Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Titanic Obsessions

Heather Cox Richardson

One hundred years ago, in April 1912, the RMS Titanic hit an iceberg and sank, taking more than 1,500 people with her.

I’ve never been one of those people obsessed with the sinking of the Titanic. When I was a child, my mother carefully pored over the passenger lists and the investigation report and talked of the steerage passengers who died in families; I carefully avoided what seemed to me deadly dull columns of names and numbers. In 1997, when the world wept over the movie about it; I thought Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet were so annoying I cheered on the iceberg.

But for all my refusal to engage with Titanic obsessions, I find the images in this video strangely fascinating: http://www.rmstitanic.net/100th-anniversary.html.

They seem to me part art, part tomb.

5 comments:

Steven Cromack said...

There is always something about the Titanic that captivates people. This is how after 100 years, an insignificant historical event lives on in the collective unconscious. In many ways, the sunken wreck reminds me of Frost's poem "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening." The Titanic pulls the onlooker under. The eerie ship is "lovely, dark, and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep. And miles to go before I sleep."

hcr said...

I KNEW you would jump at this video, Steve! Will you please tell me what on earth is so captivating about the Titanic? It sank. Why do I care? : )

Steven Cromack said...

See post from last April:

http://histsociety.blogspot.com/2012/04/titanic-and-tip-of-iceberg.html

hcr said...

Humph. I guess I'm just shallow.

Heh, heh, heh.

dan allosso said...

It's weird though, because I also seem unable to see any of the big, Jungian material in the sinking of this boat. Lots of ships sank, and although there is an element of irony in the hubris of the builders, the elements of the story that seem to be of most interest aren't even the ones I'd pursue if I was writing THAT story. But maybe it's just because it happened on my birthday, and so did the shooting of Lincoln. The latter seems so much more memorable (heck, so does my birth!), that the Titanic loses out.