Attention midlife crisis fans: The venerable ArtsJournal blogger Terry Teachout (He’s been doing this for two whole years) reflects in depth on the phenomenon and its ramifications in his July 4th entry. He starts with this paragraph.
Like so many middle-aged men with a taste for poetry and a preoccupation with lost possibilities, I found myself thinking the other day of the first stanza of Dante’s Divine Comedy, which can be translated in countless ways but comes most fully to the point in the most literal of renderings: In the middle of the journey of our life/I found myself in a dark wood,/for the straight way was lost. One of my fellow bloggers has lately been reflecting on the meaning of the expression “midlife crisis,” but she and her readers are so preoccupied with the more florid symptoms of that often-absurd phenomenon that they seem to have lost sight of the thing itself, the terrible moment in the middle of the journey when you wander into a dark wood and suddenly notice that you can no longer see the signposts that led you there.
See the rest of TT’s rumination at About Last Night.