Peter Montgomery wrote:
> I do remember my supervisor, Sheila Watson saying that on the
> sinking of the Lusitania, which more or less brought the US
> into WWI, the headlines in Europe read, "Oed' und leer das Meer."
> to reflect what was found when the rescuers reached the site.
Ah, (to use a local expression) dawn rises over Marblehead. You may
have been too subtle for me Peter. I was taking the comment to be
like one of my strange connections but I see that there may be more to
In the opera the context is that Isolde's ship is not yet seen (or
even not departed from Cornwall to Brittany) not that the ship has
sunk. Following little bread crumbs dropped by Eliot (hyacinth girl,
hyancinthus, hyacinth garden, Wagner's "Frisch weht der Wind,"
Ophelia, The Tempest allusions, Phlebas) a case could be made that the
hyacinth girl has died and probably from a figurative death by water.
If the newspaper headline was as famous in its time as some are in
ours ("Ford to NY: Drop Dead") then "Oed' und leer das Meer" would be
a double allusion, one that implied death as well as lonely waiting.