LITERARY GERONTOLOGY: DEFINITION, HISTORY, CONCEPTS

Anna Gaidash

Анотація


The goal of the article is to provide an extended definition and in-depth description of literary gerontology
as a branch of humanities. Contemporary world witnesses how the number of elderly people increases
that makes the research relevant. Literary gerontology forms in the mid-1970s in the framework of age
studies. Scholars of literary gerontology examine the gerontological markers in fictional texts. Unlike
sociologists or medical gerontologists who regard biological aging as involution of the body/brain and
degradation of the individual, the literary scholars consider fictional representations of late adulthood
in a much more contrastive and tragic focus: elderly people are forced to deal with numerous negative
stereotypes of old age in a youth-oriented culture. Therefore the key concept of literary gerontology
studies is ageism which etymology is traced in the lexical unit of “age”. Its initial meaning “lifetime;
maturity; vital force” is lost over time, acquiring the connotation of “decline” (feebleness; senility). One
of the problems of literary gerontology studies is the widespread use of ageist euphemisms in fiction.
The methods used in the paper are mixed: historical data processing, analyses of interdisciplinary
resources (literary gerontology, social gerontology, age studies). The results can be practical for classes
of theory of literature and social gerontology. The findings of the paper inform of the origin of literary
gerontolog

DOI: https://doi.org/10.28925/2412-2475.2019.133


Ключові слова


literary gerontology, ageism, age, euphemism, aging

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Посилання


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