Titanic used in "Virtual past" philosophy in Cloud Atlas novel

Dan Kappes

Aug 17, 2009
Apple Valley, Minnesota, United States
The novel Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell mentions the Titanic in an interesting philosophy statement on page 392. It is as follows:

Exposition: the working of the actual past + the virtual past may be illustrated by an event well known to collective history, such as the sinking of the Titanic. The disaster as it actually occurred descends into obscurity as its eyewitnesses die off, documents perish, + the wreck of the ship dissolves in its Atlantic grave. Yet a virtual sinking of the Titanic, created from reworked memories, papers, hearsay, fiction-in short, belief-grows ever "truer". The actual past is brittle, ever-dimming + ever more problematic to access + reconstruct: in contrast, the virtual past is malleable, ever-brightening + ever more difficult to circumvent/expose as fraudulent.

This quote was not used in its film adaptation.

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