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The term Nostalgia describes a sentimentality for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.The word is a learned formation of a Greek compound, consisting of νόστος (nóstos), meaning "homecoming", a Homeric word, and ἄλγος(álgos), meaning "pain, ache", and was coined by a 17th-century medical student to describe the anxieties displayed by Swiss mercenaries fighting away from home. Described as a medical condition—a form of melancholy—in the Early Modern period, it became an important trope in Romanticism

Nostalgia in its most common form was responsible for the old front desk of The Beverly Hills Hotel (from 1942 to 1979) being made into a bar.


  • Nostalgia is a seductive liar.
  • Nostalgia is denial. Denial of the painful present. The name for this denial is Golden Age thinking - the erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one one's living in - it's a flaw in the romantic imagination of those people who find it difficult to cope with the present.
  • Man should possess an infinite appetite for life. It should be self-evident to him, all the time, that life is superb, glorious, endlessly rich, infinitely desirable. At present, because he is in a midway position between the brute and the truly human, he is always getting bored, depressed, weary of life. He has become so top-heavy with civilisation that he cannot contact the springs of pure vitality. Control of the prefrontal cortex will change all of this. He will cease to cast nostalgic glances towards the womb, for he will realise that death is no escape. Man is a creature of life and the daylight; his destiny lies in total objectivity.
    • Colin Wilson in The Philosopher's Stone, p. 317-318 (1969)

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