« Stuff You Missed in History Class

Behind the Scenes Minis: Cecilia and Maria Anna

2020-11-13 | 🔗

Tracy and Holly talk about the sexism that held back Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin,the desire to see her lecture notes, and stories from their education. Talk then turns to Maria Anna Mozart and the gaps in the record that lead to different interpretations of the Mozart family dynamics.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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welcome to stuff you missed in history class product, of I heart radio, happy Friday, I'm Tracy Wilson, Molly fry one of the episodes we talked about this week with failure paying Bush in pretty great pretty great. I, like I said at the top of show. I don't love sexism that was part of this episode, but I
I've heard one of the points that have been made about her is that her discovery was of the same caliber as like the discovery of gravity like like a she should have a name. That's recognizes as recognisable as somebody like Isaac Newton, but it's not and something that I read in several places and thought myself that I didn't get into an episode because it is really conjecture is she was so brilliant and so meticulous and so determined. What else might she have discovered if she had not had to be Harlow Shackles Assistant right because of her sex? If she could have just been exploring what excited interested her yeah, we will never know but she should be as well recognised as an Isaac Newton, nor an Einstein or Brigham and keep fighting the fight rate. We at least get her name out there, a little more yeah. The next person can talk about it.
Somebody a go hey of humor this woman, ammonia eventually get her more recognised well and I you really want to recommend the new biography of her. It just came out. I feel, like maybe March, of this it's pretty names by Donovan more and it's called what stars are made of the life of Cecilia, paying Paskin. It is from Harvard University Press, it's really lovely and really, I mean, obviously very thoroughly researched with lots and lots of footnotes. You can also find her her autobiography still. She loved literature so much that the way she wrote about things could be like very lyrical and beautiful. In addition to just
interesting and full of details about her life. Do you know this occurred to me during the episode, and I didn't want to derail us with his question, but did you ever find because you mentioned her students talking about how she was very intimidating, but her lectures were very beautiful and very memorable Are there lecture notes leg didn't do we ever have any of her? I dont know cause that would, amazing reading. Everything would be amazing while I'm considering that she she was alive into the seventies, like I wasn't able to watch the whole talk, but I watch the the beginning of a talk that was about this by the author and in the introduction, the person introducing the author talked about having actually taking classes with her back in the seventies when she was still teaching at Harvard. So it's it would not. Surprise me. I know there are collections of her her manuscripts and what not yeah if there were not a pandemic. I would just go over to heart,
well one day the list of things to deal but I in the dream book of things you wish to do after this is all over yeah. I feel like she's, one of those people I knew a veterinarian. This is going to sound like it's completely different, but I The point I knew a veterinarian at one point that one of their colleagues was telling me that they always loved to lead. They were always very comfortable stepping into treating a patient for that that if she was ever out, because her notes and her details about everything that has gone on, we're so meticulous and so well written that it was almost
like reading novella about that animal, like you would know walking, he not only what all of its medical staff was but like about its disposition, and you had a pretty good sense of lake. The creature you are about to treat am, I feel, like her notes in prep, for her lectures are probably very similar near one of the reasons feel kinship with her. I am not in any stretch the the brilliant scientists flash just mind and general that she was, but the way her early school teachers approached her like making her the object for the rest of the class. I had teachers that did that to me and it sucks. So some of the story is about. Like you know this, child beat all of you in this exam. How did you let this child do that, like? I would be the sometimes I would be the like. Tracy behaved. Why can't the rest of you behave like Tracy
and I was like well now- I mortified and my peers are going to believe me like that. That was a piece of our story that there was overlap in, and I just I wanted to go yell at her teachers who are all dead from so long ago. This point that didn't bother me, although it does remind me of a funny story that I will tell you that is embarrassing, because I definitely lake. I was that kid for a long time, and then, as I got into my teenage years and started, sewing my wild oats. I stopped being so much that kid and I pretty much Lake MAC stout. In terms of like the amount of study, I was willing to do you, and so there were classes that I ended up getting into that. I probably should in a bag- but there I was, and I just kind of sold soldier through and the first exam that we had senior year in physics, I was the only person who got an a wow
Oh, don't even because this teacher went on about like how promising a student I wise and girl I mean that stuff I was like gas saying I didn't. It was literally like winning the lottery of exams like I am no, I didn't. I could have told you a single thing or understood a single concept on it. Asked why we were, and so it was like this awkward thing as you.
In those kinds of classes. Go any form, study groups and people are like a highly probably know says. I don't know what you're talking about, and then I just under performed the rest of the year so to stir bounds it out there. I had quite forgotten that until just this moment of today's Bind Viens includes stories for crazy hollings earlier academic life. Anyway, I love Cecilia, paying a pushkin per great. You can find pictures of the portrait of her online. I do not know if, where that is hanging at Harvard as a place that is accessible to the public, but if it is, that will also be on the list of things to do after the pandemic, which one can hope will ever be over. I know my list is getting very long. While we wait it's this legally
about Marianna Mozart. Who is someone who kind of pops up in my consciousness and on my list and then I have gone to other things, but it's fell a time for her it. It's into because I think she gets sensationalized a little bit his like. The other vendor Kinda Mozart, family, who was you know, cast aside and must not entirely accurate one. That I found really really interesting in all my researches. The different ways that different historians of biographers have characterized their father Leopold biggest some make him out definitely to be something of a controlling. Stir, whereas others really are like well wait. Some of this looks really control owing to the modern I, but, like his whole thing of lake, I don't want you perform any more could legit, what we have been a concern that he was a She would never get married and have like a normal life if she did that right. There
certainly also benefits to him, keeping her at home, taking care of him in the house and all of his stuff. It's an inch and will never now really because there there are some pretty big gaps in the record of some of those relationships on which we talked about on the show, allegedly letters between votes gang, uphold about Constanza, got burned by Constanza, so we don't really know about any discussions happened between father and son about that marriage, there's a lot more there. Obviously it wasn't an episode about votes gang, but his whole lake life story is complicated and full of twists and turns, and Lake Constance Is not the first sister of that family that he had been involved with and lingers an extra layer of complication they Emma? Yes, there's a la alot of drama, but it is it's a very interesting. You know that
we'll faintly there, so many people who literally just focus on that family in its its far reaching you know, influences on music and culture that we still feel today. But I wouldn't I would never claimed to be anything more than a dilatory in that regard. But it is pretty fascinating to read different people talk about their theories about the family interpersonal communication. At her I mean I I, the hall allowing her father to raise her son is a is one that people get really hung up on which understandably it super weird. It's not super strange necessarily for a grandparent to raise somebody's child,
the nature of that whole like I went and gave birth, and then I left the kid with my dad and went home to my home were theoretically that child could have returned home. There was ass. You know that makes it a little bit hard, I think, for people to wrap their brains around yeah bonnets. I can imagine scenarios where it doesnt seem that strange at all on some of them we can nodded to like. There are already a lot of children at home, but a lot of the time like when I have known people who say sibling and a lot of kids in the siblings family, and usually it's been one of the older children who has come to live not, a newborn new born is the part that that makes it a little bit a low but hard to two parse yeah yeah I mean I, I.
As as you're pointing out right. Every family has its its own dynamics and shifts and ways to Blake Function and cope, and, in times of screen Valley just seems like a strange Leupold wanting to them be like no. This is a permanent arrangement. This is I'm raising. Him is It does I mean I I don't I my initial reaction was oh. I bet he wanted. Mozart part too little Mozart, the sequel, especially when you consider that you know he had reached the point where he was no longer really part of his son's career in a way, I think, formed his identity for a long time. So then, to kind of be like we don't need you in that capacity anymore, probably messed this head. That's always my thing that I try to remember. I think you do as well. I think most people probably do whether they're conscious of it or not any figures we talk about in
three were humans that we're dealing with their own raw plaques internal stories. Were They were aware of how they were processing things and behaving or not. You know we there's a human, I mean how many times have any of us. I know it's happen to me where I'll be behaving in a way, and even I know like this making unnecessary friction in my life ray and then I'll think about it go. Oh, I see I'm not actually coping with this other thing, but if you don't about that you never get to that solution, and the behavior continues in It's all kinds of other per and everybody has had that. So I think about how many big historical moments or events or even figures in terms of specific people
We have reduced the bad formed by that kind of thing. We're like a moment of introspection would have completely changed the trajectory we can never know it's just a fascinating sort of brain puzzle to distract yourself with yeah at the thing that I think makes me the saddest about their story like I wish she had been able to have a career publicly as as a musician or a composer, but. Like the society, was not really open to that at the time. No, there were a few women who perform music, but again those were like the outlying were to arise budgets in terms of their personal story. The fact that they had that that she and her brother had been so so close when they were
Let all and then, when they became adults, each of them really did not have a sense of what was going on in the other one's life anymore, and that's that's the parts of me that like makes me really sad for them ya like this. I have you know a sort of alternate history wish like some of them, I'm an imagined somebody has written historical novel about things went differently and she was able to continue and form as an adult, but like the thing that I really just wish, I could go back and indeed is like get get them to three more connected to each other, as they grew up right yeah. It's also interesting because as much as Leopold may not have been particularly enthused about Constanza and perhaps Marianna wasn't either lake bat really does seem too,
a pretty good match for both gang in terms of leg. She stood by him through a lot of stuff. You know wealth, poverty and having many children and a lot of stress So it is it's a little interesting that their judgment on that matter might not have been awesome and, as a consequence, that's that's where you know that breakdown seems to have happened for a lot of their their family relationships in it. It does like you said it's it's heartbreaking that they probably could have helped each other through some unhappy times. You know. Certainly there were bigger issues in play than like anybody can magically fix for someone else, but it still is. That is, I think, I agree, the heartbreak really of their story, ah siblings, so that wraps up are our casual Friday. For today I hope you have a one.
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Transcript generated on 2020-11-22.