Shagi / Steps the Journal of the SASH


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And old age is here, nearby:Representations of old age and aging in diaries of the Soviet era

Irina L. Savkina
University of Tampere (Finland, Tamper)

DOI: 10.22394/2412-9410-2019-5-2-188-210

Keywords: old age / ageing, diary, diary narrative, Soviet era diary, gender, female/male diary

Abstract: In this article, the author considers the question of how old age and the process of ageing are portrayed in three diary texts from the Soviet era: the diaries of Nina Lashina, Lyubov Shaporina and Vladimir Propp. The author of the article shares the view that both old age and gender are sociocultural constructs, and therefore one should speak of different old ages determined by the historical context, by the individual features of personality, and by the diarists narrative strategies. The article analyzes both different models of aging and different narrative strategies for describing ones own old age day by day, as well as the common features of Soviet female old age, which can be seen in the two womens diaries. Aging in them is described as a process of transformation from mother to grandmother, and as that of (traumatic) adaptation to the role of old woman/grandmother imposed by society. The idea of male old age, as can be seen from an analysis of Vladimir Propps Diary of Old Age, is much more variable and gives more freedom to choose a suitable model of old age.

This is a revised and enlarged variant of the article [Savkina 2017].

To cite this article: Savkina, I. L. (2019). And old age is here, nearby: Representations of old age and aging in diaries of the Soviet era. Shagi / Steps, 5(2), 188210. (In Russian). DOI: 10.22394/2412-9410-2019-5-2-188-210