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I’VE BEEN SITTING HERE ALL DAY …
Image by mrbill78636
… feeling like I need to apologize to someone.
The year is around 1939-40. The place is an Island in the Caribbean. The man on the right is a successful artist who has quit painting and now does abstract steel sculpture. He has just learned his son who went to Canada and joined the RAF has been killed.
The man on the left is his mate on his fishing boat. He comes up, sits down by the sculptor and asks if he can bring him something to eat, reminding him he hasn’t eaten all day.
The sculptor answers, "I’ve been sitting here all day, feeling like I need to apologize to someone." That’s one of Ernest Hemingway’s great all time lines. The novel and the movie are called Islands in the Stream.
This from Wikipedia:
Islands in the Stream (1970) was the first of Ernest Hemingway’s novels to be published posthumously.
The book was originally intended to revive Hemingway’s reputation after the negative reviews of Across the River and Into the Trees. He began writing it in 1950 and advanced greatly through 1951. The work, rough but seemingly finished, was found by Mary Hemingway from among 332 different works Hemingway left behind after his death.
Islands in the Stream was meant to encompass three stories to illustrate different stages in the life of its main character, Thomas Hudson. The three different parts of the novel were originally to be entitled "The Sea When Young", "The Sea When Absent" and "The Sea in Being". These titles were changed, however, into what are now its three acts: "Bimini", "Cuba", and "At Sea".
The first act, "Bimini", begins with an introduction to the character of Thomas Hudson, a classic Hemingway stoic male figure. Hudson is a renowned American painter who finds tranquility on the island of Bimini, in the Bahamas, a far cry from his usual adventurous lifestyle. Hudson’s strict routine of work is interrupted when his three sons arrive for the summer and is the setting for most of the act. Also introduced in this act is the character of Roger Davis, one of Hudson’s oldest friends. Though similar to Hudson, by struggling with an unmentioned internal conflict, Davis seems to act as a more dynamic and outgoing image of Hudson’s character. The act ends with Hudson receiving news of the death of his two youngest children soon after they leave the island.
"Cuba" takes place soon thereafter during the second World War, where we are introduced to an older and more distant Hudson who has just received news of his oldest (and last) son’s death in the war. This second act introduces us to a more cynical and introverted Hudson who spends his days on the island drinking heavily and doing naval reconnaissance for the US Army.
"At Sea", the final act, ends leaving the reader to assume Hudson dies after being wounded in a shoot out which capped a pursuit (by him and a team of irregulars) of German sailors whose U-boat was presumably sunk in the Gulf Stream, although the ending is slightly ambiguous. Hudson becomes intent on finding the fleeing Germans after he finds they massacred an entire village to cover their escape. In this last act Hudson stops questioning the death of his children. This chapter rings heavily with influences of Hemingway’s earlier work For Whom the Bell Tolls.
Fourth Act: The Old Man and the Sea
While writing the novel Ernest Hemingway wrote a fourth part that did not seem to go with the other acts of the book. The fourth act dealt with a Cuban fisherman and was not about the rich American artist. It was this fourth part that seemed to intrigue Hemingway most as he decided to separate this act and make it into its own published work. This novella became “The Old Man and the Sea”, published in 1952, which earned Ernest Hemingway international acclaim and one of the books which earned him his Nobel Prize in 1954. Echoes of this work can still be found in Islands in the Stream within the tale of young David Hudson’s five hour struggle to capture a large fish which strongly resembles the struggle of "The Old Man and the Sea".
Saharan Dust Reaches the Americas (NASA, International Space Station, 07/15/12)
Image by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center
Saharan dust reaching the Americas is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 32 crew member on the International Space Station. Weather satellites frequently document major dust palls blowing from the Sahara Desert westward from Africa out into the tropical Atlantic Ocean. Space station crew members frequently see these Saharan dust masses as very widespread atmospheric haze. Dust palls blowing from Africa can be transported right across the Atlantic Ocean. It takes about a week to reach either North America (in northern hemisphere summer) or South America (in northern hemisphere winter). This puts the Caribbean basin on the receiving end of many of these events. Recently, researchers have linked Saharan dust to coral disease, allergic reactions in humans, and red tides. The margin of the hazy air in this image reaches as far as Haiti (top center) and the nearby Turks and Caicos Islands (top left) — but the eastern tip of Cuba in the foreground remains in the clear air.
Image credit: NASA/JSC
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