Escaping from Death: On Rejuvenation in World Literature

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Even if sometimes it seems that the subject of rejuvenation is a modern issue, the study of world literature starting from the dawn of history shows that this is not the case. The fear of old age and death are intertwined, and many times in the history of literature the attempt to escape from it, or at least detain it, is depicted. A careful examination of the literary works will show that there is a necessity to distinguish between two phenomena: Rejuvenation, who turn a person into youth again, and Immortality, when a person will live forever. The distinction between the two is important: while rejuvenation restores the man in his youth, but he will grow old again and die unless he will pass the process over and over again; however, a person who is immortal is rewarded with eternal life, but that doesn't mean he will not become older. While sometimes a person gains immortality even without asking for it, the request for rejuvenation is a human plea in order to escape the ills of time. In my paper I intend to show how this human tendency of escaping from death, or at least trying to, is as old as the Gilgamesh Epic (13th century B.C) and can be traced in literature through the ages, until modern times.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2017
EventAICED 19: "Birth, Death, and Rebirth: (Re-)Generation as Text," - THE 19th ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT UNIVERSITY OF BUCHAREST, ROMANIA, Bucharest, Romania
Duration: 7 Jun 20179 Jun 2017


ConferenceAICED 19: "Birth, Death, and Rebirth: (Re-)Generation as Text,"


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