What If Immortality Chose You?
After a horrific car accident that should have ended her life, a lightning strike freezes Adaline Bowman’s age at 29 years old. Adaline’s lived a solitary existence in the eight decades since, never allowing herself to form relationships (save for her daughter, Flemming) that would lead to the discovery and frenzy sure to follow. Eventually she reveals her secret to Ellis Jones, a charismatic philanthropist whose father was Adaline’s lover some forty years prior. Another near-death experience restores her aging process, in time for the viewer to realize that Flemming is played by Exorcist mother Ellen Burstyn.
Released last April, The Age of Adaline captures the pitfalls of immortality, the constant need for assumed identities in an era of data scrutiny chief among them.
The Tuck Family
In Natalie Babbitt’s novel Tuck Everlasting, ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles upon a secret spring that holds the key to eternal life. There she meets the reclusive, undying Tucks: Jesse, his brother Miles and their parents Angus and Mae. Angus explains the various drawbacks to living forever, such as family members ostracizing them, and curiosity seekers turned fortune hunters like the Man in the Yellow Suit, whom Mae murders in self-defense. Convinced the immortal way of life is not for her, Winnie stays behind while the Tucks flee.
The website Bookish recently interviewed Babbitt, who offered “…we like to think that we can somehow try to live forever. But when you really think about it, why would you want to do that? Unless you could keep the people you love around you, which is not likely—not forever anyway. We have a certain kind of life to lead and there’s really no other way to do it.”
The Wonderman of Europe
Could someone really live for hundreds of years? Legend, and one obscure 70s TV show, claims it’s possible the Comte de Saint Germain did. Nicknamed the Wonderman by Voltaire, the Comte circulated several intricate stories about his lineage, so much so that on any given day his origins spanned Transylvanian, Italian and Bavarian aristocracies. His aliases (Tzarogy, Saltikov, Belletti, to name a few), well-traveled background and language fluency supported these admissions during his peak years in the 1700s. Sightings continued into the 20th century, despite his given death-date of February 27, 1784, the eeriest being an alleged prediction he made in 1914 pertaining to the length of World War II.
This fairy-tale file brought to you by editorial assistant Paige Osborn and poetry editor Jon Riccio.