…if you are not like everybody else, then you are abnormal, if you are abnormal , then you are sick. These three categories, not being like everybody else, not being normal and being sick are in fact very different but have been reduced to the same thing.”
— Michel Foucault, (2004)
‘Je suis un artificier’.
In Roger-Pol Droit (ed.), Michel Foucault, entretiens.
Paris: Odile Jacob, p. 95.
(Interview conducted in 1975.
This passage trans. Clare O’Farrell.)
Those among the old-old who love life are not exceptions––they are just healthy. …[ They ] seem constantly to be reinventing their lives. They surprise us even as they surprise themselves. In moments of sorrow, loss, and defeat many still convince us that they find their lives eminently worthwhile. They do not flinch from acknowledging how hard life is but they also never lose sight of why one might want to keep on living it.
–– George Vaillant
Aging Well, p. 5