A Dangerous Liaison

In 1899, Einstein gave the following advice to Julia Niggli, a young woman acquaintance from Aarau who was agonizing over her possible marriage to an older man:

“What a strange thing must be a girl’s soul!  Do you really believe that you could find permanent happiness through others, even if this be the one and only beloved man?  I know this sort of animal personally, from my own experience as I am one of them myself.  Not too much should be expected from them, this I know quite exactly.  Today we are sullen, tomorrow high-spirited, after tomorrow cold, then again irritated and half-sick of life—and so it goes—but I have almost forgotten the unfaithfulness and ingratitude and selfishness, things in which almost all of us do significantly better than the good girls.”



Einstein was 20 years old at the time and. to my mind, showed a surprising measure of self-awareness.


Oh, Mileva, take heed. 

About Nancy Pinard

Professionally-speaking, Nancy Pinard is an author-educator who spends her days writing, teaching, reading, and researching for her writing and teaching. She is the author of two published novels, Shadow Dancing and Butterfly Soup, and numerous short stories. She has taught the craft of fiction writing in many venues including Sinclair Community College, University of Dayton Life-Long Learning Institute, Antioch Writers' Workshop, Mad Anthony Writers' Workshop, and Molasses Pond Writers' Workshop. Personally, her faith is what sustains, inspires, and motivates her to continue to explore meaning through literature. "You are right in demanding that an artist approach his work consciously, but you are confusing two concepts: the solution of a problem and the correct formulation of a problem. Only the second is required of the artist." — Anton Chekov to Alexei Suvorin, October 27, 1888
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