Advertisement

A Certain Truth in Fiction: Perceptions of the Ageing Process in Irish Women’s Fiction

Chapter

Abstract

Ageing is a fundamental part of our lives. Yet how we recognise and adjust to various milestones during our lifespan is tempered by social convention, where ageing has become a disproportionate marker in terms of control and success. How we manage our relationship with our own maturation is crucial to how we sustain a viable place among communities. This weighs hardest on women, as Susan Sontag suggests in “The Double Standard of Aging,” where she charges women to “allow their faces to show the lives they have lived” (1972, 38). If only it were that simple. In response, this paper presents studies of ageing within fiction by Irish women writers, to gauge how far women have really responded to Sontag’s directive.

Works Cited

  1. Applewhite, Ashton. 2016. Why I Dislike the Term ‘Successful Aging.’ Accessed 16 May 2016. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ashtonapplewhite/ageism-age-discrimination_b_9543050.html.
  2. BBC Entertainment and Arts, L’Oreal’s Helen Mirren Ads Cleared of Airbrushing. Accessed 16 May 2016. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-33440127.
  3. Beauty Redefined Blog/ Invisible Women Over 40: Anti-Aging and Symbolic Annihilation. Accessed 10 April 2016. http://www.beautyredefined.net/anti-aging-and-symbolic-annihilation/.
  4. Bordo, Susan. 1995. Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bowen, Elizabeth. 1935. The House in Paris. Middlesex and New York: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  6. Bowen, Elizabeth. 1956. Truth and Fiction. http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/writers/12246.shtml.
  7. Carlson, Julia. 1990. Banned in Ireland: Censorship & the Irish Writer. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Costello, Mary. 2012. Things I See. The China Factory. Dublin: The Stinging Fly Press.Google Scholar
  9. D’hoker, Elke. 2016. Irish Women Writers and the Modern Short Story. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  10. Dodsworth, Laura. 2016. Why I Am Embracing, Not Erasing, Experience. The Huffington Post, March 1. Accessed 16 May 2016. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/laura-dodsworth/women-embracing-experience_b_9354926.html.
  11. Enright, Anne. 2012. The Guardian, June 7. Accessed 9 May 2015. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/jun/07/china-factory-mary-costello-review.
  12. Feinberg, Cara. 2012. Bringing Life to Life: A Conversation with Alice Munro. Accessed 8 May 2011. http://theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2001/12/bringing-life-to-life/3056/.
  13. Forstrup, Mariella. 2015. Life after 50. The Guardian, Feb 22. Accessed 16 May 2016. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/feb/22/mariella-frostrup-life-after-50?CMP=share_btn_link.
  14. Friedan, Betty. 1993. The Fountain of Age. New York and London: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  15. Gordimer, Nadine. 2003. Being a Product of Your Dwelling Place. In The Writing Life: Writers on How They Think and Work, ed. Marie Arana. New York: Public Affairs.Google Scholar
  16. Grice, Elizabeth. 2013. Interview with Juliet Stevenson. The Telegraph, Nov 18. Accessed 12 May 2015. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/10457417/Juliet-Stevenson-interview-I-can-imagine-a-time-when-Im-free-of-it-all.-Id-love-it.html.
  17. Ingman, Heather. 2009. A History of the Irish Short Story. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Jong, Erica. 1994. Fear of Fifty: A Midlife Memoir. London: Chatto and Windus.Google Scholar
  19. Joseph, Jenny. 1985. “Warning,” The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Women Poets, ed. Jeni Couzyn. Newcastle upon Tyne: Bloodaxe Books.Google Scholar
  20. Kilroy, Claire. 2010. All Names Have Been Changed. London: Faber and Faber.Google Scholar
  21. Lavin, Mary. 1944. The Nun’s Mother. In The Long Ago and Other Stories. London: Michael Joseph Ltd.Google Scholar
  22. McManus, Otile. 1974. Mary Lavin: A Jolly Irish Story Teller. Boston Sunday Globe, May 5.Google Scholar
  23. Mills, Sara. 1995. Feminist Stylistics. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Nozari, Keo. 2015. Madonna, Annie Lennox and ‘Acting Your Age.’ The Huffington Post, Oct 2. Accessed 3 April 2015. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/keo-nozari/madonna-annie-lennox-acti_b_6652674.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices.
  25. O’Connor, Bridget. 1995. Kissing Time. In Here Comes John. London: Picador.Google Scholar
  26. Orbach, Susie. 2010. Bodies. London: Profile Books.Google Scholar
  27. Richardson, Hannah. 2015. BBC News, Feb 27. Accessed 16 May 2016. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-31658852.
  28. Segal, Lynne. 2014. Out of Time: The Pleasures and the Perils of Ageing. London and New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  29. Sontag, Susan. 1972. The Double Standard of Aging. The Saturday Review. September 23, 29–38.Google Scholar
  30. Whelan, Bernadette. 2014. American Influences on Irish Advertising and Consumerism 1900–1960: Fashioning Irishwomen. Journal of Historical Research in Marketing 6 (1): 159–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent ResearcherWalesUK

Personalised recommendations