[11]
   
 

If environmental criteria may here apply, is probably the scale in which transformations occur and the instruments used, nowadays far more powerful and consequent than ever, which no longer relate to individual capacity to process, adjust and participate in the construction of any new reality.    

 

 

Other social and historical phenomena of human experiences also deal with displacement issues, however in a more intimate and permanent condition than leisure activities. They normally dwell in the mists of St. Elsewhere, other times, better lives, and often orientated to not so objective realities.

It is often in nostalgia where all these manifestations merge in the pursuit of the alluring components of memories or displaced valued references.

Nostalgia was first identified as a disease whose manifestations were grief (psychological pane) (algia) associated with the feeling of longing for a home. Something that physicians had once been of the opinion that opium, leeches and a trip to the Alps could cure.

Later it became a bad word for a mood that stood in the way to the twentieth century futuristic utopia. Nostalgia was at that the time to Memory what kitsch was to Art [i] - a temptation to relinquish critical thinking for emotional bonding. A form of History without guilt, much as Heritage today is something to suffuses us with pride, seldom with shame [ii] a guilt-free homecoming with a considerable abdication of direct ethical and aesthetic responsibility [iii]. The truth is that the progress didnít cure Nostalgia and rather acerbated it, and strongly characterized the mood of the ending of the century.

The danger in nostalgia is structural and lies in the compulsory tendency to confuse the actual home and the imaginary one. The word origin may even lead us the idea of the longing for a place, but it actually is a yearning for a different time which goes beyond individual psychology. It is often configured as the time of the childhood, the slower rhythms of our dreams and, in a broader sense, the rebellion to the positive idea of time, history and progress. The tendency is even to obliterate history and turn it into a private or collective mythology, by resisting to temporal irreversibility and by morning the displacement.

The extensive cultural dimension of nostalgia distinguishes the phenomenon from melancholia in the strong relationship between individual biography and the biography of groups or nations, between personal and collective memory. This is to say, a collective heart frame which  shapes psychologically a cultural identity.


[i] The End of Longing?, Charles Maier

[ii] Mystic Chords of Memory, Michael Kammen

[iii]The Future of Nostalgia, by Svetlana Boym