Brief mention: words and things

Daniel Mendelsohn in the New Yorker of April 16th, in “Unsinkable” (p. 66):

The aura of significance that attends the Titanic’s fate was the subject of another, belated headline, which appeared in a special publication of the satirical newspaper the Onion, in 1999, stomping across the page in dire block letters:

A figure in which metaphor stands for the ship. Iceberg sinks metaphor!

Mendelsohn continues:

The Onion’s spoof gets to the heart of the matter: unlike other disasters, the Titanic [note metonymy: participant in the disaster for the disaster] seems to be about something. But what?

A parable about the scope, and limits, of technology? A morality tale about class? A foreshadowing of the First World War? Or what?

One Response to “Brief mention: words and things”

  1. Stan Says:

    Unsinkable? Inconseafarable.

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