Quantcast

Video of the Day

Masthead

Editor-in-Chief
Alex Carnevale
(e-mail/tumblr/twitter)

Managing Editor
Kara VanderBijl
(e-mail/tumblr/twitter)

Features Editor
Mia Nguyen
(e-mail/tumblr/twitter)

Senior Editor
Durga Chew-Bose
(e-mail/tumblr/twitter)

Senior Editor
Brittany Julious
(e-mail/tumblr/twitter)

Live and Active Affiliates
Search TR


follow us in feedly

Classic Recordings
Robert Altman Week

Thursday
Apr182013

« In Which We Cure Something Wrong With Us »

Marie and her daughters

Desolation and Despair

by ALEX CARNEVALE

My courage fails me and I think I ought to stop working, live in the country and devote myself to gardening. But I am held by a thousand bonds. Nor do I know whether, even by writing scientific books, I could live without the laboratory.

In her fifth month of pregnancy, at the end of 1903's hot and long summer, Marie Sklodowska Curie had a miscarriage. She was devastated. She wrote to her friend, "I am in such consternation over this accident that I have not the courage to write to anybody. I had grown so accustomed to the idea of the child that I am absolutely desperate and cannot be controlled." She assigned her dedication to her work as the cause; she worried she had exposed herself to too much radiation in the lab.

In mid-November she, along with her husband Pierre, won the Nobel Prize. Though the work had been shared equally between them, the media tended to paint Marie as the inspirer, and Pierre as the man of accomplishment in the matter. Another interpretation of their discoveries involved them falling in love and copulating somewhere among their experiments. Cetainly both were happy at the financial and academic gains that accompanied such an award, but the attention that came with it was not at all to either's liking.

Pierre and Marie

By May of the following year, Marie was pregnant again. To ensure nothing would complicate the birth, Pierre and Marie selected a farm a short train ride from Paris in St.-Remy-les-Chevreuse. Their daughter Eve was born at the beginning of December, pleasing her mother, who wrote to her friend, "Don't you find it delicious to have a little tiny being to love?"

The assistance of Pierre's father, as well as a nanny, a maid and occasionally a cook helped her return to her scientific endeavors. Pierre was frustrated in his work, and St. Remy represented a welcome retreat. The family loved the beach, where Pierre pocketed all the seashells his daughters collected for him there. Just as they were beginning to find a new equilibrium, and Pierre had begun to recover from his many illnesses, his skull was crushed by a wagon wheel in a freak accident when two horses panicked on a Paris avenue. He had never paid much attention to where he walked. Pierre Curie was just 46.

Marie wrote in her journal:

I enter the room. Someone says: 'He is dead.' Can one comprehend such words? Pierre is dead, he who I had seen leave looking fine this morning, he who I expected to press in my arms this evening. I will only see him dead and it's over forever. I repeat your name again and always, 'Pierre, Pierre, Pierre, my Pierre,' alas that doesn't make him come back, he is gone forever, leaving me nothing but desolation and despair.

Much later in life, she would write, that on April 19, 1906, "I lost my beloved Pierre, and with him all hope and all support for the rest of my life." Returning to their laboratory was difficult. At work she was named Pierre's replacement in his teaching position at the Sorbonne. She wrote, "There are some imbeciles who have even congratulated me." She was the first woman ever to teach there.

young MC

A year later, she wrote, "It has been a year. I live, for your children, for your old father. The grief is mute but still there. The burden is heavy on my shoulders. How sweet it would be to go to sleep and not wake up. How young my dear ones are. How tired I feel!" She could never bring herself to say his name again.

+

Paul Langevin was a scientist in a deeply unhappy marriage. His wife Jeanne was four years his junior, and interference from her family complicated their arrangement from the very first. His mother-in-law and sister-in-law kept letters he had written to his own mother that expressed doubts about the relationship. This was in order to blackmail him in case of divorce. Her closest family members also stole from him and would even strike him when angry. Because of their young children, he did not go through with the idea of divorcing Jeanne.

Langevin and his wife

Langevin had been a student of Pierre Curie, and it was to his widow and friend that he confided his life's troubles. It was when Jeanne Langevin struck her husband with a glass bottle that Marie Curie's consolation turned intimate. They rented an apartment near the Sorbonne for their liasions. When Jeanne found out, she told Marie Curie to leave France and threatened to kill her for fucking her husband.

Still, Marie was hopeful. She wrote to Paul, saying,

It would be so good to gain the freedom to see each other as much as our various occupations permit, to work together, to walk or to travel together, when conditions lend themselves. There are very deep affinities between us which only need a favorable life situation to develop. We had some presentiment of it in the past, but it didn't come into full consciousness until we found ourselves face to face, me in mourning for the beautiful life I had made for myself and which collapsed in such a disaster, you with your feeling that, in spite of your good will and your efforts, you had completely missed out on this family life which you had wished to be so abundant in joy.

Marie went on to even specify the various methods by which Paul Langevin could extricate himself from his marriage, which we can all now view as very generous indeed. Her letter describing these possibilities is more properly described as a lab report.

It took another year before the situation with the Langevins yielded to its inevitable conclusion. Paul left his home with his sons, and his wife filed an injunction declaring he had abandoned her. In the trial that followed, the relationship between Marie and Paul Langevin became abruptly public. As this unfolded, Marie won her second Nobel Prize, in 1911.

at a chemical company in Pittsburgh

French tabloids savaged her, and excerpts from her letters to Paul even appeared in newspapers. Friends in the academic community came to her defense. Albert Einstein wrote to her, saying, "I feel the need to tell you how much I have come to admire your spirit, your energy and your honesty... I will always be grateful that we have among us people like you  as well as Langevin  genuine human beings, in whose company one can rejoice. If the rabble continues to be occupied with you, simply stop reading that drivel. Leave it to the vipers it was fabricated for."

She would never have the kind of relationship she desired with Langevin. He felt so guilty about dragging her into the matter that he left money in his will for her daughters. Eventually he even reconciled with his wife, taking a more acceptable woman for his mistress  a secretary. For her part, Marie's disappointment with all that had transpired was inevitable, but she had already lost far more precious things.

Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording. He is a writer living in Manhattan. He tumbls here and twitters here. You can find an archive of his writing on This Recording here. He last wrote in these pages about Jane Campion's Top of the Lake.

"Another Me" - Tinashe (mp3)

"Reverie" - Tinashe (mp3)

 

References (94)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Incredible Nfl Jerseys - Cheapest Value On Line
  • Response
    NFL is truly a single of the largest sports in America. It has a key following.
  • Response
    Hi, this essay is despite the small, but rich in content. Reverie verbiage. If you want to see details:http://www.star-ring.it/tiffany.asp
  • Response
    UGG Boots get incredibly nicely recognized for being the makers of high excellent footwear
  • Response
    In Which We Cure Something Wrong With Us - Home - This Recording
  • Response
    Response: astuce candy crush
  • Response
    Where can I find the best online creative writing courses? I live in NYC so which colleges offer the best online creative writing course? If not in a college than where else?.
  • Response
    Response: prepaid anuities
    How do I change the background on my blogspot including sidebars?
  • Response
    Response: college iras
    I'm planning to start website where people can post projects and buy projects. Do you think it is a good idea?
  • Response
    Response: http://cec-lab.com
    Im 13 and i really want to start a blog?
  • Response
    im pretty good with Dreamweaver so i know how to design the site, but i dont know which site would get alot of attention... i want either a Hip Hop site with news, board and etc.. or A youtube like site... or a porn site.. my main interest is making money ...
  • Response
    Response: inherit
    I'm interested in fashion and I want to start a blog but I have no idea where to start or how to get people interested in my blog. Any ideas welcome..
  • Response
    I want to start a fashion/lifestyle blog. I love photography, but I want to upgrade my digital camera to a more professional one. I also wanted to start this blog, so which camera would you recommend me. I have a small budget, so if you could find something that is not ...
  • Response
    Response: what is an ira
    I want to be able to write entries and add pics. I do not mean something like myspace or facebook or anything like that. I mean an actual blog. .
  • Response
    Response: pizza hut coupon
    In Which We Cure Something Wrong With Us - Home - This Recording
  • Response
    I have an idea for a really good website but have never started a website before, so I don't know where to start..
  • Response
    Response: petmeds
    I need a computer program that will automatically start another program and not let that program close for a work computer. So basically, when the computer starts up, this program I am looking for will start a work-related program and force it to stay open, so that the only use of ...
  • Response
    Response: gold investments
    Starting with registering the domain and designing the layout.
  • Response
    Response: pet supplies
    I'm looking for a free or cheap webhost to move my Joomla website to from my localhost. I want a webhost that doesn't use Fantastico as its only method of installation? Any suggestions?.
  • Response
    Response: Pass my Test
    How do I display new blog posts on my homepage?
  • Response
    I have a website I will be updating a few times a week with original animations and short films along with concept art for the animations and other kinds of media. How can I copyright everything on my site so that the copyright info I have on the bottom of every ...
  • Response
    Response: skateboard decks
    If somebody like Julia Roberts or Natalie Portman had a personal blog where they posted pictures of their vacations or something, would you still take them seriously as actors? Do you think celebrities with personal blogs are less credible and taken less seriously than those who don't? Furthermore, would you visit ...
  • Response
    Response: march madness 2014
    How do I add the Google Analytics code to a Joomla website?
  • Response
    Response: the full details
    how can u get rid of unwanted files on ur computer....like old movies u deleted that are still on the computer or books that were digital?!.
  • Response
    How do you create a blog or a blog webpage?
  • Response
    What is the best application for posting blogs or articles to my website?
  • Response
    I developed a joomla site on my localhost. Now I want to upload it to GoDaddy. How do I do that?
  • Response
    Response: go now
    Attention-grabbing views concerning that!
  • Response
    How can I add a hit counter to my blogger blog? Detailed instructions would be appreciated. I searched counter on google and i can get this html code but i dont know what to do with it. Thanks!.
  • Response
    The first piece is geotagging each blog post on some sort of map.. . The second piece is meshing those points on a map with other people. Essentially we'd like several members of our team to provide updates regularly and post their locations to the same map..
  • Response
    Response: visit site
    How do I start a website for free or cheap?
  • Response
    I want to start website very soon but I need to know certain costs. What factors did you have to pay for when you started up our website?. . How much was a website designer?. How much was your domain name?. What is your monthly rent for the domain name?. How ...
  • Response
    Response: Plumber
    I've Googled around but no luck yet. The ones I've come across so far all have to do with MP3s, software and what not. If you have any in mind, please provide links to the sources. Many thanks in advance!.
  • Response
    Response: sources tell me
    Hello everyone,. . I am looking to buy a new computer to run an Adobe CS4 Suite. Let just say the Master Suite. I'm mostly going to be running Premiere, Illustrator and Photoshop. I want a computer that is going to completely dominate without any problems whatsoever. Price is not an ...
  • Response
    Response: Roofers Dublin
    I want to write an article on my website to share with people. How can I make sure that no one copies what I have written and claim it as their own? Is there some place where I can "register" my work so that I have proof that it's my work ...
  • Response
    I have a degree in creative writing from a top university, but still have no significant credits yet. How should I go about getting published in a reputable magazine or web site for the first time? Is self-publishing the way to go? I have short stories that are done, but I ...
  • Response
    I am developing a joomla website for a boat club and would like members to be able to upload photos of fish they caught. Additional info: I am basing the structure on the K2 component..
  • Response
    Response: linked here
    I am just starting out and want to get a blog started..
  • Response
    Response: dasuquin with msn
    I would like to start a jobs website using Joomla or Wordpress. Is this possible?
  • Response
    I want to start a fashion/lifestyle blog. I love photography, but I want to upgrade my digital camera to a more professional one. I also wanted to start this blog, so which camera would you recommend me. I have a small budget, so if you could find something that is not ...
  • Response
    I just posted my first blog on blogspot. How will people find it? Do i have to give them the link, or can just anyone find it?.
  • Response
    I have asked several questions, and many of the replies suggest that I consider FIREFOX. I'm not sure what it is - probably a browser. Is it similar to Netscape and Internet Explorer? What are its good features and its bad features?.
  • Response
    Right now firefox automatically downloads an mp3 and opens it. I want it to prompt me with the dialog box so I can choose where to save it. I've looked in options->downloads->view and edit actions and there is nothing set there that I can change..
  • Response
    I'm trying to start up a small blog, primarily to hold a few short stories I've written and get feedback, but also for various other blog-type activities. This won't do me any good if I can't get my words where people can read them.. . Blogspot is preferred, but anything allowing ...
  • Response
    Response: I was reading this
    How to stop Firefox download window from popping up in Mac?
  • Response
    I need some very creative ideas that will loosen up the atmosphere as my students are very serious. Any word games or writing games are appreciated!.
  • Response
    Any suggestions on sites to start a blog where I can BS sports and another happenings?
  • Response
    I want to start a blog to write about everything that happens at school and with friends...anonymously...any sugestions?.
  • Response
    Response: social media tips
    What blogs do you read for information on the candidates?
  • Response
    I was thinking of publishing or posting online some of my articles I've written for school but can't afford to copyright them. If they are in my school paper, do I hold any ownership over them or are they protected by law?.
  • Response
    I want to be able to forward Mashable's or Engadgets, or Techcrunch's blog post titles to my blog. Just the titles, not the actually blog part. Is this in any way possible?.
  • Response
    What computer software do you need to make business cards from a personal computer?
  • Response
    Response: no title
    I am helping some friends get their shop on the map and noticed. They have a web site. One of the ways in my research to optimize a web site is to use a blog. I am not blog savvy and neither are they so need a little help as to ...
  • Response
    Good points
  • Response
    Response: click this
    What is the best way to copyright the content of an online blog?
  • Response
    Response: visit this link
    Where students and I can post answers for others students.. Somewhere people can get answers for their quizes and tests.. No sarcastic answers or anything.. If enough people say yes, then I will definetely start one and send those people the link to the blog..
  • Response
    Response: extra resources
    I have a degree in psychology, which I have found to be useless. And I am planning on going back to school and getting a Masters in Creative Writing, because I enjoy writing and would love to learn more techniques to make myself a better writer. I am worried, however, that ...
  • Response
    Response: see here now
    I've been building websites for a while now... like 10 years, haha. Just for fun of course. Nothing major. But some people have seen my work and suggested I start a website building business or some sort. How would I go about doing this? I don't know a whole lot about ...
  • Response
    Response: health insurance
    I want to change my home page to another page with wordpress, is it possible?.
  • Response
    How come I get this ? when using Firefox and when I am using Internet Explorer shows what I am supposed to get, (Wed) ,as the text. If you cannot see what I put down it is a small box with the numbers 26 and 20 inside of it.. Is there ...
  • Response
    Response: visit homepage
    What is a good blogging site based on my needs?
  • Response
    see here for greatest seo posicionamiento around
  • Response
    see here for greatest posicionamiento en buscadores available
  • Response
    Response: Dev Panic Homepage
    Whenever I open firefox, it instantly crashes. I've tried opening it in safe mode and still it doesn't work. I even tried changing my homepage. When my friends give me a link in my msn messenger, it opens up firefox and it works fine, I'm able to browse the internet normally. ...
  • Response
    Response: PDX Water Articles
    If I want to use a font that says it's for personal use only, would it be ok to use on blogger? Also, I don't know if getting Google Adsense would make a difference..
  • Response
    Response: seovolución
    Can you access a computer from the iPod touch without installing anything onto the computer?
  • Response
    Response: click here
    I am at a crossroads in my career. I am in the middle of applying for law school, but I really want to write. Is there a field that can combine the two, or do I choose one over the other? I am not looking to practice law, that much I ...
  • Response
    I made a few songs and I want to know how to alter the copyright content on an MP3 file so I can share it online? I want to add (p) Swagers Studios (2009) to the copyright content and was wondering if it was possible. Any help is greatly appreciated.. It's ...
  • Response
    Response: gold ira
    How do I switch some blog posts from one of my blogs, onto a different blog. Both on Blogger?
  • Response
    Response: sex toys
    How do you compute the start-up costs for starting a website?
  • Response
    What are the best colleges for creative writing and screenwriting?
  • Response
    Ok so I have looked around a lot on this matter and I keep finding stuff like VNC (or VNSea) that allows you to access the computers on your WiFi network, but all of these require you to install something onto the computer itself. Is there a way to access the ...
  • Response
    I want to start a blog. It seems like blogspot is really popular. Does anyone have another free site that they like where you can make a blog?.
  • Response
    Response: EmiliNorriss
    In Which We Cure Something Wrong With Us - Home - This Recording
  • Response
    I have a blogspot account. I want to be able to see what state, country my visitors are from..
  • Response
    I have a blogspot account. I want to be able to see what state, country my visitors are from..
  • Response
    The top quality agencies work available
  • Response
    Response: ira to gold
    I want to study creative writing in college. As in to become a novelist or possibly screenplays. It doesnt really matter where as long as its an english speaking country. Anybody have any ideas of where would be best?.
  • Response
    how come some blogs in a blogroll do not have their most recent post listed and others do? How to change that?
  • Response
    Response: noindex file
    Is it true that blogs are just forum discussions with rss that would enable the user to watch what they wanted to watch more convieniently? Is that all the differences?.
  • Response
    Response: dui insurance
    Just got a Blogger account, it works good, but how do I find different users blogs I like with search. I remember there is a way, but I am not seeing it now. Thanks for your help..
  • Response
    So I kinda wanna get into blogging. I was wondering where can I make a blog where people might actually read it?.
  • Response
    How hard is it to write a wordpress theme to fit into an existing site?
  • Response
    Response: seo marketing
    get top quality video seo around
  • Response
    Response: consultor seo
    see here for top quality posicionamiento en google around
  • Response
    Response: seo en barcelona
    The top quality marketing online madrid around
  • Response
    I have been a yahoo users for some years now. I am only starting to make use of the tools which they provide, one of which being blog posts. I have written a blog and would like to know if my blog posts are being seen by others. If not then ...
  • Response
    Response: house sales
    ok so how to do it?. . i have seen people getting their blog posts published on their facebook fan page. pls help . thanks.
  • Response
    Response: dog arthritis meds
    get top quality glucosamine for dogs available
  • Response
    I have a food blog on blogger and I would like to add a option to make it easy for people to print my recipes. Any help? I have looked at the few places the net has up but they do not seem to be good nor work. Thank you..
  • Response
    What is the procedure to copyright a blog content (text and images)?. I wish to copyright the content on my blog (content and images)?? can anyone please guide as to how can i go abt it?.
  • Response
    Response: buy forskolin
    In Which We Cure Something Wrong With Us - Home - This Recording
  • Response
    In Which We Cure Something Wrong With Us - Home - This Recording
  • Response
    zdjęcia wspaniałe

Reader Comments (1)

Excellent article.Its really a good article. It gives me lots of pleasure and interest.
June 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSahibinden ilan ver

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.