Aging and Identity: A Humanities Perspective

Sara Munson Deats, Lagretta Tallent Lenker
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999 - 256 ページ

Viewing artistic works through the lens of both contemporary gerontological theory and postmodernist concepts, the contributing scholars examine literary treatments, cinematic depictions, and artistic portraits of aging from Shakespeare to Hemingway, from Horton Foote to Disney, from Rembrandt to Alice Neale, while also comparing the attitudes toward aging in Native American, African American, and Anglo American literature. The examples demonstrate that long before gerontologists endorsed a Janus-faced model of aging, artists were celebrating the diversity of the elderly, challenging the bio-medical equation of senescence with inevitable senility. Underlying all of this discussion is the firm conviction that cultural texts construct as well as encode the conventional perceptions of their society; that literature, the arts, and the media not only mirror society's mores but can also help to create and enforce them.


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The Dialectic of Aging in Shakespeares King Lear and The Tempest
Shakespeare Teaching Geriatrics Lear and Prospero as Case Studies in Aged Heterogeneity
Why? versus Why Not? Potentialities of Aging in Shaws Back to Methuselah
Hemingways Aging Heroes and the Concept of Phronesis
Bertrand Russell in His Nineties Aging and the Problem of Biography
Work Contentment and Identity in Aging Women in Literature
Old Maids and Old Mansions The Barren Sisters of Hawthorne Dickens and Faulkner
Aging and Academe Caricature or Character
Aging and the Public Schools Visits of Charity The Young Look at the Old
Aging and Contemporary Art
The Return Home Affirmations and Transformations of Identity in Horton Footes The Trip to Bountiful
Animated Gerontophobia Ageism Sexism and the Disney Villainess
8 12 and Me The ThirtyTwoYear Difference

The Aging Artist The Sad but Instructive Case of Virginia Woolf
The Sacred Ghost The Role of the Elderly in Native American Literature
Aging and the AfricanAmerican Community The Case of Ernest J Gaines
Aging and the Continental Community Good Counsel in the Writings of Two Mature European Princesses Marguerite de Navarre and Madame Palati...
About the Editors and Contributors

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28 ページ - Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are, That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm, How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides, Your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you From seasons such as these ? O, I have ta'en Too little care of this ! Take physic, pomp ; Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel, That thou mayst shake the superflux to them, And show the heavens more just.
43 ページ - Pray, do not mock me : I am a very foolish fond old man, Fourscore and upward, not an hour more nor less; And, to deal plainly, I fear I am not in my perfect mind. Methinks I should know you, and know this man; Yet I am doubtful: for I am mainly ignorant What place this is; and all the skill I have Remembers not these garments; nor I know not Where I did lodge last night. Do not laugh at me: For, as I am a man, I think this lady To be my child Cordelia.
64 ページ - What did he fear? It was not fear or dread. It was a nothing that he knew too well. It was all a nothing and a man was nothing too. It was only that the light was all it needed and a certain cleanness and order.
37 ページ - O ! wonder ! How many goodly creatures are there here ! How beauteous mankind is ! O brave new world, That has such people in't ! Pro.
75 ページ - You are killing me, fish, the old man thought. But you have a right to. Never have I seen a greater, or more beautiful, or a calmer or more noble thing than you, brother. Come on and kill me. I do not care who kills who.
64 ページ - We are of two different kinds." the older waiter said. He was now dressed to go home. "It is not only a question of youth and confidence although those things are very beautiful. Each night I am reluctant to close up because there may be some one who needs the cafe?' "Hombre, there are bodegas open all night long.
191 ページ - See, on the portals He's waiting and watching, Watching for you and for me.
122 ページ - Examine for a moment an ordinary mind on an ordinary day. The mind receives a myriad impressions — trivial, fantastic, evanescent, or engraved with the sharpness of steel. From all sides they come, an incessant shower of innumerable atoms; and as they fall, as they shape themselves into the life of Monday or Tuesday, the accent falls differently from of old...
124 ページ - I wish to add some remarks to this, on the mystical side of this [solitude]; how it is not oneself but something in the universe that one's left with. It is this that is frightening and exciting in the midst of my profound gloom, depression, boredom, whatever it is. One sees a fin passing far out.
201 ページ - Whereas man grows old gradually, woman is suddenly deprived of her femininity; she is still relatively young when she loses the erotic attractiveness and the fertility which, in the view of society and in her own, provide the justification of her existence and her opportunity for happiness. With no future, she still has about one half of her adult life to live. "The dangerous age" is marked by certain organic disturbances,1 but what lends them importance is their symbolic significance. The crisis...

著者について (1999)

SARA MUNSON DEATS is Distinguished Professor and Chair of the English Department at the University of South Florida, and Co-director of the Center of Applied Humanities. She is also author of Sex, Gender, and Desire in the Plays of Christopher Marlowe (1997).

LAGRETTA TALLENT LENKER is Director of the Division of Lifelong Learning and Co-director of the Center for Aplied Humanities and the Florida Center for Writers at the University of South Florida. She was co-editor with Joseph Moxley for The Politics of Scholarship, (Greenwood, 1995).