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Beckett on Aging

A Brief Introduction

Rush Rehm

The impetus for the project “Beckett on Aging” goes back to a conference held in San Francisco and called “The Poetics of Aging,” whose aim was to promote an attitude of interest in the elderly by using literature and theater. The problem of aging is modern, and that makes aging people pioneers, whom we should try to learn from, rather than discard them as diseased people. The experience of deprivation in aging echoes Beckett’s ‘poetics of subtraction,’ and the way he plays incessantly with the opposition between Parmenides’s view that all change is illusion, and Heraclitus’s counter-assertion that there is nothing but change.