Nostalgia


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Reading Michelle Orange’s book This is Running for Your Life . I found out about the book through Slate’s Culture Gabfest podcast. It was recommended by David Haglund. That particular podcast is very interesting. If you click that link and the topics interest you then by all means listen.

The book is a collection of essays written by Michelle (obviously). I have read the first two essays and I found myself highlighting almost every sentence. I love it and I am not even halfway through it yet. The first essay is about nostalgia and it definitely speaks to me. I mean the title of my other blog (the one on tumblr) has nostalgia in the title so I was definitely interested. Michelle talks about how most of the memories we find nostalgic are probably not even awesome memories. She talks about songs and bands people reminisce about and how the music was probably shitty. That is me just paraphrasing. There is more to it but you have to read it. A quote from that essay:

In fact what we call nostalgia today is too much remembrance of too little

Reminds me of my psychology class when we talked about how memories we think we have of the past are often exaggerated and are sometimes not even accurate. I forget the theory (I could find out but…) that is what I feel nostalgia is. I think we often exaggerate how good those ‘times’ we long for really are.
Just the other day my friends and I were talking about last summer (2012) and how great it was. I am totally going to get cliché here so bear with me. We used to talk long walks in the evenings with the cool breeze, wearing short shorts and we had encounters with many attractive people. Then I remembered the reason we took those long evening walks was because the air conditioner in (lets call my friends Friend A and Friend B) Friend A’s house was broken and it was so HOT! Sweltering inside so we were always outside. So yeah not that glamorous after all.
That example is a little one but I hope you catch my drift.

The second essay in the book is called “The Dream (Girl) is Over”. That is one essay I would talk about another day because I can go on and on and on and on.

Food for thought: With everything said, if you could go back to those memories you really long for, would you go? or would you be terrified that those memories were not as incredible as you thought they were?

Ending with a quote from one of my favorite movies “Midnight in Paris” :

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 ones living in – it’s a flaw in the romantic imagination of those people who find it difficult to cope with the present.

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