Why We Can’t Let Go of the Titanic

Thursday, April 12, 2012

New Yorker contributor Daniel Mendelsohn talks about why the Titanic has such an enduring appeal, 100 years after its sinking. His article “Unsinkable: Why We Can’t Let Go of the Titanic” appears in the April 16 issue of The New Yorker.


Daniel Mendelsohn

Comments [7]

Mike from New Jersey

Re: Titanic memorials

Depends on how you define "memorial." Wikipedia mentions 5 official, generic memorials in major cities with Titanic connections in the US and UK. The Ida Straus memorial in Straus Park is also listed. This roster of course leaves out numerous memorials to other individual passengers and crew members (e.g., Captain Smith, the bandmaster Wallace Hartley), graveyards (Halifax, Canada) and grave sites (Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx). Widener Library, second to only the Library of Congress in size, is arguably a Titanic memorial, built to honor victim and Harvard alum Harry Widener. In the lobby one can find a plaque mentioning the Titanic by name:

Apr. 12 2012 01:59 PM
John from Fanwood, NJ

For all you Titanic fans, the National Archives in New York has the limitation of liability case that was heard in the US District Court for the SDNY in Manhattan, after the sinking. The case file contains photos of survivors in lifeboats, the ticket list with all the passengers by cabin class, and many other documents. The Archives is in the Federal building/Village Post Office, across the street from WNYC. I retired from the Archives six years ago, and one of the best things I got to do was to go through these records. Many of the items are scanned and available on the National Archives Web site.

Apr. 12 2012 01:33 PM
Amy from Manhattan

The Straus family Mr. Mendelson just mentioned is the one Straus Park on 106th St. in Manhattan is named for. What other memorials to the Titanic & its passengers are there?

Apr. 12 2012 01:31 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Borrowing this segment's page to alert "100 Objects" fans: The Lewis chessmen, which were the subject of April 3rd's broadcast, are on exhibit right now at the Cloisters, & will be until April 22nd. I just found this out last night & hope to go see them on Sunday.

Apr. 12 2012 01:16 PM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

Three ships were constructed by Harland and Wolff to the specs used for the Titanic: Olympic, Titanic and Britannic. Two sunk early in there service lives. The third sailed for twenty years.

One expert on the recent NatGeo special posited that the Titanic *could* have remained afloat until rescue arrived IF every life jacket aboard had been used to stuff one of the first five sections thereby slowing the inflow of sea water. Gutsy call.

Apr. 12 2012 01:15 PM
tom LI

The still holding on group is a minute segment of the population, and the media. I could care less at this was a tragedy - but there's nothing to revisit at this point.

Truly a waste of time and airwaves...

Apr. 12 2012 01:02 PM
Ed from Larchmont

'The ship is so big, even God couldn't sink it.'

I think it sank in 3 hours.

Apr. 12 2012 06:02 AM

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