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208 pages, Hardcover
First published November 1, 2010
To see, to feel, to smell, to hear, to taste, these are the only invisible facts—but which we acknowledge are real—the sensations of horror that kills, of grief that prostrates, joy that uplifts, and faith that cures—what if these things can be registered and seen apart from the body, are they not then material things? And may they not indicate that other invisible materials exist—which are in reality material if we had the human capacity for observing them?... Perhaps Radium and its sister elements may one day help us here. We may not believe, but we do not know that we should not believe!
We collected flowering chestnut branches and gathered a huge bouquet of large water buttercups that you loved so ... We slept nuzzled against each other, as always ... I sat down against you and lay across your body ... I had a little clenching in my heart holding you there, but I felt happy...
They brought you in and placed you on the bed ... I kissed you and you were still supple and almost warm.... Pierre, my Pierre, you are there, calm as a poor wounded man resting in his sleep, his head bandaged. Your face is sweet, as if you dream.
... My Pierre, I got up after after slept rather well, relatively calm. That was barely a quarter of an hour ago, and now I want to howl again - like a savage beast."
I am trembling with impatience at the thought of seeing you return at last, and of telling you how much I missed you. I kiss you tenderly awaiting tomorrow.
Using this process to create the images in this book made sense to me for a number of reasons. First, the negative of an image gives an impression of an internal light, a sense of glowing that I felt captured what Marie Curie called radium's "spontaneous luminosity". ... Second, because photographic imaging was central to the discovery both of X-rays and of radioactivity ... Last, I later learned, Prussian blue capsules were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a "safe and effective" treatment for internal contamination by radioactive cesium and radioactive thallium.
With apologies to Marie Curie, who said, “There is no connection between my scientific work and the facts of private life.”Part biography part historical account, Radioactive looks at Marie Curie’s scientific accomplishments, her personal life, and her everlasting effect on our world. Lauren Redniss’ thoughtful technique provides the reader with a unique visual experience.