Category Archives: readings

Marsaxlokk-Jabal-Ali: Besotted with the sea

6 February 2015 “For a ship is a bit of terra firma cut off from the main; it is a state in itself; and the captain is its king.” (Melville, White-Jacket – did Conrad plagiarise Melville as I often think … Continue reading

Posted in Allan Sekula, capital accumulation, infrastructure, labour, literature, logistics, Melville, ports, readings, the sea | 2 Comments

Areia de Salamanca: The Razzia in the 16th century

5 February 2015 I borrowed Braudel’s discussion of the presidios on the North African coast yesterday to reflect on logistics… But as I read on, there was also the counterinsurgency element against the colonials (about which Braudel seems remarkably sanguine; … Continue reading

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Grace: Departing Marsaxlokk

Marsaxlokk-Jabal Ali:  At last at sea 5 February 2015 11.00 Occasionally in the night, the ship bumps against the berth and that is when one remembers that one is not on solid ground. I can’t wait for our ship to … Continue reading

Posted in labour, political economy, ports, readings, shipping conditions, transport, Travels | Leave a comment

On Battleship Hill

Marsaxlokk-Jabal Ali; On Military Logistics in the Age of Philip II 4 February 2015 What becomes clear in reading Braudel’s vol II about war-making is the extent to which your martial power really depends on your economic ability to supply … Continue reading

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Maritime Marriages

I have had the pleasure of reading Fernand Braudel’s The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II (Vol. II) while in Malta.  When I first searched for Malta in the index, I was so pleased to see … Continue reading

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Benjamin’s grim writing on Marseille

Marseilles Walter Benjamin The street . . . the only valid field of experience. – Andre Breton Marseilles-the yellow-studded maw of a seal with salt water running out between the teeth. When this gullet opens to catch the black and brown proletarian … Continue reading

Posted in literature, ports, readings | 4 Comments

Stand-Up Beer Hall

Stand-Up Beer Hall Walter Benjamin Sailors seldom come ashore ; service on the high seas is a holiday by comparison with the labour in harbours, where loading and unloading must often be done day and night. When a gang is then given a … Continue reading

Posted in capital accumulation, labour, political economy, ports, readings, seafaring, shipping conditions, the sea | Leave a comment