Travels with Epicurus: Meditations from a Greek Island on the Pleasures of Old Age

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9781851689958: Travels with Epicurus: Meditations from a Greek Island on the Pleasures of Old Age
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Our society worships at the fountain of youth. Each year, we seek to avert the arrival of old age using everything at our disposal, from extreme exercise and botox to pilates and cosmetic dentistry. But in the process, are we missing out on a distinct and extraordinarily valuable stage of life? Daniel Klein ponders whether it is better to be forever young or to grin toothlessly and live an authentic old age. He journeys to the Greek island of Hydra to discover the secrets of ageing happily. Drawing on the lives of octagenarian Greek locals, as well as philosophers ranging from Epicurus to Sartre, he uncovers the pleasures that are available only late in life. An escapist travel book, a witty meditation, and an optimistic guide to living well, this is a delightful jaunt through the terrain of old age, led by a funny and uniquely perceptive modern-day sage.

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About the Author:

Daniel Klein is the co-author of the international bestseller Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar. He is a Harvard graduate in philosophy and an acclaimed writer of both fiction and nonfiction. When not enjoying the slow life on Greek islands, he lives in Massachusetts with his wife. He is seventy-four years old.

From Publishers Weekly:

Following a trip to his dentist, 73-year-old Klein considers his options after being advised that he needs tooth implants or a denture. Klein (Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar) opts for a sojourn to the Greek island of Hydra. Accompanied by a suitcase crammed with philosophy books, Klein contemplates the Greek philosopher Epicurus' pivotal question. He fundamentally wanted to know how to make the most of his one life, writes Klein. Eschewing the forever young treadmill many American's embrace, Klein explores a different path, examining the relaxed Greek lifestyle surrounding him. He laments what's lost in the frantic rush to stay youthful: And we have no time left for a calm and reflective appreciation of our twilight years, no deliciously long afternoons sitting with friends or listening to music or musing about the story of our lives. The author ruminates on the benefits of freeing ourselves from the prison of everyday affairs; the pleasures of companionship in old age; battling boredom; the difference between sexual urges and sexual nostalgia; and the value of facing death blissfully. Along the way, Klein touches on the ideas of Bertrand Russell, Erik Erikson, Aristotle, and William James. Klein's narrative is a delightful and spirited conversation, offering up the ingredients inherent to the art of living well in old age. Agent: Julia Lord. (Nov.)

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9780143126621: Travels with Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life

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