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Reading Our LivesThe poetics of growing old$
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William L. Randall and Elizabeth McKim

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195306873

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306873.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 12 November 2019

RETHINKING AGING: RETHINKING AGING: THE STORY OF MY LIFE

RETHINKING AGING: RETHINKING AGING: THE STORY OF MY LIFE

Chapter:
(p.3) One RETHINKING AGING: THE STORY OF MY LIFE
Source:
Reading Our Lives
Author(s):

William L Randall

A. Elizabeth McKim

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306873.003.0001

This chapter prepares for an exploration of the poetics of aging by introducing a narrative approach to gerontology, one that focuses on the inside of aging, or biographical aging, instead of its outside, i.e., biological aging. Discussed as well is the intrinsic interdisciplinarity of the metaphor of life-as-story, recognized increasingly across numerous disciplines as a paradigm for understanding human experience. The chapter also considers how postmodern theories of text and textualization apply to the notion of lifestory, and the consequences of such theories for concepts of personal identity. In particular, it introduces the idea that reading life, like reading literature, is an intricate, interpretive activity — one we are engaged in anyway, if largely unconsciously, all of the time. By better understanding the dynamics of this process, however, we can undertake it more deliberately, in the process developing a reflective and indeed ironic stance toward our lives which this book calls literary self-literacy.

Keywords:   biographical aging, gerontology, interdisciplinarity, ironic stance, lifestory, literary self-literacy, narrative, poetics of aging, textualization

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