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Science as AutobiographyThe Troubled Life of Niels Jern$
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Thomas Soderqvist

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300094411

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300094411.001.0001

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“Stylistically, I'm Best at Irony”

“Stylistically, I'm Best at Irony”

(p.16) 2 “Stylistically, I'm Best at Irony”
Science as Autobiography

Thomas Söderqvist

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on the object of the then sixteen-year-old Niels Jerne's affection—Jeanine Reyss, a French girl from Kralingen. The infatuation was mutual, though she was unsure of his sincerity. Maybe he would rather flirt with some of the other girls on the tennis court, she thought, maybe one of those who called him the “Charme of Charmes”? Jeanine's doubts wounded him, and he threatened to turn ironical, for, as he said, “stylistically, I'm best at irony.” His tendency to become a detached observer always haunted him: one moment he imagined sitting next to her with his hands around her waist, kissing her without uttering a word; in the next, the feeling vanished and he became “sober as a judge.”

Keywords:   Niels Jerne, infatuation, Jeanine Reyss, Kralingen, sincerity, irony, detached observer

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