Aging in literature and film
August 13, 2014 8:45 AM Subscribe
As I approach my fifties and confront the reality that parts of my body are wearing out and will never be young and resilient again, I turn to the arts for deeper philosophical understanding of this aspect of the human condition that I am facing. I'd like recommendations of fictional treatments of physical aging which are realistic but compassionate. Guidelines and caveats behind the fold.
posted by matildaben to Media & Arts (25 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
I would prefer literary fiction rather than memoir or genre fiction, but I will consider some mysteries or SF if they are particularly well written and a distinctive treatment of the theme. I welcome books from both female and male authors, but would like to stay away from the typical Updike/Roth/Mailer treatment which seems to be oriented mainly around the author's fear of the loss of potency of his penis. I am more interested in characters dealing with the physical limitations and losses of aging, more so than mental concerns. I do not want to read something that makes fun of or is cruel to the old. I do not want to read something that is totally bleak, but more that it is about coming to terms with the stage of life that the character(s) is/are in. In literature, a good example is the works of Alice Munro. In film, a good example is Robot and Frank, or Harold and Maude.