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By Oliver Davis

This wide-ranging learn appears to be like at how the growing old procedure has alternately been figured in and excluded from twentieth-century French literature, philosophy and psychoanalysis. It espouses a severe interdisciplinarity and calls into query the assumptions underlying a lot study into getting old within the social sciences, paintings within which the hazards of getting older are nearly normally suppressed. It deals a tremendous reappraisal of Simone de Beauvoir's nice yet missed overdue treatise, l. a. Vieillesse, and provides the 1st big dialogue of a misplaced documentary movie approximately outdated age within which Beauvoir looks and which she helped to write down, prom AU can pay DE los angeles VIEILLESSE. wondering Beauvoir's personal really reductive interpreting of Gide's paintings on outdated age, this examine analyses the best way his magazine and Ainsi soit-il scan with a variety of representational versions for the senescent topic. The come across among psychoanalysis and getting older is framed by means of a studying of Violette Leduc's autobiographical trilogy, during which she means that psychoanalysis, to its detriment, easily can't let growing older to suggest. This declare is validated in a severe survey of modern theoretical and scientific paintings by way of psychoanalysts drawn to getting old in France, the united kingdom and the USA. finally, Herv? Guibert's lately republished photo-novel approximately his aged great-aunts, Suzanne et Louise, is tested as a piece of intergenerational empathy and is located, furthermore, to be an incredible assertion of his photographic aesthetic. Navigating among the extremes of fury ('age rage') and serene reputation ('going gently'), this research goals all through to check the position which getting old performs in formal, in addition to thematic, phrases in writing the lifetime of the topic.

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Extra resources for Age Rage and Going Gently: Stories of the Senescent Subject in Twentieth-Century French Writing (Faux Titre 283)

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Yet in La Vieillesse, as I showed in the previous section, Beauvoir argues that such 52 Le Deuxième Sexe, II, p. 456. Beauvoir, Le Deuxième Sexe, II, p. 462. ), The Private Self. Theory and Practice of Women’s Autobiographical Writings (London: Routledge, 1988), pp. 90-113, p. 96. 53 Beauvoir’s La Vieillesse 53 depersonalization is not just a feature of the older woman’s experience but is a universal characteristic, affecting older men and older women alike. Alienation and schizoid splitting are now said to be characteristic of a universal human experience of old age.

Yet close attention to Beauvoir’s abovementioned discussion of the complex psychosomatic structures which compensate for bodily or mental failure suggests that Beauvoir privileges neither body nor mind. In any case, the supposed ‘reversal’ which Song describes would, in fact, remain eminently Cartesian in its reliance on the notion of a non-minded body exerting ‘influence’ over ‘psychic experience’. 36 See, in particular, Beauvoir, La Vieillesse, pp. 335-6. Beauvoir’s La Vieillesse 47 inevitable) denial, one intermittently undercut by a body which, at this point in life in particular, just will not be ignored.

122. See also Stuart-Hamilton, The Psychology of Ageing: An Introduction (London: Kingsley, 3 rd Edition 2000), p. 18. 50 Beauvoir, Le Deuxième Sexe, II, ch. 9: ‘De la maturité à la vieillesse’. 51 In Le Deuxième Sexe, women’s sexual development is construed in terms of a succession of violent crises: ‘la crise de l’adolescence’ (II, p. 140), ‘la crise de la puberté’ (II, p. 63), birth – ‘cette crise’ (I, p. 68). ’ (II, p. 148). 52 She then moves on to characterize the subjective experience of the older woman in terms of a feeling of depersonalization: Un des traits les plus accusés chez la femme vieillissante, c’est un sentiment de dépersonnalisation qui lui fait perdre tous repères objectifs […] ce n’est pas moi cette vieille femme dont le miroir renvoie le reflet.

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