the quality of survival

Immediately next in the train of human disasters, to the loss of human life, comes the loss of property.  The extinction of a life appeals directly, only to the one losing it, in the sense that something becomes nothing, and literally speaking leaves no continued interest.  The loss of property, on the other hand, multiplies the interest in, that its displacement, at once involves an effort for its rehabilitation, and where this loss entails a division of interest upon thousands, the severity of its results, perforce of its own inertia, becomes manifold and widespread.  Such a condition Seattle occupies, resultant upon the great fire of June 6th, 1889.

from The Great Seattle Fire of June 6th, 1889, C.W. Austin & H.S. Scott, 1889.

a surprisingly evocative first few sentences (and clearly evidence of how usage of the comma has evolved).  playing with the seattle fire as a piece in the full-length i’m working on, prompted by my interest in archivism and archival photography (thank you, susan sontag).  and now another connection has just clicked into place.

razed/raised.  the necessity of destruction before reconstruction.

the paragraph above neglects to speak of the effect of death on those that are the survivors.  when reconstruction of that particular loss is impossible.  interesting.

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