Near the end of Tender Is the Night, F Scott Fitzgerald writes that 28-year-old Nicole Diver ‘was enough ridden by the current youth worship, the moving pictures with their myriad faces of girl-children, blandly represented as carrying on the work and wisdom of the world, to feel a jealousy of youth’. Although Robert Harrison does not offer this example in Juvenescence, it marks the pivot that interests him: the changes over the last century to our cultural value systems concerning youth and age. In particular, I suspect, he would register Fitzgerald’s scepticism regarding the wisdom of youth, for the difference between the wisdom of age and the energy of youth is one of Harrison’s abiding concerns in this meditation on age.
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I have just spent a wonderful few minutes re-reading the best book review of the year in my opinion. It's by Piers Brendon in September's issue of @Lit_Review. Beautifully captioned as 'Jack the Lad', Brendon takes Fredrik Logevall's JFK: Vol.I apart! It's a laugh a minute. Ouch!
'Perhaps the real modern polymaths are the hidden ones who do not themselves grab the limelight but have the expertise to bring together different fields of knowledge: librarians, teachers, editors of literary journals…'
Jan Morris, who died last week, was a much-loved contributor to our pages. In 2017, she wrote a characteristically witty article about the different winds, their various personalities and how they had touched her life: https://literaryreview.co.uk/let-it-blow.