why TITANICweek?

I guess I'll start in the most predictable way imaginable: I've always loved to learn. I've always loved stories.

And I've always loved Titanic.

I don't remember when I first learned about it. But do I remember being 6 years old, wandering through the biannual book fair that was set up in the red-brick foyer of my school.

The steady thrum of the fluorescent lights overhead. The library carts and tables casting new shadows across a familiar floor. The flawless geometry of books whose spines had never been tested, whose pages had never been flipped. The fragrance of all those new books, fresh out of their boxes. If they could distill childhood wonder into a perfume, that might just be it.

It was dazzling.

And that's where I found it, upright on a metal wheely shelf. A glossy rectangular paperback, with blue borders and tall red letters.


It was captivation at first sight. My allowance rustled eagerly in my Lisa Frank coin purse, ready to sacrifice itself for the cause. I think I had to use my ice cream money, too.

I didn't care.

I pressed that book between my hands as I walked back to my classroom at the end of the hallway, and I felt like I'd just happened upon an new part of myself.

That feeling has never really left me. Not for all the things I've learned and loved so far. And certainly not for Titanic.

Adulthood still found me.

I got my requisite degree and graduated, found a few jobs since. And all the while, I was buying enough books to stock a library. I was watching documentaries, fangirling over long-dead people, going on night-long Wikipedia binges, and generally swan-diving down internet rabbit holes.

So about TITANICweek...

Honestly? I'd just learned so many stories I wanted to tell.

I also had social media, which everyone knows is a fine place for a rant. So I decided to use it to chase the thrill that came with sharing something you love.

So in 2017, to honor the anniversary of Titanic's voyage, I wrote some "info-bombs" and posted them. Nothing scholarly or even comprehensive--just an assortment of details and anecdotes that I treasured, packaged into narratives.

But I hadn't realized how many of my friends were also interested in--even enthralled by--the Titanic.

So on the next anniversary, I posted again on April 10th through the 15th.

And somewhere along the way, TITANICweek became a dialogue. I was delighted. With each anniversary came more requests, for particular topics as well as to make TITANICweek posts shareable.

And so, dear reader, I've created Soliloquism.

TITANICweek is the small thing I do to preserve the memories of Titanic and the humanity we can still find in its loss.

In our culture of CSI mania, interest in Titanic appears to have skewed toward forensic takes and virulent conspiracy theories. And in so doing, the passengers and crew--and all the people that lost them--become ever more distant.

Over a century on, and it seems that it's only getting easier to forget that Titanic was real. This tragedy happened.

And the ship is still real, 2.5 miles below the Atlantic and snapped in two, and every day it deteriorates more. Within our lifetimes, it will likely become a rust stain on the seabed.

Real people were on that gorgeous ship. These were over 2,200 real lives, all lived and most abruptly ended in the deep dark and the lethal cold.

The loss of the Titanic changed the world.

The Countess of Rothes, a First-Class survivor, said of the victims that "their memories should be held sacred in the mind of the world forever."

I hopethat  TITANICweek, in the humblest way, helps to conserve the ship's legacy, so that its passengers can be "held sacred" for a little while longer.

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