Special Issue "Contemporary Nostalgia"

A special issue of Humanities (ISSN 2076-0787).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Niklas Salmose

Department of Languages, Linnaeus University, P G Vejdes väg, 35195 Växjö, Sweden
Website | E-Mail
Interests: twentieth and twenty-first century literature and film; popular culture; intermediality; the anthropocene; nostalgia; affect theory; senses

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We live in societies oriented towards the now and the tomorrow, in a world obsessed with a complex and protean present seemingly impervious to historical continuity. The many tomorrows inherent in every new technology, product, and digitally mediated event drive us further away from our collective histories. Yet the present seems stubbornly rooted in the past, as Zygmunt Bauman so convincingly argues in his last work Retrotopia (2017). This occurs both politically, as in the repeated re-ignition of history’s buried fires, ranging from the emergence of ISIS as an ultra-nostalgic force to the re-emergence of a nostalgic hard-right in European politics, and culturally, as in the persistent return of cultural production and consumption to a number of key points in our history in a restless and always unsatisfied attempt to reinterpret, reuse, or replay that which is seemingly vanished. This retrospective orientation is observable in all major contemporary media forms and social practices. Romantic inclination towards the past might seem irrational, but our emotional connections to our own biographies, as well as a collective solidarity with our childhoods, traditions, imaginations, anticipations and dreams may also be a rational response to modern instability. Nostalgia, then, appears increasingly to be a modality of its own with major potential for understanding how our now is shaped by our then, both individually and collectively.

Papers are invited that will discuss pressing contemporary issues (politics, social, climate, economics) through a nostalgic discourse and how these issues resonate in media, art and culture. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

Memory, Affect, Subjectivity. Research within this field could explore the centrality of this sort of personal nostalgia to contemporary cultural production, examining key texts such as the Proustian project of Karl Ove Knausgård’s six-volume My Struggle.

Nostalgia and Empire. Empire and nostalgia permeate media of any kind even to this day. We see this in films like The English Patient (1996), for instance, as in computer games like Victoria: An Empire Under the Sun (2003), but we certainly also see it in the news, in the hopes that Brexit can reestablish the importance of a Britain reduced in power, or that electing Donald Trump can ‘Make America Great Again’ by returning to former days of military glory. Imperial nostalgia is here to stay. Indeed, some may argue that it never went away in the first place.

Migration and Exile. Who, indeed, could experience of the pain of the impossibility to return home implied in the etymology of the term nostalgia more acutely, more persistently, and more hopelessly, than the refugee or the exile, who all too often literally cannot go home or has no home to go home to. But as Charles C. Lemert has pointed out “dispossession” is the “ubiquitous condition of a globalizing world,” and thus not exclusive to literal communities of exile: global neo-liberal capitalism makes exiles out of us all, and one response to this state is nostalgia.

The Anthropocene, the Post-human, and Utopian-Dystopian Imaginaries. The fear of loss of stable humanity, both in the Anthropocene and Post-human condition, might be interpreted as reactionary and conservative, but these concerns are indeed real, and need to be negotiated in any utopian ideas of a human future on this planet. This sparks, as in romanticism, a desire to return to the slower rhythms of rural and mythical life, preindustrial routines and traditions, and a belief of an untouched human heart and nature. What role will nostalgia play in negotiating planetary and human future in the era of ecological crisis?

Dr. Niklas Salmose
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Nostalgia
  • Media
  • Art
  • Affect
  • Empire
  • Exile
  • Anthropocene

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Nubia Still Exists: On the Utility of the Nostalgic Space
Humanities 2019, 8(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8010024
Received: 27 November 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 24 January 2019 / Published: 31 January 2019
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Abstract
The Egyptian government displaced all Nubian villages to build the High Dam. New generations of Egyptian Nubians still identify as displaced and live in a nostalgic virtual space that carries a rendition of a paradise-like old Nubia. I investigate this spatial phenomenon by [...] Read more.
The Egyptian government displaced all Nubian villages to build the High Dam. New generations of Egyptian Nubians still identify as displaced and live in a nostalgic virtual space that carries a rendition of a paradise-like old Nubia. I investigate this spatial phenomenon by surveying Nubian literary and oral tradition, which displays signs of belonging to a geography that is no longer material. This paper lays out a conceptualisation of this space of nostalgia perpetuated in a metanarrative of a utopian lost land, that poses it as a disembodied territory while nostalgia is territoriality. From my position as a Nubian woman and a scholar, I use auto-ethnographic tools to methodically decode and layout this territory. The paper offers empirical evidence of the effect of these virtual territories on materialised spatial production and, therefore, argues that Nubians remain space makers by carving their own virtual territory and that Nubia still exists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Nostalgia)
Open AccessArticle Subverting the Nation-State Through Post-Partition Nostalgia: Joginder Paul’s Sleepwalkers
Humanities 2019, 8(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8010019
Received: 18 September 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 18 January 2019 / Published: 23 January 2019
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Abstract
With the advent of the Progressive Writers Movement, Urdu Literature was marked with a heightened form of social realism during the Partition of British India in 1947. Joginder Paul, once a part of this movement, breaks away from this realist tradition in his [...] Read more.
With the advent of the Progressive Writers Movement, Urdu Literature was marked with a heightened form of social realism during the Partition of British India in 1947. Joginder Paul, once a part of this movement, breaks away from this realist tradition in his Urdu novella, Khwabrau (Sleepwalkers), published in 1990. Sleepwalkers shifts the dominant realist strain in the form and content of Urdu fiction to open a liminal “third space” that subverts the notion of hegemonic reality. Sleepwalkers is based on a time, many years after the Partition in the city of Karachi, and focuses on the “mohajirs” from Lucknow who construct a mnemonic existential space by constructing a simulacrum of pre-Partition Lucknow (now in India). This paper examines the reconceptualization of spaces through the realm of political nostalgia and the figure of the refugee subject “performing” this nostalgia. This nostalgic reconstruction of space, thus, becomes a “heterotopia” in Foucauldian terms, one that causes a rupture in the unities of time and space and the idea of nation-hood. The refugee subjects’ subversion of the linearity of time opens a different time in the narration of a nation that necessitates that the wholeness of the “imagined” physical space of a nation be questioned. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Nostalgia)
Open AccessArticle “The Past Is Never Dead. It’s Not Even Past”: The Ambivalent Call of Nostalgic Memory in Richard Ford’s Short Story “Calling” (A Multitude of Sins, 2001)
Humanities 2019, 8(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8010011
Received: 22 October 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
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Abstract
This article focuses on Richard Ford’s short story “Calling,” collected in the volume entitled A Multitude of Sins (2001). It consists of the detailed recalling by a first-person narrator, from the vantage point of adulthood, of a duck-hunting outing with his father at [...] Read more.
This article focuses on Richard Ford’s short story “Calling,” collected in the volume entitled A Multitude of Sins (2001). It consists of the detailed recalling by a first-person narrator, from the vantage point of adulthood, of a duck-hunting outing with his father at a moment of acute family crisis when he was still a teenager. This episode, redolent of America’s nostalgic motif of male bonding and father-son transmission in the midst of mythical American nature, is shown to have proved a pathetic failure at the time, and the story stages—to pick up Svetlana Boym’s famous distinction between two main types of nostalgia—the enlightening “reflective” effects of recalling this moment of “restorative” longing for the protagonist. However, the highly analytical narrator does not consciously dwell upon the peripheral yet disturbing presence of two grotesque characters that, I contend, are the locus of the implicit meaning of the text. Through precise textual reading and references to Southern Gothic, I indeed argue that the subtext of “Calling” invites the reader to journey back into a region’s (the South’s) troubled collective past and to question its own relation to nostalgia. “Calling” thus also stages the ambivalence of nostalgic longing on the collective plane as it shows willful nostalgic recollection wavering in the face of the return of the historical repressed, that of America’s ineffable original sin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Nostalgia)
Open AccessArticle Nostalgia, Motherhood, and Adoption: Two Contemporary Swedish Examples
Humanities 2019, 8(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8010008
Received: 14 September 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 10 January 2019
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Abstract
This paper explores the notion of nostalgia in two recent Swedish narratives of transnational adoption: Christina Rickardsson’s Sluta aldrig gå, 2016, (published in English as Never Stop Walking in 2017), and Cilla Naumann’s Bära barnet hem (“Carrying the Child Home”, 2015). The [...] Read more.
This paper explores the notion of nostalgia in two recent Swedish narratives of transnational adoption: Christina Rickardsson’s Sluta aldrig gå, 2016, (published in English as Never Stop Walking in 2017), and Cilla Naumann’s Bära barnet hem (“Carrying the Child Home”, 2015). The two narratives deal with adoption from South America to Sweden, include autobiographical content, and enable a comparison between an adoptee memoir (Rickardsson) and a parent-authored text (Naumann). Both texts center on maternal images, but the analysis suggests that Rickardsson’s narrative echoes the borderland nostalgia characteristic of adoptee writing. The adoptee memoirs, being reflective in mode and restorative in purpose, occupy a borderland between the two forms of nostalgia described by Boym (2001), while interrogating the temporal, spatial and affiliative boundaries of transnational adoption. Naumann’s nostalgic enterprise incorporates the mirrors, doubles and ghosts of reflective nostalgia. These representations are a fruitful means to represent the “other” family, and the alternative lives that were left behind in the process of adoption. Ultimately, her text suggests the limitations of the autobiographical mode and illustrates the capacity of fiction to provide a symbolic register in which to articulate the unspeakable aspects of adoption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Nostalgia)
Open AccessArticle Nostalgic Nuances in Media in the Red Book Magazine Version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Rich Boy”
Humanities 2018, 7(4), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7040131
Received: 15 September 2018 / Revised: 12 November 2018 / Accepted: 5 December 2018 / Published: 12 December 2018
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Abstract
The present article attempts to contribute to both Fitzgerald scholarship and nostalgia studies by examining how text, illustration, and advertisement enter into dialogue in the original magazine format of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story “The Rich Boy”. As research is still scarce on [...] Read more.
The present article attempts to contribute to both Fitzgerald scholarship and nostalgia studies by examining how text, illustration, and advertisement enter into dialogue in the original magazine format of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story “The Rich Boy”. As research is still scarce on Fitzgerald’s stories as they were first published, this field may hold new, potential research paths for this canonical author, a few of which I endeavor to explore here. This paper suggests that this 1926 magazine version offers a unique nostalgic experience that differs from the reading of Fitzgerald’s text in an image-free anthology. It argues that, with some exceptions, these media generally interact in a cohesive way that echoes or reinforces a nostalgic mood. Niklas Salmose’s typology of nostalgic strategies will be used to draw out the nostalgia in these media, and an intermedial approach will be employed to investigate how they engage in nostalgic dialogue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Nostalgia)
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Open AccessArticle Video Games as Objects and Vehicles of Nostalgia
Humanities 2018, 7(4), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7040123
Received: 20 October 2018 / Revised: 17 November 2018 / Accepted: 22 November 2018 / Published: 25 November 2018
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Abstract
Barely 50 years old, video games are among the newest media today, and still a source of fascination and a site of anxiety for cultural critics and parents. Since the 1970s, a generation of video gamers have grown up and as they began [...] Read more.
Barely 50 years old, video games are among the newest media today, and still a source of fascination and a site of anxiety for cultural critics and parents. Since the 1970s, a generation of video gamers have grown up and as they began to have children of their own, video games have become objects evoking fond memories of the past. Nostalgia for simpler times is evident in the aesthetic choices game designers make: pixelated graphics, 8-bit music, and frustratingly hard levels are all reminiscent of arcade-style and third-generation console games that have been etched into the memory of Generation X. At the same time, major AAA titles have become so photorealistic and full of cinematic ambition that video games can also serve as vehicles for nostalgia by “faithfully” recreating the past. From historical recreations of major cities in the Assassin’s Creed series and L. A. Noire, to the resurrection of old art styles in 80 Days, Firewatch or Cuphead all speak of the extent to which computer gaming is suffused with a longing for pasts that never were but might have been. This paper investigates the design of games to examine how nostalgia is used to manipulate affect and player experience, and how it contributes to the themes that these computer games explore. Far from ruining video games, nostalgia nonetheless exploits the associations the players have with certain historical eras, including earlier eras of video gaming. Even so, the juxtaposition of period media and dystopic rampages or difficult levels critically comment upon the futility of nostalgia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Nostalgia)
Open AccessArticle Peculiarities of Nostalgia in Ayn Rand’s Novel Atlas Shrugged
Humanities 2018, 7(4), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7040121
Received: 29 September 2018 / Revised: 15 November 2018 / Accepted: 17 November 2018 / Published: 19 November 2018
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Abstract
Quite a number of Russian writers could not accept the October Revolution in 1917 and left the country. Their nostalgia for their motherland in emigration is a well-known fact. The Russian-born American writer Ayn Rand (1905–1982) was also driven out of Soviet Russia [...] Read more.
Quite a number of Russian writers could not accept the October Revolution in 1917 and left the country. Their nostalgia for their motherland in emigration is a well-known fact. The Russian-born American writer Ayn Rand (1905–1982) was also driven out of Soviet Russia by a hatred for communism, yet her nostalgia is of a different kind. The purpose of this study is to describe the nature of Ayn Rand’s nostalgia. Discovering, on arrival in the U.S., a reality different from the image she bore in her mind, she did not start missing her homeland but continued longing for her ideal—19th century America. This ideal is fully reflected in her self-made philosophy known as “objectivism”, which underlies her novel Atlas Shrugged. Though philosophically substantiated, the ideal appears to be embodied in trivial myths of the American mass consciousness. The study highlights four of the most popular national myths in her novel. As a result, Rand’s literary works represent popular literature that are not within the mainstream of the Russian émigré literature of that period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Nostalgia)
Open AccessArticle Yugonostalgia as a Kind of Love: Politics of Emotional Reconciliations through Yugoslav Popular Music
Humanities 2018, 7(4), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7040119
Received: 1 September 2018 / Revised: 31 October 2018 / Accepted: 6 November 2018 / Published: 15 November 2018
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Abstract
In the aftermath of the Yugoslav wars, listening to Yugoslav popular music has often been seen as a choice charged with political meaning, as a symptom of Yugonostalgia and as a statement against the nationalistic discourses of the post-Yugoslav states. In this article, [...] Read more.
In the aftermath of the Yugoslav wars, listening to Yugoslav popular music has often been seen as a choice charged with political meaning, as a symptom of Yugonostalgia and as a statement against the nationalistic discourses of the post-Yugoslav states. In this article, I will show how the seemingly neutral concept of love is embedded in the music and memory practices in the post-Yugoslav context. In dealing with the issue of love, I draw on the research regarding emotions as social, cultural, and performative categories. The research included the analysis of the interconnectedness of the discourses on love and the discourse on Yugoslavia (promoted by both the performers and the audience). In addition to the striking intertwinement of the two, the actual term love was quite often used when describing the general relation to Yugoslavia, or its music in particular, or the relation of the people from the former country. Pointing to the multifarious meanings and usages of the concept of love as understood in the post-Yugoslav music space, I will argue that Yugonostalgia can be understood as a kind of love. As such, Yugonostalgia can be used for commercial purposes and be a means for the commodification of feelings and memories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Nostalgia)
Open AccessArticle Ostalgia in Czech Films about Normalisation Created Post-1989
Humanities 2018, 7(4), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7040118
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 22 October 2018 / Accepted: 31 October 2018 / Published: 14 November 2018
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Abstract
This piece will introduce Czech ostalgic films set in the normalisation period (1969–1989) and will interpret the basic divide between nostalgic representation of the period and the openly anti-communist stances of the films’ creators. The methodological frame of this research comes from Robert [...] Read more.
This piece will introduce Czech ostalgic films set in the normalisation period (1969–1989) and will interpret the basic divide between nostalgic representation of the period and the openly anti-communist stances of the films’ creators. The methodological frame of this research comes from Robert Rosenstone’s approach of representation of history in film. To interpret ostalgia in Czech film, I use ideas from Daphne Berdhal and Svetlana Boym. I described the nostalgic elements and their functions in the structure of the films, taking into account their story, characters, settings, film style, narration, genre, and audience response (identification, causality of emotional experience). Czech ostalgic films about the normalisation period are interpretively ambivalent. The interpretational tension appears out of a fundamental divide between a clear refusal of communism and an idyllic view of the socialist past. They cannot be simply classified into restorative or reflective nostalgia. The younger generation of spectators perceives ostalgic films in the mode of reflective nostalgia; on the other hand, the older generation perceive the films in terms of restorative nostalgia. A different way of perceiving ostalgia reveals a misunderstanding between generations of the current Czech society. Due to singular anti-communist viewpoints and emphasised liberal values, the films cannot be interpreted in a desire for an idealised home in a communist past, but as a desire for a present home and its security, which cannot be clearly conceptualised. The concept of reflective nostalgia can be linked with the theory of Berdhal. The films cannot be perceived as a desire for an idealised home in a communist past due to specific anti-communist viewpoints and highlighted liberal values, but as a need for a home and security that cannot be directly conceptualised. This appearance of reflective nostalgia can be connected with the theory stated by Berdhal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Nostalgia)
Open AccessArticle The Second World War, Imperial, and Colonial Nostalgia: The North Africa Campaign and Battlefields of Memory
Humanities 2018, 7(4), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7040113
Received: 14 September 2018 / Revised: 26 October 2018 / Accepted: 2 November 2018 / Published: 8 November 2018
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Abstract
The article addresses the function of (post)colonial nostalgia in a context of multidirectional memory (Rothberg 2009) in contemporary Europe. How can different cultural memories of the Second Word War be put into respectful dialogue with each other? The text is based on a [...] Read more.
The article addresses the function of (post)colonial nostalgia in a context of multidirectional memory (Rothberg 2009) in contemporary Europe. How can different cultural memories of the Second Word War be put into respectful dialogue with each other? The text is based on a contrapuntal reading (Said 1994) of British and Egyptian popular narratives, mainly British documentary films about the North Africa Campaign, but also feature films and novels, and data from qualitative interviews collected during ethnographic fieldwork in Alexandria and Cairo, Egypt, during visits 2013–2015. The study highlights the considerable differences between the British and Egyptian narratives, but also the significant similarities regarding the use and function of nostalgia. In addition, the Egyptian narrative expresses a profound cosmopolitan nostalgia and a longing for what is regarded as Egypt’s lost, modern Golden Age, identified as the decades before the nation’s fundamental change from western-oriented monarchy to Nasser’s Arab nationalist military state. The common elements between the two national narratives indicate a possibly fruitful way to open up for a shared popular memory culture about the war years, including postcolonial aspects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Nostalgia)
Open AccessArticle ‘As If There Was No Fear’: Exploring Nostalgic Narrative in Bo Carpelan’s Novel Berg
Humanities 2018, 7(4), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7040106
Received: 15 September 2018 / Revised: 24 October 2018 / Accepted: 26 October 2018 / Published: 31 October 2018
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Abstract
This article addresses nostalgic experience and aims at a definition of nostalgic narrative through textual analysis. The target text is Bo Carpelan’s Berg (2005). The novel is analysed with narratological methods focusing on the narrative modes and the techniques of narrative mediation that [...] Read more.
This article addresses nostalgic experience and aims at a definition of nostalgic narrative through textual analysis. The target text is Bo Carpelan’s Berg (2005). The novel is analysed with narratological methods focusing on the narrative modes and the techniques of narrative mediation that invite a nostalgic experience in the reader. This side of the phenomenon—the textual aesthetics of nostalgia—has been explored by few scholars, whereas the contextual and cultural aspects of nostalgia have received a lot of attention. This article suggests further ways of analysing how a text evokes nostalgic experience, and thus considers the nostalgic experience of the reader as the definitive core of nostalgic narrative. The nostalgic experience in Berg is intense, reflective, and ambivalent. These qualities are produced on the level of both the narrative discourse and the story: by changes between the narrative modes and by the nostalgic and non-nostalgic content that builds and breaks the idealised narrative. The article suggests that more attention should be paid to the complexity of nostalgic narratives. Furthermore, it highlights that by creating reflectivity and contradictions, the non-nostalgic content also affects the nostalgic narrative. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Nostalgia)
Open AccessArticle Atoning for Nostalgia in Ian McEwan’s Atonement
Humanities 2018, 7(4), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7040105
Received: 15 September 2018 / Revised: 22 October 2018 / Accepted: 25 October 2018 / Published: 29 October 2018
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Abstract
Many critics have pointed out the ambiguities of Atonement, a postmodernist anti-nostalgic novel that brings to the fore all the traditional topoi of Englishness in order better to denounce them as sham. In Atonement, the nostalgic longing is linked to the [...] Read more.
Many critics have pointed out the ambiguities of Atonement, a postmodernist anti-nostalgic novel that brings to the fore all the traditional topoi of Englishness in order better to denounce them as sham. In Atonement, the nostalgic longing is linked to the desire of Briony (the protagonist/narrator) for a return to a state of innocence which, I will argue through a close analysis of the text and its recurring images, is as much an atoning for her crime as a longing to be at-one in a state of harmony. Literally utopian, this nostalgic longing appears as a fantasy of omnipotence by an immature ego. Yet Briony’s being born into a writer entails a facing of the other within the self, an atoning for her nostalgic bias, not by erasing it, but by acknowledging her full responsibility in it, a process the reader is also invited to go through. From a regressive quest, nostalgia thus turns into an opening to otherness and to new potentialities. The unbridgeable gap between nostalgic desire and its fulfilment is what fuels our longing, keeps us alive and allows for creation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Nostalgia)
Open AccessArticle Into the Texan Sunset: Metanostalgia, Retro-, and Introspection in Lars Gustafsson’s “Where the Alphabet Has Two Hundred Letters”
Humanities 2018, 7(4), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7040103
Received: 14 September 2018 / Revised: 14 October 2018 / Accepted: 18 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
If restorative nostalgia concentrates on national past and future and reflective nostalgia on individual memory (Boym 2001), Lars Gustafsson’s “Where the Alphabet Has Two Hundred Letters” does neither. This article argues that Gustafsson’s treatment of the past landscape is metanostalgic, in the [...] Read more.
If restorative nostalgia concentrates on national past and future and reflective nostalgia on individual memory (Boym 2001), Lars Gustafsson’s “Where the Alphabet Has Two Hundred Letters” does neither. This article argues that Gustafsson’s treatment of the past landscape is metanostalgic, in the sense that nostalgia is a theme and a means, rather than a sentiment, and that the way his tropic reinvention deals with nostalgia differs from other uses. Though the poem partakes in the pastoral tradition, it is less concerned with this mode and more concerned with the notion of ‘effect’, of which Gustafsson has written extensively. Gustafsson has also elaborated on the aspects of ‘centre’ and ‘periphery’, notions that are used to define and extend the poetic landscape and the speaker’s position in, and relation to, it. His poetic landscape encompasses the extremes of continents near and far, but also landscapes temporally removed, which may hold a different status in terms of their impact on ‘effect’, a status that is then not hinging on the obvious hierarchies of traditional nostalgia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Nostalgia)
Open AccessArticle There’s No Nostalgia Like Hollywood Nostalgia
Humanities 2018, 7(4), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7040101
Received: 15 September 2018 / Revised: 12 October 2018 / Accepted: 18 October 2018 / Published: 19 October 2018
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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, [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Nostalgia)
Open AccessArticle ‘Vision Isolated in Eternity’: Nostalgia Catches the Train
Humanities 2018, 7(4), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7040095
Received: 9 August 2018 / Revised: 20 September 2018 / Accepted: 22 September 2018 / Published: 30 September 2018
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Abstract
Nostalgia for steam trains in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries offers a further example of the varying responses to railways evident ever since their first development in the nineteenth century. Several of these responses contributed to, and illustrate, the changing roles of [...] Read more.
Nostalgia for steam trains in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries offers a further example of the varying responses to railways evident ever since their first development in the nineteenth century. Several of these responses contributed to, and illustrate, the changing roles of temporality, memory and nostalgia in the literature of the modern period. In particular, though modernist literature is often critical of the contribution railways and their timetabling made to the mechanisation of the modern age, the writers concerned also develop affirmatively the new possibilities of momentary, memorable vision which rapid travel offered to the imagination. The development of this kind of vision in modernist writing allows certain forms of intense memory to be recognized as historically specific, though also, as always, shaped by nostalgia’s idiosyncratic, personal aspects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Nostalgia)
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