In his ÖAW-funded project ‘Living Forever: Fictions of Radical Life Extension, 1878-1918’, James Aaron Green examines literary thought experiments that pose the question, What would it mean to live forever? Covering years that saw the agitation for and then establishment of an old-age pension scheme in Britain, the project appraises these fictions within the fuller contexts of age and aging, as reflected in myriad archival materials: medical treatises, anti-aging advertisements, and visual sources. It recovers a major trend in Anglophone and Continental European fiction, the recognition of which prompts us to re-examine works by major authors of the period and fiction’s socio-political impetus during these years. It argues that fictions of radical life extension responded to and helped to shape a decisive change in the attitudes toward age and aging, as well as the legal and social status of old age in particular—changes that remain highly consequential in our present.
““Old Things Made New”: Transfusive Rejuvenescence in M. E. Braddon’s “Good Lady Ducayne” and H. G. Wells’s “The Story of the Late Mr Elvesham””, Frontiers of Narrative Studies, eds. Heike Hartung and Sarah Falcus (forthcoming)