rthur Krystal ends his 2019 New Yorker article on ageing with a citation from the Ecclesiastes: “One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth forever … In much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” This is followed by the suggestion that “no young person could have written that”.
I dare to disagree.
Today’s uniquely solipsistic culture has propagated an enhanced perception of transience among people of all ages, including the very young. On a mass scale, this phenomenon has crystallised in the guise of viral posts by people as young as 18 claiming they feel too old to be on TikTok, and cosmetic trends like facial fillers specifically targeted to late millennials and early members of Gen Z. On a personal scale, at the age of 24 years old I can already testify, in spite of my best efforts to “seize the day”, to the sorrow of perceiving the passage of time with terrifying acuity.
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