Somewhere Towards the End
Somewhere Towards the End isn't the first book to describe in detail the process of "falling away," the author's apt euphemism for the decline one experiences in old age. Critics compare Athill's memoir to John Bayley's Elegy for Iris and Nora Ephron's I Feel Bad About My Neck, or the fiction of Philip Roth, Alice Munro, and John Updike. But Athill writes with a nothing-to-lose attitude that brings dignity to a process so often marked by the inevitable slowing of the mind and the deterioration o...more
At age 89, Diana Athill has written a moving and thoughtful memoir on what it means to grow old as an atheist and as a single woman. Athill writes beautifully, with no frills or fancies, and she has an honest approach to the end that we all face.
This book got many raving reviews. I wish I could say it knocked me out, but it really didn't. Although I'd probably give it 2-1/2 stars if I could. I found most of the chapters rambling with frequent diversions from the subject, and for the most part, a bit dull. Perhaps my expectations were just too high d...more
Ci ha provato, Diana Athill, straordinaria editor che per oltre mezzo secolo ha lavorato per regalarci le pagine dei grandissimi della letteratura mondiale (Philip Roth, John Updike, Mordecai Richeler,...more
One such info is about Bulgarian nobel winner Canneti. To satisfy Canneti's vanity, publisher Andre Deusch has to publish 2 books of aphorisms he had collected. It was something trite. Then she meets his mistress Mary-Louis, a...more
On marriage, Ms. Athill's justification for infidelities are the two extremes, radical Islam, where a woman brings shame on her family unless she is put to death, or infidelity is, as the French believe, "perfectly acceptable if conducted properly."
Her conclusion between a man and woman is basic animal behavior.
Ms Athill, does not believe in God. She calls herself an achiest. Th...more
As I lifted the book off the shelf at the Santa Monica Public Library, I thought, "This looks like an interesting book about living at an advanced age." What...more
Yet the early chapters of the book were a real stumbling block for me. Athill's remembrances of her early life are not particularly gripping, nor are her reflections insight...more
It is a very candid look back by a 90-year-old, who dates her "becoming old" at age 71. As a former publisher's assistant (or some such, with Andre Deutsch), now writer, childless & never married but with several significant and unconventional male relationships in her life, her life course is not at all typical of women of her generation (I...more
p.127: “What, I sometimes ask myself, keeps me and, I am sure, innumerable other old spouses or spouselike people in similar situations, going t...more
[...] siamo riusciti a prolungare a tal punto la fase di decadimento che spesso essa dura di più di quella dello sviluppo, e dunque vale la pena di riflettere su ciò che la contraddistingue e su come gestirla. Sono stati scritti libri su libri sulla giovinezza, e ancora di pi...more
The reason why I have given this bo...more
As it turns out all she wanted to do was tell you about her younger life, how many men she had slept wi...more
As usual I arrive late to things. Diana Athill’s book, Somewhere Toward The End is a gorgeous analysis of what it’s like to be close to the end. She stares into the abyss from her position 89 years into the journey on Planet Earth and offers back reflections and wisdom on the experience so far.
She has had a fascinating life, but it is not the hint of celebrity’s met, famous writer’s supported or places been to that impresses. It is the sheer clarity in expl...more
I did wince when she talked about her preference...more
I found the book's so-called frankness to be somewhat boring. It seemed to always come back to her sexual experiences.
Her description of her declining faculties depressed me. Maybe because my own are declining and I'd rather not read about other people's struggles with sore feet, etc. I've got my own sor...more
I enjoyed her chapter about how much she loves her car now. "Your car begins to represent life. You hobble towards it, you ease your unwieldy body laboriously into the driver's seat - and lo! you are back to normal. Off you whiz just like everyone else, restored to freedom, restored (almost) to youth."
Regarding her preference...more
*But eventually novels of that kind seemed to develo...more
She founded a publishing company with Andre Deustch, so it's not amazing tha...more