Hemingway surfing and writing

Timing is everything
at Leo Carillo, 1969.

We’ve been enjoying the El Porto Fridays blog. We can still feel the El Porto sand beneath our feet, the foam rushing over our board, the morning glass, the afternoon chop, the evening glass-off. We surfed there in the 60’s and 70’s, before heading out, like Huck Finns, for the territory, ahead of all the rest; well, ahead of some, behind others. The El Porto Fridays blog recently put up a post titled “5 Ways to Improve Your Surfing.” It had us thinking of Shaun Tomson’s Surfer’s Code, and of Hemingway and writing. 

A sentence is like a wave, as Hemingway often illustrated; Hemingway didn’t surf, but he does have Jake Barnes in The Sun Also Rises body surfing, and this famous sentence from the short story “Cross Country Snow” illustrates what could be a surfer on a wave:

“George was coming down in telemark position, kneeling; one leg forward and bent, the other trailing; his sticks hanging like some insect’s thin legs, kicking up puffs of snow as they touched the surface and finally the whole kneeling, trailing figure coming around in a beautiful right curve, crouching, the legs shot forward and back, the body leaning out against the swing, the sticks accenting the curve like points of light, all in a wild cloud of snow.”

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