Speaking about her physical and psychological decline, Veza Canetti (1897-1963) breaks her silence about what Simone de Beauvoir calls a «shameful secret» and a forbidden subject: old age. The difficulty and torment of dealing with one’s self-image, however, is not limited to getting old, especially for Veza, who had to cope with a rather visible physical handicap – she was born with no left forearm. Despite the evidence of this absence, the efforts made to conceal it were striking. Particularly significant, therefore, is the contrast between hidden defect and exhibited aging, between one secret revealed and another stubbornly kept over the years. This paper aims to investigate how the aging process affected Veza’s life, starting from the epistolary exchange between the woman, her husband Elias Canetti and her brother-in-law Georges.
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