"I Am Writing Blindly"

What the note from a doomed submariner tells us about a basic human need

Besides the newsworthy revelation of Lieut. Captain Dimitri Kolesnikov's dying message to his wife recovered last week from the husk of the sunken submarine Kursk--that 23 of the 118 crewmen had survived in an isolated chamber for a while, in contradiction to claims by Russian officials that all had perished within minutes of the accident--there was the matter of writing the message in the first place.

In the first place, in the last place, that is what we people do--write messages to one another. We are a narrative species. We exist by storytelling--by relating our situations--and the test of our evolution...

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