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    Temporal vertigo: the paradoxes of ageing

    Segal, Lynne (2014) Temporal vertigo: the paradoxes of ageing. Studies in Gender and Sexuality 15 (3), pp. 214-222. ISSN 1524-0657.

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    Abstract

    “I don’t feel old,” most older informants proclaim. That affirmation tells us much about the stigma surrounding old age. It tells us also about the temporal vertigo we face as we age if contemplating the multiplicity of continuities and discontinuities over time. Ageing is of interest to those who have always been skeptical about any notion of the “true self,” allowing us to puzzle over how the account the old give of themselves—if anyone is still listening—will rely upon their ability to incorporate differing versions of the self, woven into the volatilities of memory and fantasy. I explore some of the radical ambiguities in the speech or writing of those thinking about ageing. While pondering the fluctuating ties between younger and older selves, I also venture into the hazards of desire in old age and the apparently contrasting situation of ageing men compared with ageing women. Old age may no longer be the condition that dare not speak its name, but it remains the identity about which most prefer to stay silent.

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