Previous Chapter Youth

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‘Youth's a stuff will not endure’ wrote Shakespeare in one of his songs, and classical literature is loud with laments on the shortness of youth, as well as its blissful excesses, its passions (especially for love and sex), its recklessness, its gaiety and its giving itself to life and the moment. What is less celebrated in the poetry is also the general conviction of youth that it is always in the right and in any case justified in doing whatever it wants simply by virtue of being young. But whatever judgements we might come to about the general desirability of the young and the splendour of its enjoyments, the concept of youth is fairly bursting with contents from its cultural past.

As one would expect, ...

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