A Married Man

Read, Piers Paul

J. P. Lippincott, 1979

p. 155

A character named Eustace Lough on Jung: “His theory is that a man, from when he’s born until the age of thirty-five or forty, is as it were on a voyage of exploration; he is discovering and conquering the world. Anything’s possible. But there comes a point in middle age when he reaches the horizon and sees down the other side.” He knows he’ll die. ‘If there’s life after death then even the most miserable little clerical lance-corporal has something to hope for; but if there isn’t, then this life is all you’ve got; and the man who always dreamt of being a general suddenly realizes that he’ll never be anything more that a company commander. Younger men are promoted over his head. His wife is disappointed and despises him. He finds her unattractive anyway [lumpy and varicosed]. His children take his money and lead their own lives. His health fails. His mind decays. No wonder so many men go gaga in middle age.”