A Beautiful Mind: A non-fiction by Sylvia Nasar

The life of the late John Nash (1928-2015) is a vivid example of the transformation of rumor into world legend. There was a time in Princeton University people, who did not know his undertaking during his youth, called him ‘Phantom of the Fine Hall’. Died last May in a car accident with his beloved wife, Alicia Larde, whom he met while was in MIT, his existence has inspired many. It is easy to understand and follow the rise and fall of a businessman. But, it is difficult to comprehend and appreciate the rise and fall of a genius. Nash, who had spiraled into schizophrenia in 1950s, sparks controversy when Nobel committee refuses to grant him the prize. It takes 45 years for him to gain global recognition. In 1994, Nash, in remission from schizophrenia, shared the Nobel Prize in economics for what he had done in his early 30s.

The book A Beautiful Mind written by Sylvia Nasar portrays the life of the professor in mathematics. His story gains positive responses, though only few people understand how hard it was for Sylvia to compose it since Nash himself preferred to remain silent at first. However, most of his colleagues and relatives promoted the making of the book. They feel that the world should understand the pain of being John Nash: A genius mathematician who suffered from madness, being neglected and abandoned for decades regardless of the magnitude of his contribution in game theory, then experiences reawakening. He comes back to life. The world accepts and acknowledges the presence of the former RAND Cold War Strategist.

Nash’s story evokes emotion and brings hope among those of the same condition. One day Sylvia receives a letter from a man. He was an editor at a renowned newspaper but lived as a tramp on the street due to acute schizophrenia. He is inspired by A Beautiful Mind she wrote, and believes that one day the world will be back to him. Just like what Alicia Larde said, the man believes that ‘Something extraordinary is possible’.

Nash’s story inspires Hollywood to make a movie about him. They have it eventually, by putting Russel Crowe and Jennifer Connelly as Nash and Alicia. The movie is released in 2001 and entitled the same, and visualizes the loving relationship between the husband and wife. It is not a boring drama about the life of a genius. The movie portrays a genius as an ordinary man with a loving wife. It is not exaggerative for saying that Alicia Larde is a gift from God for a man with beautiful mind like John Nash. She is the only one behind Nash’s reawakening since she believes in one thing: Everything will be okay in the end, if it is not okay then it is not the end.


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