Tags » Primo Levi
In his charming essays about science, European history and life,
Primo Levi provided some background for how chemical orthography got so beautifully standardized:
“Now, chemistry was not born all of a piece like Minerva, but laboriously, through patient but blind trials and errors of three generations of chemists, who spoke different languages and often communicated with each other only by letter; therefore the chemistry of the past century was gradually consolidated through a terrible confusion of tongues, whose vestiges still survive in the chemistry of today. 79 more words
This book was first recommended to me at the end of my freshman year of college. I had just made the switch in my major from International Relations to Chemical/Biomolecular Engineering (which I later dropped in favor of a plain ol’ Chemistry degree). 455 more words
“My soul clings to the sidewalk,” Primo Levi’s biblical pun from his essay in praise of ancient urban pedestrian walkways, describing the traces of medieval stonecutters still visible at the far edges, in the lee of old buildings, and the marks of centuries of human and horse traffic on the soft easily-worked stones.