Friday, December 11, 2015

For Octogenarians and Thereabouts

When I reached fifty, then sixty, and even later seventy, I could not even come close to imagining that the decades beyond those years could possibly present radically new experiences. Why just within the last month or so, I muttered to myself while raking or something similar: “I’ve never ever read any honest description, by someone of my age or thereabouts, of what it’s like in this strange territory near the borderzone. Why?” The answer was obvious, of course. What happens in that peculiar temporal territory is not the sort of thing you run home and tell everyone about.

Then this morning Brigitte, the ultimate Finder of Treasures, handed me a paper by Anthony Daniels, better known by his pen name, Theodore Dalrymple. It’s titled “And Death Shall Have Its Dominion” and appears in New English Review dated December 2015. Dalrymple turned 66 in October of this year; thus he is quite young to have this experience of age already. But that he knows the trials and tribulations of advanced age—of that there is no doubt! None whatsoever. Lest there are others like me out there who’ve also wondered why such experiences are conspicuous by absence in the literary media, I hasten at once to give those interested a link to that article here.

I think that the article covers the whole territory in exquisite detail. Those interested will know what I mean. As for others, it might be well, perhaps, just to let it happen when, eventually for many, it will appear of its own accord.

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