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A few excerpts...
"My history and geography as a boy, the history and geography that moved me, was based more on chemistry than on wars or world events. I followed the fortunes of the early chemists more closely than the fortunes of the contending forces in the war...” (Ch. 6: The Land of Stibnite)
"[The] scientists, the early chemists, whom I read about became, in a sense, honorary ancestors, people to whom, in fantasy, I had a sort of connection. I needed to understand how these early chemists thought, to imagine myself into their worlds.” (Ch. 10: A Chemical Language)
"...I sought for (and sometimes achieved) an intense concentration, a complete absorption in the worlds of mineralogy and chemistry and physics, in science - focusing on them, holding myself together in the chaos.” (Ch. 15: Home Life)
"I think I identified at times with the inert gases, and at other times anthropomorphized them, imagining them lonely, cut off, yearning to bond." (Ch. 16: Mendeleev's Garden)
... I could go on - there were many more passages that jumped out for me, and how to determine which were most "representative" of this story? I chose these quotes because they seemed to me to anticipate the peculiar nature of this memoir. Read on for first impressions, and to add your own...
(While this page is part of an ongoing book club discussion, visitors are warmly invited to share their experiences and join the conversation.)