Category Archives: the sea

The unbearable deaths of thousands in the deep

And yet these unbearable deaths are borne by those who turn away.  As I am left mute with horror, I shall post these poems which I think speak to the deaths of so many in this watery graveyard: from Salt By … Continue reading

Posted in empire, literature, shipping conditions, the sea | Leave a comment

Une Année Sans Lumiere: Encounters before Suez Canal

7 February 2015 15.00 Last night I was invited by the Filipino crew members to one of the crew members’ birthday party. He is an engine -fitter and he will be turning 40 tomorrow.  The crew recreation room unsurprisingly had … Continue reading

Posted in labour, Middle East, militaries, the sea, Travels | Leave a comment

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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all subtle and submarine

The Sea is History By Derek Walcott Where are your monuments, your battles, martyrs? Where is your tribal memory? Sirs, in that grey vault. The sea. The sea has locked them up. The sea is History. First, there was the … Continue reading

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Marsaxlokk-Jabal Ali: Surmises

How will I ever be able to return to life, “circumspect life” in Melville’s words, after that, the “delirious throb” of this research adventure? In his gorgeous opening to Moby Dick, Melville writes, “whenever it is a damp, drizzly November … 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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