling as when, in my much younger days, I began reading the likes of William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, and Charles Bukowski (yep, my reading career was the cliched progression of every young male lit freak). In Hemingway's writing style, I was reading a cultural touchstone. I sensed a greater movement in his words and cadence, and, unlike the Beat writers whose hydra of styles changed the literary landscape, Hemingway was a singular voice of force and clarity. Here was a literary dragon. And while I have since gone on to read much more American literature, and though I still have more affinity for Duddy Kravitz than Holden Caulfield, I have been permanently moved by Hemingway's fierce output.

Without further ramblings from me, enjoy Dutch artist Marcel Schindler's stop-motion illustration of Ernest Hemingway's story The Old Man and the Sea.

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