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The Pleasures of Middle Age

"The Pleasures of Middle Age." New-York Saturday Press. 12 Jun. 1866: 2-3.

This piece seeks to revalue the period of life mostly ignored by poets and philosophers, that of the middle-age, an “uninteresting and inglorious stage of life,” which the author identifies as being between thirty and forty years of age. There are some comical observations throughout the essay: the author reminds the reader that while poetry glorifies youth and beauty, most of it was written by middle-aged, fat writers. The author even cites Byron’s own fear of becoming obese. In critiquing the youth-obsessed culture, the author praises one’s middle-age as being a time of developing “discriminating enjoyment,” when not every wine is a champagne and not ever cigar a Havana. The piece goes on to examine how one’s literary taste also begins to refine during this period of life.