Thursday, September 11

The Old Man and the Sea

When I was in college, I minored in English, which enabled me to read wonderful books by authors such as Joyce, Faulkner, and others and still receive credit. While my friends regurgitated formulas for their Chemistry tests, I coughed up just enough b.s. to fool my professor into thinking I had actually read the book. Trust me: English is a wonderful minor or major, especially for those of you interested in spending more time screwing around and less time reading textbooks.

Anyhow, one of the short stories in which I indulged was Edith Wharton's Roman Fever (and, yes, I do believe this is the first time Edith Wharton has been referenced by a basketball blog). While not a travel piece, the story was reflective of the re-discovery of Italy by Americans as a travel destination in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Like scores of writers before and since, Wharton delivered beautiful passages describing Rome and Italy. If you've visited Italy, you know from whence she speaks, and you can understand why seemingly every major writer of the last 100 years has put pen to paper to extol its virtues.

So that's why I was so surprised to read the details of Shawn Kemp's introductory press conference to the media over in Italy. Leave it to Kemp to summarize so beautifully and so succinctly what makes Italy such a wonderful country.

Q: The life of Montegranaro is very different from that of Seattle: does that bother you?

Kemp: “But here there are beautiful people and there is the sea… For me that is good."

Ernest Hemingway could not have said it any better.

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