Ed Curtin’s must-read meditation on nostalgia

Nostalgic for the Future

Edward Curtin   Feb. 6, 2022

Despite its pedigree as a fundamental element in civilization’s greatest stories, nostalgia has come to be associated with treacly sentimentality, defeatism, and spurious spiritual inclinations.

Homer, Vergil, Dante, the Biblical writers, and their ilk would demur, of course, but they have been dead for a few years, so progress’s mantra urges us to get on with it.  This is now.

But now is always, and like its twin – exile – nostalgia is perpetual.

The aching for “home” – from Greek algos, pain + nostos, homecoming – is not simply a desire for the past, whether in reality or imagination, time or place, but a passionate yearning for the best from the past to be brought into the future.

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