Saturday, August 26, 2017
A thoughtful piece by Hilary Mantel on Princess Diana, her death and the myth. When I visited Paris a few months after she died I happened across the overpass of the tunnel in which she died. There were perhaps a hundred people standing there looking around in disbelief. Some were crying. For an hour or more I photographed those faces. The papers spoke of mass hysteria but as Mantel so eloquently and beautifully puts it:
The term “mass hysteria” was a facile denigration of a phenomenon that eluded the commentators and their framework of analysis. They did not see the active work the crowds were doing. Mourning is work. It is not simply being sad. It is naming your pain. It is witnessing the sorrow of others, drawing out the shape of loss. It is natural and necessary and there is no healing without it.
And from the sublime to the ridiculous :
The newspaper said, the cult hero
was seemingly so moved
by the outpouring of affection
he walked on stage with an erection.