By Lawrence Cohen
From the outlet series, during which mid-nineteenth-century Indian fishermen listen the opportunity of redemption in an outdated woman's insanity, No getting older in India captures the reader with its interaction of tale and research. Drawing on greater than a decade of ethnographic paintings, Lawrence Cohen hyperlinks an in depth research of brain and physique in previous age in 4 neighborhoods of the Indian urban of Varanasi (Banaras) with occasions and approaches round India and worldwide. This compelling exploration of senility--encompassing not just the getting older physique but in addition greater cultural anxieties--combines insights from clinical anthropology, psychoanalysis, and postcolonial experiences. Bridging literary genres in addition to geographic areas, Cohen responds to what he sees because the impoverishment of either North American and Indian gerontologies--the one mired in ambivalence towards demented outdated our bodies, the opposite insistent on a doubtful morality story of recent households breaking apart and leaving behind their aged. He shifts our consciousness irresistibly towards how previous age involves topic within the structure of societies and their narratives of id and historical past.
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Extra resources for No aging in India: Alzheimer's, the bad family, and other modern things
2 I returned to Nagwa in the autumn of 1 g8g, after some months' absence. Du lari was no longer at any of her crossroad spots. The cousin had died, and with him her source of food and rent. The relatives from whom she had rented a room told me her health had worsened from the sadness, and that they had no choice but to ask her to leave. They said they had asked one of the Christian Fathers to find her a space somewhere. Some kilometers north, Mother Teresa's Varanasi house stood set back from the river.
Here, as a comic figure of the spiritual and physical decrepitude of the east, the British editors offer the vision of a national body composed of old women. Dod dering and even mad old bodies appear in the press of the time as frequent signs of the strangeness of India, as frequently as do dangerous and enthusiastic young men like those of Balua. "5 Against the colonial repetition of the decrepit or crazed old person as a sign of Indianness, the figure of the old woman who in her gestures and refusals proves that Kali's time is imminent remains apparitional.
Some kilometers north, Mother Teresa's Varanasi house stood set back from the river. It was a small version of her Calcutta opera tion; the sisters and staff told of periodic sweeps of the train station in search of abandoned or destitute elders needing shelter and a place to die. I found Dulari there, lying on a bed with her hair closely cropped. Her look struck me: first, a bit mad and then, as two of the sisters walked by, conspiratorial. " It was a picture of the goddess Durga. The nuns walked by, waiting.