Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: The Post-Modern Parsley of Pretension

From: Robert Elkin (
Date: 11 Feb 2007

     Did I stomp too hard on your foot? Sometimes when I hop around on my one good leg with my own tongue in my cheek I tend to bounce too close to people who aren't paying attention.
     (While any dictionary may indeed describe
"nostalgia" as simply a "longing for the past," a good dictionary will describe it more exactly as a longing for an idealized past--that is, one that didn't really exist as such. Hence the commentary I offered up, which, if you really didn't get it, said much the same thing but with a pun on "coupled" that would no doubt bring a chuckle [or offer up a "wink"] to Gunny Highway [who was no more a history professor than the man I quoted, despite your assumption].)
--- Michael Robison <> wrote:

> Robert Elkin wrote:
> A former professor of mine described nostalgia as an
> inability to face history coupled with an inability
> to discard the past. What do you think?
> ************
> I'd say that Mario was speaking lightly with
> tongue-in-cheek. The "winks" he notes is satire,
> parody, pastiche, an irony of style, or some
> tion thereof. None of that equates to nostalgia.
> It's closer to a ridicule of nostalgia.
> Concerning your history professor's line, it's
> vague enough to be close to useless. It's surely no
> improvement over simply identifying nostalgia as a
> longing for the past, a definition available in any
> dictionary. The bottom line is that the past is
> supremely important, not only as record of where we
> have been and how we got where we are, but also as a
> pointer to where we are going.

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