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Ieva Stončikaitė: The End-of-Life Colours And The Meanings of Life, Death And Old Age There is a substantial body of research on the so-called Third
Ieva Stončikaitė: The End-of-Life Colours And The Meanings of Life, Death And Old Age
There is a substantial body of research on the so-called Third Age, yet, the last stage in life, commonly known as the Fourth Age, has been masked by the model of successful ageing. Since this period in life is often linked to dependency, care and the loss of mobility and cognitive capacities, it has even been considered a ‘black hole’ in ageing studies (Gilleard and Higgs, 2010), which reveals the cultural failure to see the Fourth Age beyond the narrative of decline (Gullette 2004). This paper discusses the complexities of ageing, care, and death as reflected in Erica Jong’s novel, Fear of Dying (2015). Jong’s latest fictional work to date uncovers the aspects associated with the Fourth Age and, at the same time, reveals new ways of understanding human nature, death and ageing. The author highlights that although death ends physical life, it does not necessarily end a life story or a relationship. By using literary gerontology as the framework of this study, this paper shows how literary narratives can help us explore and deal with the often hidden intersections of care, intergenerational relationships, old age, and death.
Speakers for this event
Ieva Stončikaitė is an early career researcher. Her PhD (2017) focuses on the intersection of ageing, sexuality, body politics, and the literary creation in the works of Erica Jong. She has co-taught as assistant lecturer at the Department of English and Linguistics at the U of Lleida (Spain), and has presented her research in national and international conferences. Ieva has published articles in journals such as Societies, Life Writing, and Educational Gerontology, and in book collections of articles. Her current research interests include cultural gerontology, leisure tourism, and artistic expressions and ageing. Ieva is also founder of NGO InterAGE that deals with social inclusion, intergenerational dialogue, and international youth mobility.