La Mar, A Photograph

“He always thought of the sea as ‘la mar’ which is what people call her in Spanish when they love her. Sometimes those who love her say bad things of her but they are always said as though she were a woman. Some of the younger fishermen, those who used buoys as floats for their lines and had motorboats, bought when the shark livers had brought much money, spoke of her as ‘el mar’ which is masculine.They spoke of her as a contestant or a place or even an enemy. But the old man always thought of her as feminine and as something that gave or withheld great favours, and if she did wild or wicked things it was because she could not help them. The moon affects her as it does a woman, he thought.”
– Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man in the Sea

I’ve always loved Hemingway’s book, The Old Man in the Sea.  When I see an opportunity to try to portray the book through art of some kind, I’ll take a stab at it.  This photograph, taken in Bellingham, Washington, I thought appropriate.  I appreciate that the Old Man likened the sea to the feminine.  She is affected by moons, yes, but perhaps it is because she is all-encompassing and consuming as well….as many of us woman are.

La Mar – Jennifer Allison


10 thoughts on “La Mar, A Photograph

  1. António D.L. November 15, 2012 / 10:19 am

    Amazing quote, plus text, plus photograph. A masterpiece of a blog entry, definitely.

  2. gotasté November 15, 2012 / 7:13 pm

    The photo is not just appropriate Jennifer. It is a beautiful shot with the power to calm me down when I look at it. Lovely!

    • onestreetshy November 15, 2012 / 9:32 pm

      What a lovely comment gotaste. Thank you so much 🙂

  3. Ed Lynch November 21, 2012 / 1:44 pm

    The one book where his art is truly distilled to its very essence. And not one iota more.

    • onestreetshy November 22, 2012 / 12:50 am

      I’ve read it so many times. I recommended it to my son and he enjoyed it as well. I like discussing it with him…the man, the sea and all the feelings that go with him

  4. Ed Lynch November 21, 2012 / 1:46 pm

    And…certain critics believed that Hemingway was insensitive to women, to put it mildly. Perhaps they did not read “Cat in the Rain” or “Hills Like White Elephants.” Thanks, as always, for sharing.

    • onestreetshy November 21, 2012 / 3:17 pm

      I think perhaps Hemingway was very much in tune with women (more so than most men probably from what I’ve read from him), just not in tune himself when it came to women….

      Thank you again for visiting Ed.

    • António D.L. November 21, 2012 / 4:49 pm

      In the wake of Ed’s lovely comment, there’s a charming little book by Kirk Curnutt entitled Coffee with Hemingway. It’s an imaginary interview with Papa Hem. I leave you here a relevant passage. Hem reacts to the interviewer’s complaint about his tone: “Oh, nerts. You’re going to be like all the rest, aren’t you? You’re going to tell me how much I’ve influenced you, and then you’re going to turn around and tell me all the ways I’ve failed you. You’ll knock me for being famous, say my women characters are flat and unrealistic male fantasies, and then tell me my style was so original I ended up parodying myself. Then you’ll let me know exactly when my train went off its tracks. Go ahead. You won’t be the first.” The interviewer: “You’re very defensive, as you usually were with the press and public. Why is that?” Papa Hem: “Listen. I come from a time when the writing was supposed to be more important than the writer. That was the idea behind the movement I was part of. In modernism you take yourself out of the work so the reader experiences your words, not you. Writing’s supposed to be about the art, but most readers only care about personality.” It’s well worth a reading, methinks, the said little book.

      • onestreetshy November 22, 2012 / 12:51 am

        I’ve heard of this book a few times….must read.

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