Friday, January 26, 2007

Maine Monument: OMOM Essay 34

In "About the Sculpture" I wanted to stress that a work that's difficult to grasp, for example a complex allegorical sculpture such as the Maine Monument, can be very expressive once you understand it. Thinking this point would be more obvious in a verbal comparison, I amused myself by skimming all Shakespeare's sonnets while trying to recall mundane pop-music lyrics that expressed the same sentiments.

In "About the Subject" of Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan I delve into why the USS Maine was moored in Havana harbor and why investigators were unable to determine the cause of the explosion that blew her apart in February 1898. My out-takes file (some of which I'll eventually upload here or on the Forgotten Delights site) includes a gruesome description by one of the divers of the underwater investigation. If you're impatient, read Charles Morgan's account now.

The Forgotten Delights calendar shows a close-up of Columbia Triumphant (i.e., the United States) from the top of the Maine Monument, next to an excerpt from Badger Clark's "The Westerner," one of Ayn Rand's favorite poems.

1 comment:

Toiler said...

Re: Charles Morgan's account.

Gruesome, yes, and tragic, but also incredibly evocative.

Morgan's short narrative reminds me of scenes by Poe or Dinesen in terms of style. You can bet this one's going into my stack of clippings for inspiration.

Thanks for the tip!