The World of Spirit or the World of Sport? Figuring the Numbers in The Old Man and the Sea
Gives a broad overview of the varying critical responses, often related to religion, aimed at explaining Hemingway’s fascination throughout the novella with the numbers eighty-four and eighty-five. Notes the chronological correspondence between the two numbers and events of the 1950 American League pennant race, suggesting that the numbers reflect Santiago’s enthusiasm for baseball and high regard for Joe DiMaggio. Significantly revised version published in The Faith of Fifty Million: Baseball, Religion, and American Culture, edited by Christopher H. Evans and William R. Herzog II, 83-95. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002.