On aging: revolt and resignation

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Indiana University Press, 1994 - Family & Relationships - 132 pages
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On Aging, the first of Jean AmZcaron;ry's books after At the Mind's Limits, is a powerful and profound book about the process of aging and the limited but real defenses available to those experiencing the process. Each essay covers a set of issues about growing old. "Existence and the Passage of Time" focuses on the way aging makes the old progressively see time as the essence of their existence. "Stranger to Oneself" is a meditation on the ways the aging are alienated from themselves. "The Look of Others" treats social agingNtilde;the realization that it is no longer possible to live according to one's potential or possibilities. "Not to Understand the World Anymore" deals with the loss of the ability to understand new developments in the arts and in the changing values of society. The fifth essay, "To Live with Dying," argues that everyone compromises with death in old age (the time in life when we feel the death that is in us). Here AmZcaron;ry's intention, as encapsulated by John D. Barlow, becomes most clear: "to disturb easy and cheap compromises and to urge his readers to their own individual acts of defiance and acceptance."

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Contents

Existence and the Passage of Time I
1
Not to Understand the World Anymore I
78
To Live with Dying I
103
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About the author (1994)

JEAN AMERY was born in Vienna in 1911 as Hanns Mayer. As a young man, he studied philosophy and wanted to be a novelist. When the Nazis came to power in Austria in 1938, he fled to Belgium and joined the resistance there. He was caught distributing leaflets, tortured, and sent to Auschwitz. He survived Auschwitz and after the war made his home in Brussels, changing his name to Jean Amery. In 1966, he published Jenseits von Schuld und Suhne (At the Mind's Limits), a series of essays about his experiences in Auschwitz, which made him famous. JOHN D. BARLOW is Dean of the School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. He is a professor of English and German and author German Expressionist Film.

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