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Humanities 2018, 7(4), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7040101

There’s No Nostalgia Like Hollywood Nostalgia

Department of English, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA
Received: 15 September 2018 / Revised: 12 October 2018 / Accepted: 18 October 2018 / Published: 19 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Nostalgia)
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Abstract

This essay argues that the complexities of the nostalgic impulse in Hollywood cinema are inadequately described by Svetlana Boym’s particular description of Hollywood as “both induc[ing] nostalgia and offer[ing] a tranquilizer” and her highly influential general distinction between restorative and reflective nostalgia. Instead, it contends that Hollywood departs in important ways from the models of both the restorative nostalgia established by the heritage cinema and Great Britain and the reflective nostalgia commonly found in American literature. Using a wide range of examples from American cinema, American literature, and American culture, it considers the reasons why nostalgia occupies a different place and seeks different kinds of expressions in American culture than it does in other national cultures, examines the leading Hollywood genres in which restorative nostalgia appears and the distinctive ways those genres inflect it, and concludes by urging a closer analysis of the more complex, multi-laminated nostalgia Hollywood films offer as an alternative to Boym’s highly influential categorical dichotomy. View Full-Text
Keywords: American literature; heritage cinema; Hollywood; reflective nostalgia; restorative nostalgia American literature; heritage cinema; Hollywood; reflective nostalgia; restorative nostalgia
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Leitch, T. There’s No Nostalgia Like Hollywood Nostalgia. Humanities 2018, 7, 101.

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