Explorer of the Human Brain: The Life of Santiago Ramon y Cajal (1852-1934)

Explorer of the Human Brain: The Life of Santiago Ramon y Cajal (1852-1934)

Explorer of the Human Brain: The Life of Santiago Ramon y Cajal (1852-1934)

Explorer of the Human Brain: The Life of Santiago Ramon y Cajal (1852-1934)

Excerpt

CAJAL'S STORY is a remarkable one--varied yet always engaging-- and his personality is appealing from first to last. So much have I found this to be true that the many hours of research exacted by the preparation of his biography have been a pleasurable release from the more prosaic duties of recent years. If my own enjoyment in writing this book somehow manages to seep through its pages to the reader, he too, perhaps, will find this acquaintance with Cajal rewarding and the events of his life as interesting, amusing, and poignantly touching as they have seemed to me. Though I admire Don Santiago greatly, I have tried to keep this account from becoming a mere glorification of a great man. I have tried to present a true portrait of him as he was to those who knew him-- in all his strength of character and of purpose, yet with none of his human weaknesses hidden from view. A bit disconcertingly, the weaknesses have proved to be but few and are for the most part endearing.

Throughout the chapters there are a number of quoted passages, translated from the Spanish of Cajal's own works chiefly, but also frequently from other Spanish writings, and from German, French, and Italian sources as well. Translation imposes its own limitations. Cervantes says somewhere in Don Quixote that translating from one language to another is like looking at a Flem-

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