Research Paper On Nostalgia

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Few notes on nostalgia The term nostalgia was initially coined by Johannes Hoffer in 1688 to describe a medical condition suffered by Swiss soldiers. It derives from two Greek words: nostos, meaning “returning home” and algos, meaning “pain”. While the original term clearly bares strong spatial connotations, nowadays it is typically used to describe a person’s wistful longing for a particular period of time. Despite the fact that it is a relatively new concept, nostalgia has attracted the attention of scholars belonging to a variety of disciplines. These include history, anthropology, sociology and political science. In fact, their works are so numerous and various that doing them justice in merely a few pages would be nearly impossible.…show more content…
In this sense, it is considered a somewhat irrational, emotional reaction towards the irreversibility of time. It is a sentiment which is conservative in nature and is incontrovertibly flawed. Moreover, it poses great dangers as it challenges the post-Enlightenment idea of the progressive nature of time, seeing instead the present as inferior to an idealised past. This type of literature, perhaps reflective of nostalgia’s early days as a disease, tends to see the sentiment as something that should be scrutinised and approached cautiously. Yet, while nostalgia could occasionally be seen merely as an attempt to bring the past back to life, that is not necessarily always the…show more content…
That seems to be to an extent an elaboration of the idea that nostalgia is predominantly connected to the days gone by. Thus, the sentiment is often seen as not only wanting to bring the past back, but as wanting to bring a version of it that never existed. That appears to be mainly related to the notion that nostalgia promotes an idealised version of history, emphasising its positive features and leaving out most of the negative aspects. Nostalgia, in this sense, is seen as unable or reluctant to reflect on the true, complex nature of the past. Consequently, the sentiment is often conceived as “amnesiac”, as willingly leaving out parts of history that contradict its positive perception. Accordingly, nostalgics are considered prone to imagining a past that never was and attempting to bring this ideal to life. As a result, nostalgia is frequently described as an emotional craving which could never be fully satisfied, as it is wistful of the return of a golden age that never actually existed beyond the melancholic world of imagination. Indeed, looking at it from this perspective, the sentiment does appear logically flawed, even to an extent irrational. However, if we look at nostalgia as a phenomenon which is not that much about memory but about loss, its relationship to history seems less

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