For scholars in age studies, metaphor and metaphor theory hold ample resources for critical investigation. This chapter first describes metaphor’s relevance for the study of age and then offers a survey of the existing research on age and dementia metaphors by scholars in age studies. I then suggest an approach to metaphors that is inspired by concepts of use and usability in order to ask how a creative belaboring of problematic age metaphors might offer to scholars in age studies new ways of thinking about standardized, age-old metaphors that are, allegedly, burdened with age. In drawing on Gullette’s work on fashion cycles and their decline message, I propose that practices of repair and recycling can be useful concepts for rethinking worn-out metaphors. The gains of looking into strategies of reusability are illustrated in an analysis of the metaphors of decline and battle in three exemplary texts by US-American cartoonist Roz Chast and novelist Philip Roth. In the last section, I return to the age metaphors in metaphor theory to ask what an age studies perspective might be able to add to the study of metaphors.
|Title of host publication||Palgrave Handbook of Literature and Aging|
|Editors||Aagje Swinnen, Valerie Barnes Lipscomb|
|Publication status||Submitted - 2022|
- Philip Roth
- Roz Chast