“The minister, with uplifted hands, was just closing the services.
He glanced up, hesitated and said: “However, we will omit the benediction!
But while this knowledge may be consoling in the abstract, it's not very useful in the face of a catastrophe such as last week's quake and tsunami in Japan. Ulin is the author of "The Myth of Solid Ground: Earthquakes, Prediction and the Fault Line Between Reason and Faith." For as long as we have experienced seismicity, we have written about it, going back to the Book of Acts.
At these times, we need real consolation: food and water, emergency services and rescue ... Below are nine works (one for each of this most recent earthquake's points of magnitude) that channel both our terror and our awe.
1) "The Earthquake in Chile" by Heinrich von Kleist. I got credit cards." 6) "Monster in a Box" by Spalding Gray.
Originally published in 1807, Kleist's novella takes place duringthe 1647 Santiago earthquake and ends tragically, with a young couple killed after having been blamed, in a sermon, for the disaster. In this 1990 monologue, Gray uses seismicity as a way to poke fun at Los Angeles and the city's much-criticized lack of street life, after he has come here from New York to work on a film. They’re all talking, talking, talking about the earthquake....
In Mark Twain’s essay, he uses a satirical and humorous approach when describing human reaction towards the sudden earthquake, through a first point of view, and carefully chosen descriptive words.
Jack London, on the other hand, focuses mainly on the effects the earthquake had on the city.
He uses a defeated tone, personification, and no human interaction to clarify his argument.
Both writers captivate the audience through their tones, descriptive words, and points of view.