Read e-book online A tale of two continents PDF

By Abraham Pais

The writer of a hugely acclaimed biorgaphy of Einstein, sophisticated is the Lord, Pais writes engagingly for a common viewers. He movingly descibes his interval of hiding in Nazi-occupied Holland (he ended the struggle in a Gestapo criminal) earlier than taking inventory of his lifestyles in the United States, rather within the newly equipped Institute for complicated learn in Princeton, then directed via the bright and debatable physicist Robert Oppenheimer. Pais new and labored with the various greats of twentieth-century physics, and he relates many desirable tales approximately Oppenheimer, Einstein, Bohr, Sakharov, Dirac, Heisenberg, and von Neumann, in addition to approximately non-scientists like Chaim Weizmann, George Kennan, Erwin Panofsky, and Pablo Casals. His enthusiasm approximately technological know-how and existence regularly pervades a publication that's either a memoir and a heritage of technological know-how.

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If I were not myself descended from an actor ancestor, I would not believe in my existence. Reality and theatre: unambiguous. Which is why it is so much an absolute law-book and Domesday Book that Casanova’s memoirs open with that alpha and omega without which there is nothing: actor, actor, actor. 2. {7} If you wish to live, then you can only be an actor, a comedian, like the gods and the cosmos; once you have started to live, then you must forthwith bear a duality of life, of humanity, that can never be elucidated: the clarity of meaning and the eternal hocus-pocus of meaninglessness, Locke and the witches, wise women, exorcists and evil Spirits of the Venetian suburbs of Murano and Burano.

But not in the aforementioned sense. That ‘something’ is (our story does not run to punch lines, so we can divulge the ends of several novels in advance): the nun was none other than the duchess whom Alfonso’s father had selected for his son “a century ago,” but, as we shall see, nothing came of the marriage, the duchess became an enemy of Alfonso’s forever (with jealousy being perhaps the least cause), and now here she was anew, a sham nun in sham costume, though lost time, ‘temps perdu’, was her best disguise.

3. After that two-step humanist prelude, the codex amoris can begin. The first, the pre-love, pre-narcissism, pre-lust, pre-mind, pre-moral, pre-everything ‘papillonage’:{9} young Bettina washes his legs, and she does so with such scrupulous thoroughness that little Casanova’s semen is loosed for the very first time into the world. If we wished, we might choose this pre-love as an eternal fate. This clearness, cheerfulness, ignorance, creepiness without horror, delight without nervous pathos, this asexual, anonymous, pre...

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