By Louis-Cyril Celestin
Genius and dilettantism frequently move hand in hand. Nowhere is that this more true than within the lifetime of Charles-Edouard Brown-Séquard, the bilingual medical professional and neurologist who succeeded Claude Bernard because the Chair of Experimental drugs on the university de France in Paris after having practiced in Paris, London and within the united states, in particular in Harvard.
For so much males, making one discovery of world value may have sufficed to fulfill their interest and self-image. no longer so Brown-Séquard. His rationalization of the neurological disparity following the hemi-section of the spinal twine was once a special fulfillment that additional his identify to the syndrome and made him immortal. but, the demons of his brain tormented him in his unending look for clinical truths and drove him to discover different phenomena, trying to clarify and therapy them.
This precise biography indicates for the 1st time the clash among his specialist and private lifestyles, and may entice all scholars of scientific background and psychology.
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Extra resources for Charles-Edouard Brown-Séquard: The Biography of a Tormented Genius
Bixio A (1848) Lettre à Brown-Séquard. GMcCC, Ms 981/106. 6th Oct. 42 6 The Lone Experimenter: 1846–1851 I am sorry, …that the hope we had entertained for your poor friend Brown-Séquard is indefinitely postponed. There are, at the Ministry of Public Education, funds intended to help men of letters and scholars not comfortably well off. Do you want me to ask a portion of that fund for M. Brown? 27 Another person to come to his help was Pierre Rayer. He lent him an induction machine to treat the former’s private patients who could benefit from the application of galvanic current.
These were Mme. Lantour, who called either with her granddaughter, Délice Baudiac28 or with another elderly woman, Mme. Chandelier29 Edouard, on the other hand, was a loner, who felt more at ease in the company of older men. … If you have may it soon be fulfilled! How happy I should be then… Both for mamma and for myself. I have not a single friend here, not one. That is the truth. There are, in the world, three persons whom I love at least as myself and two are far away, you and Jules Chauvin.
39 After a week or so, the cat’s tail bled when pricked, indicating some sort of circulation within the implanted part. Eleven days after the operation, however, the cat’s tail was torn off by another cock, presumably jealous of his rival’s prominent appendage! What was interesting to Brown-Séquard was that the tail bled and that its tissues were alive. His experiments were still fuelling journalistic imagination.