15 September 2012

Outrages of age

Old age — a time to enjoy in tranquillity the fruits of one's labours in the sunset of life, or is it?

La vieillesse est un naufrage.
Old age is a shipwreck.
Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970)

Ô rage! Ô désespoir! Ô vieillesse ennemie...
Oh rage! Oh despair! Oh enemy old age...
Pierre Corneille (1606-1684)

Woody Allen, neurotically still creating a movie a year despite advancing years, has been obsessed by the horror of mortality since his youth. Now he finds has has been right all along:

It's a bad business. It's a confirmation that the anxieties and terrors I've had all my life were accurate. There's no advantage to aging. You don't get wiser, you don't get more mellow, you don't see life in a more glowing way. You have to fight your body decaying, and you have less options...The only thing you can do is what you did when you were 20 — because you're always walking with an abyss right under your feet...
[The Guardian, 13 September 2012]