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Music Term: Nostalgia

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 1-9

Nostalgia


Definition and background:

A bittersweet longing for things, persons, or situations of the past. The condition of being homesick; homesickness. Those who are nostalgic are likely to favor traditions over the future's potential to be the site of better things. Everyone would like to escape the present for some qualities remembered from (or associated with) times past. Nostalgia is that yearning for whatever it is that makes the present less desirable. Modernists were the most thoroughly anti-nostalgic group of people, whereas postmodernists pursue newness without being embarrassed by their embrace of references to the past. (pr. nahs-TAHL-jə) Quote: "So we beat on, boats against the the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), American novelist. The last line of The Great Gatsby, 1925. "Nostalgia . . . is a powerful emotion, feel-good seductive but also potentially dangerous, and something to be particularly wary of at a conservative, self-satisfied moment in American art and culture." Holland Carter (contemporary), American art critic. New York Times, June 18, 1999, in a review of a survey of works by Maxfield Parrish (American, 1870-1966). Also see camp, creativity, forget, kitsch, memorabilia, sentiment, sepia, xenophilia, and xenophobia.


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