The Compensations and Losses of Old Age

Benjamin Schwarz comments on John Updike's writing at the end of his life, and says:

Above all, and most poignantly, this collection highlights Updike’s evaluation of the slackening of his own mental and athletic prowess… A generous and companionable critic and an avowed Christian, Updike met the decline of his powers with courage and good humor, but also with a clear-eyed recognition that the compensations of old age—a hard-won sagacity, a bemused detachment—don’t make up for the irretrievable losses.

I liked "hard-won sagacity" and "bemused detachment" to describe the "compensations of old age." And I love the counterbalancing statement that, no, of course nothing makes up for the "irretrievable losses"…

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