The Future of Nostalgia

The Future of Nostalgia

Book - 2001
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Can one be nostalgic for the home one never had? Why is it that the age of globalization is accompanied by a no less global epidemic of nostalgia? Can we know what we are nostalgic for? In the seventeenth century, Swiss doctors believed that opium, leeches, and a trek through the Alps would cure nostalgia. In 1733 a Russian commander, disgusted with the debilitating homesickness rampant among his troops, buried a soldier alive as a deterrent to nostalgia. In her new book, Svetlana Boym develops a comprehensive approach to this elusive ailment. Combining personal memoir, philosophical essay, and historical analysis, Boym explores the spaces of collective nostalgia that connect national biography and personal self-fashioning in the twenty-first century. She guides us through the ruins and construction sites of post-communist cities-St. Petersburg, Moscow, Berlin, and Prague-and the imagined homelands of exiles-Benjamin, Nabokov, Mandelstam, and Brodsky. From Jurassic Park to the Totalitarian Sculpture Garden, from love letters on Kafka's grave to conversations with Hitler's impersonator, Boym unravels the threads of this global epidemic of longing and its antidotes.
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, 2001.
ISBN: 9780465007073
Branch Call Number: 909. 82 BOY
Characteristics: xix, 404 p., [16] p. of plates : ill.


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Nov 02, 2017

This book was quoted in another book and it sounded interesting. Boy, I was wrong! This is a very dry, very academic, somewhat obtuse critical look at nostalgia, specifically in 20th century Europe. Boym is Russian and spends a lot of her time focusing on that country and writers like Nabokov and Joseph Brodsky, who were exiles. If you're of a theoretical mindset, you might be able to get into it. I got lost and bored.

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