My Book World
I’ve been a fan of the Titanic’s story since I was a child. I read every magazine article, every book I could find on the subject—even as an adult I collected books. I watched every film, fiction or documentary. This book, though dated now in some ways, does combine two strands: 1) the eyewitness details left behind by those who were there to witness the sinking: passengers, crew members, children—always the more interesting narrative, to me. Pellegrino also unveils the thread of how oceanographer Robert Ballard locates the Titanic’s remains and visits them in a, for the time (1987), innovative “submarine” equipped with cameras.
The most astounding part of Ballard’s story seems to be that he is so overcome with emotion on seeing the pristine quality of certain artifacts left behind—china, passenger shoes, and other memorabilia—that he has no desire to lift any of it for souvenirs. Rather, he disguises the exact GPS location from journalists and the world, so that the site might remain what it has been since it all came to rest in the icy North Atlantic floor in 1912, and that is a place of memorial. Of course, other parties do locate the ship and make a commercial venture of it, but Ballard’s stance must be the higher ground, in a manner of speaking.
TUES: AWW | Ethan Canin
WEDS: AWW | Cormac McCarthy
THURS: AWW | Sarah Waters
NEXT FRI: My Book World | Ellen Summerfield's Bite-Sized Poems: An Anthology