Tag Archives: aging

Kenneth Williams

Went to bed reflecting on the difficulty age has in pretending. It’s easier for youth & middle age to cheat despair, but after 60 life’s utter futility becomes cruelly obvious. The whole con is exposed & you see that there is not going to be any happy ending, contentment, or fulfilment… just a waiting for death as the final, sole, and only relief.

Kenneth Williams, The Kenneth Williams Diaries, London, 1993, p. 764

C. D. Broad

Experience as a member of many committees in Cambridge and elsewhere has taught me the desirability of retiring before one has become too ‘ga-ga’ to realize just how ‘ga-ga’ one is becoming. I am now approaching the end of my 83rd year, and prudence and laziness combine in advising me not to expose myself further in print.

C. D. Broad, ‘Preface’, in David Cheney (ed.), Broad’s Critical Essays in Moral Philosophy, New York, 1971, p. 15

Roger Brown

Loneliness is not the same as the lack of a strong sexual-romantic bond, but the two are close. For everyone, the category of persons who might meet this need is very specific and usually small. For me, the category was large enough but disastrously out of reach: handsome young men with a touch of vulnerability about them.

Vulnerability is easy to find, but the young and handsome seemed ruled out for me at sixty-six and beyond because of the ageism of gay men. I was pretty sure of this because I myself felt it so strongly. Albert Gilman and I were young together and passionate together and so were able to love one another—in changing ways, to be sure-over many years; but then I thought of making a new beginning, the idea of doing so with someone my own age was distasteful. And so I had to suppose that young gay men felt that way about me. I was categorically eliminated as an object of attraction to anyone for whom I felt an attraction.

Roger Brown, Against My Better Judgment: An Intimate Memoir of an Eminent Gay Psychologist, New York, 1996, pp. 2-3

Deborah Rhode

Silver hair and furrowed brows allow aging men to look “distinguished.” That is not the case with aging women, who risk marginalization as “unattractive” or ridicule for efforts to pass as young. This double standard leaves women not only perpetually worried about their appearance, but also worried about worrying.

Deborah Rhode, The Beauty Bias: The Injustice of Appearance in Life and Law, New York, 2010, p. xv

Alan Ryan

The Philosophy of John Stuart Mill was first published in 1970. Reading it fifteen years later arouses the mixed feelings usual in such circumstances—the conviction that the author was formerly altogether cleverer, more imaginative and more enthusiastic than he has become alternates with embarrassment at his ignorance, disorder and clumsiness.

Alan Ryan, The Philosophy of John Stuart Mill, 2nd ed., London, 1987, p. ix

Vlady Kociancich

El hombre no era joven, pero a mi edad (quizá también la suya) se hace difícil traducir a números la imagen oscilante de caracteres físicos de una persona que ronda la salida de los treinta. Hay un día, no marcado en el almanaque, cuando uno deja atrás la confiada aritmética de los años y con azoramiento e indefinible melancolía empieza a preguntarse si ese otro fantasma nacido entre la juventud y la vejez es mayor o menor. Que uno, por supuesto.

Vlady Kociancich, ‘Un hombre de familia’, in Todos los caminos, Buenos Aires, 1991