Crisis, at Midlife

From Joshua Rothman’s New Yorker writeup on Kieran Setiya’s new book, Midlife: A Philosophical Guide:

“Setiya finds that the history of the midlife crisis is both very long and very short. On the one hand, he identifies a text from Twelfth Dynasty Egypt, circa 2000 B.C., as the earliest description of a midlife crisis and suggests that Dante might have had one at the age of thirty-five. (“Midway on life’s journey, I found myself / In dark woods, the right road lost.”) On the other, he learns that the term itself wasn’t coined until 1965, when a psychologist named Elliott Jaques wrote an essay called “Death and the Mid-life Crisis.” (Jaques quotes a patient’s eloquent lament: “Up till now, life has seemed an endless upward slope, with nothing but the distant horizon in view. Now suddenly I seem to have reached the crest of the hill, and there stretching ahead is the downward slope with the end of the road in sight.”)”

I’m feeling this.

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