Ci sono tanti modi di pescare. La pesca di cui parla Ernest Hemingway nel suo romanzo “Il vecchio e il mare” è decisamente artigianale e poco produttiva, ma molto più sostenibile di quella industriale. Uno o pochi uomini con piccole imbarcazioni contro il mare, con la sua imprevedibilità, contro i pesci, con la loro forza, e contro la sorte che consente un buon profitto o che lascia la barca vuota. Le uniche cose che il vecchio pescatore può usare a suo vantaggio sono l’ostinazione, il coraggio, l’esperienza e l’abilità. Tutte le scene di pesca descritte uniscono compassione e ammirazione per l’avversario pesce, considerato alla stregua di un fratello, e la violenza della morte.
“The shivering increased as he pulled in and he could see the blue back of the fish in the water and the gold of his sides before he swung him over the side and into the boat. He lay in the stern in the sun, compact and bullet-shaped, his big, unintelligent eyes staring as he thumped his life out against the planking of the boat with the quick shivering strokes of his neat, fast-moving tail. The old man hit him on the head for kindness and kicked him, his body still shuddering, under the shade of the stern. “Albacore,” he said aloud. “he’ll make a beautiful bait. He’ll weigh ten pounds.”[…]
He remembered the time he had hooked one of a pair of marlin. The male fish always let the female fish feed first and the hooked fish, the female, made a wild, panic-stricken, despairing fight that soon exhausted her, and all the time the male had stayed with her, crossing the line and circling with her on the surface. He had stayed so close that the old man was afraid he would cut the line with his tail which was sharp as a schyte and almost of that size and shape. When the old man had gaffed her and clubbed her, holding the rapier bill with its sandpaper edge and clubbing her across the top of her head until her colour turned to a colour almost like the baking of mirrors, and then, with the boy’s aid, hoisted her aboard, the male fish had stayed by the side of the boat. Then, while the old man was clearing the lines and preparing harpoon, the male fish jumped high into the air beside the boat to see where the female was and then went down deep, his lavender wings, that were his pectoral fins, spread wide and all his wide lavender strip showing. He was beautiful, the old man remembered, and he had stayed. That was the saddest thing I ever saw with them, the old man thought. The boy was sad too and we begged her pardon and butchered her promptly.”
Ma questi sono solo pesci piccoli o ricordi di pesca quando con lui c’era il ragazzo ad aiutarlo. La vera sfida, che è imperdibile per ogni appassionato di libri e racconti coinvolgenti, è quella che il vecchio affronterà da solo contro il più grosso pesce che egli abbia mai visto.