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On being 50

On being 50 (which I´m not - yet):

Each recriminative decade poses new riddles, how best to live, how best to write. One´s fifties, in principle less acceptable than one´s forties, at least confirm most worst suspicions about life, thereby disposing of an appreciable tract of vain expectation, standardized fantasy, obstructive to writing, as to living. The quinquagenarian may not be master of himself, he is, notwithstanding, master of a passable miscellany of experience on which to draw when forming opinions, distorted or the reverse, at least up to a point his own. After passing the half-century, one unavoidable conclusion is that many things seemingly incredible on starting out, are, in fact, by no means located in an area beyond belief.
(Anthony Powell; Temporary Kings)

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