Unfortunately, what followed did not justify (my) expectation.
I write this 2 days after Einstein's Theory of Relativity finally
was awarded the Nobel Prize-in fact, its last experimental check.
Einstein himself was awarded the Nobel Prize for other contributions, though
the most important test of his theory of gravitation had already been made
at that time. However, Relativity did not seem attractive enough, Academia
establishment did not quite believe it.
Today they trust Einstein unconditionally, for everything that this little man has
predicted in equations, persisted. In fact, this last confirmation of gravity waves,
even himself would have troubles to swallow, because he thought the gravity waves
did not carry any energy, so they would not have any effect on the matter through
which they pass. A. Trautman, a Polish physicist, proved him wrong in a paper
stating that gravitational waves do carry energy and were, consequently,
measurable. But, stubborn as Einstein was, he never accepted it and in effect
hindered early development of that part of physics.
Similar stuborness costed his family and hinself a lot. But one is expecting
some trouble from a genius, no?
Einstein's biographies have passed a full circle of biographies of great
men: from the saintly idealization to the ugly muds of private life. I hoped
that S. Drakulic would do it the way I liked in eg. her writing about Dora
Maar. The task to present Albert's shadow/wife is a proper one
for this writer.
She started well, showing the beginning of a common life, somewhat similar
to Marie Curie biography. But shortly afterward, the three-dimensional character
loses its depth. In the end, only the two-dimensional picture with
the broken cover remains,
Maybe it was the problem with the available material, the letters? That would be
strange, the legacy behind Einstein should be big and enough to gather more
data than this mentioned in the book. Or some of it was destroyed? If so,
the author should find a way to describe the reasons for the lack of it in the
book. This would maybe explain a kind of plain feeling about characters.
Even so, it clarified to me how Einstein came to his theories, in discussions
with Mileva and other friends of their student circle. I could hardly
imagine him to do it any other way than in heated discussions. Also, I was
suspecting that Mileva helped greatly in writing, ordering the material in
In his family life with Mileva, Einstein did what even in theory would not hold
water, even less so in practice. It had tragic consequences. He was not
enough mature to think about person he has from the other side, a
potentially depressive and insecure person. He should support Mileva much
earlier to be on her own, not push her down. Then he would also have gained
more freedom of action, which obviously he needed.
Mileva's father commented well when the marriage finally came to an end,
that he respects Albert as a scientist and father of his grandchildren,
but that he noticed early that he was not good as a husband. And he was not,
as he did not show enough concern for either Mileva or the children.
Mileva had unrestrained support from her father in paying for her study, which
for that time, early 20th century, was not a small step for the Balkans.
Albert did not ignore her needs either, in the early days. She actually
was of a troubled psyche, with a strong tendency to depression. And
And lack of luck, chronic lack of happiness.
Really a pity, with a bit more happiness, she could have been like
Marie Curie, she had the ability to be. It's sad to see someone's potential
crumbled under the pressure of everyday life.
A bit more information from documentation would not hurt in this book. Or a
description of why the author could not get to it. This way, there remains
a broken picture from the book cover:
Except if... maybe that's the only way possible? Mileva Maric was just that,
a broken existence?