Mystique of Titanic


Robert Bickel

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Nov 12, 2008
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Fellow Titanic enthusiasts and researchers: I am currently constructing a paper on the Mystique of Titanic. This paper will center on the psychological, as well as sociological impacts Titanic has had on all of us; put specifically those who were "drawn" to Titanic.

That said, I have a list of questions proposed, and would be exceedingly grateful to all, if you could do your best in answering any or all of them if full detail. I realize this could take some time as the questions are designed to provoke feelings and observations about you relative to Titanic--and how she maintains her hold on us.

Please help me in constructing this paper. The more info I gather the more accurate the paper. There is no doubt Titanic has deeply affected us all--now the question is why...

1) Where does the mystique of Titanic come from?

2) Have you had or did you have a deep personal loss that Titanic somehow relates to? How so?

3) What is it about Titanic that scares us or conjures up personal feelings that we are forced to deal with?

4) What is the personal attachment to Titanic that you have?

5) If you're like me, some things about Titanic are hard to explain. That feeling of loss, of being there with those who died and felt hopeless remains today. To what do you ascribe this feeling and why is it so for you?

6) Thayer stated so eloquently that"...to his minds eye, the world of today changed April 15, 1912." What do you think he meant?

7) Has the world remained stagnated (complacent) in the same manner in which it was when Titanic was built and subsequently sank. Why?

8) Here, we all identify with something about Titanic. What is your most prevalent feeling?

9) When someone says Titanic, or the thought of the ship comes to mind, what is your first instinct or feeling?

I realize that these may seem redundant in some regards, but I assure you each of the question will be weighted on their individual answers and compared to other perceptions and observations between passengers, crew members, survivors and those that are drawn to the ships mystique. It is with great humility that I ask you to participate.

As August Wennerstrom remarked in his journals:

...'I want to tell you a story about a boat"

Thanks to all of you in advance. I have a very liberal timeframe so please think about these questions and answer them as only we can--with great insight and perspective, but most of all with honesty, integrity and feeling.

A great story awaits.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>1) Where does the mystique of Titanic come from?<<

Honestly, a LOT of media hype from Day One. Had the ship made it to New York, she would have gone on to a not especially notable career as the second sister. Barring a remarkable event such as running afoul of a U-boat's torpedos in the war, the Olympic would have taken pride of place as the first of her class.

>>Have you had or did you have a deep personal loss that Titanic somehow relates to? How so?<<

Nope. To me, it's a study in history and shipwreck forensics. As a retired sailor, this is a personal interest.

>>What is it about Titanic that scares us or conjures up personal feelings that we are forced to deal with?<<

Nothing really.

>>What is the personal attachment to Titanic that you have?<<

None whatever.

>>If you're like me, some things about Titanic are hard to explain. That feeling of loss, of being there with those who died and felt hopeless remains today. To what do you ascribe this feeling and why is it so for you?<<

See the above.

>>Thayer stated so eloquently that"...to his minds eye, the world of today changed April 15, 1912." What do you think he meant?<<

He probably thought it was a watershed event. It really wasn't. After all the fuss died down and the usual knee-jerk fixes were put in place, things pretty much went on as business as usual until World War One tossed a monkey wrench into the old order.

>>Has the world remained stagnated (complacent) in the same manner in which it was when Titanic was built and subsequently sank. Why?<<

Probably on some level. People still have a lot of faith in technology even if it isn't always justified. Beyond that, you may have to pose this to a sociologist.

>>Here, we all identify with something about Titanic....<<

Sailors just like me who found themselves in an ugly no-win situation and tried the best they could under the circumstances.

>>When someone says Titanic, or the thought of the ship comes to mind, what is your first instinct or feeling?<<

A colossal screw up in navigation that could have easily been avoided simply by steering clear of the icefield.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From The Telegraph:

The Titanic sank into the depths of humankind
quote:

It happened 99 years ago this month, but the event has lost none of its grip on the public imagination. In Belfast yesterday, they put out at City Hall a plan of the RMS Titanic, drawn for the Board of Trade inquiry into its sinking, at 2.20am on April 15, 1912, in mid-Atlantic with the deaths of 1,517 passengers and crew. Those statistics chill us still.
More at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/8469437/The-Titanic-sank-into-the-depths-of-humankind.html
 
Dec 2, 2000
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From BYM:

UK. The Titanic Legacy : Campaign lauched to raise additional funds for IMarEST Guild of Benevolence
quote:

In a little under a year’s time it will be the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic. With this key date in mind, the IMarEST Guild of Benevolence — born out of that tragedy — has launched a global fund-raising campaign to ensure that its assistance to needy members of the global marine engineering community (whether members of IMarEST or not), and their dependents, can continue well into a further century.
More at http://www.bymnews.com/news/newsDetails.php?id=85312
 

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