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Letters Sum Up Einsteins' Love

May 04, 1987|DAVE JOHNSON

Relatively speaking, correspondence between Albert Einstein and Mileva Maric, who became his first wife, makes interesting reading. Their letters, revealing a troubled romance and the excitement of mathematical discovery, were discovered when material was being gathered for "The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein," the New York Times reported. At 20, Einstein wrote a letter in which he anticipated his first theory of relativity, published six years later. Other letters reflect troubles with relatives and tell of the despair the couple felt over Einstein's mother's refusal to accept Maric as a suitable wife. "You are ruining your future and blocking your path through life," Einstein quoted his mother as saying. The messages also reveal that the couple had a daughter born before they were married. The newspaper said there was no record of what happened to the girl. The Einsteins later had two sons, and were divorced in 1919.

--Brett Williams had a lot in common with Ronnie DeSillers, but Brett's story is more one of survival than of sorrow. The two little boys never met, though each had three liver transplants at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh, once at the same hour in adjacent operating rooms. Now Brett, 3 1/2, of Alum Bank, Pa., is in fair condition and recovering in relative obscurity. His mother, Darlene Williams, said she does not know whether she will someday tell her son about Ronnie, the 7-year-old whom hundreds mourned at his funeral and burial Saturday, but she will tell him about the many success stories, including his own. "You have to tell the people now who are feeling like 'what's the point' that there is a reason out there, and here's one of them," she said. Williams and Maria DeSillers, Ronnie's mother, consoled each other through their sons' operations. And when Ronnie died, Williams cried too.

--A special performance of "Aida" drew the rich and famous to the ruins of a pharaoh's temple in Luxor, Egypt, but critics cursed the "double Domingo" effect, the echoing of tenor Placido Domingo's voice because of poor acoustics in the open-air theater. Nearly 5,000 jet-setters and other well-heeled tourists, including Queen Sophia of Spain and Princess Caroline of Monaco, packed grandstand seats that cost $250 to $500 each. The sold-out Saturday debut was the first performance of the classic love story at the 3,400-year-old Luxor temple--the setting that Giuseppe Verdi intended when he composed the opera to mark the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. "Only Beethoven would love it--when he was stone deaf," said Paul de Neef, a Dutch critic.

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