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Nostalgia for Ruins

Nostalgia for Ruins Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Carceri d’invenzione, Title page, 1745 (First Edition). Nostalgia for Ruins ANDREAS HUYSSEN The dictionary defines nostalgia as “homesickness” or a “longing for something far away or long ago.”1 The word is made up of the Greek nostos = home and algos = pain. Nostalgia’s primary meaning has to do with the irreversibility of time: something in the past is no longer accessible. Since the European seventeenth century, with the emergence of a new sense of temporality increasingly characterized by the radical asymmetries of past, present, and future, nostalgia as a longing for a lost past has developed into the modern disease per se.2 This predominantly negative coding of nostalgia within modernity is easily explained: nostalgia counteracts, even undermines linear notions of progress, whether they are framed dialectically as philosophy of history or sociologically and economically as modernization. But nostalgic longing for a past is always also a longing for another place. Nostalgia can be a utopia in reverse. Temporality and spatiality are necessarily linked in nostalgic desire. The architectural ruin is an example of the indissoluble combination of spatial and temporal desires that trigger nostalgia. In the body of the ruin the past is both http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Grey Room MIT Press

Nostalgia for Ruins

Grey Room , Volume Spring 2006 (23) – Apr 1, 2006

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References (1)

Publisher
MIT Press
Copyright
© 2006 by Grey Room, Inc. and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
ISSN
1526-3819
eISSN
1536-0105
DOI
10.1162/grey.2006.1.23.6
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Carceri d’invenzione, Title page, 1745 (First Edition). Nostalgia for Ruins ANDREAS HUYSSEN The dictionary defines nostalgia as “homesickness” or a “longing for something far away or long ago.”1 The word is made up of the Greek nostos = home and algos = pain. Nostalgia’s primary meaning has to do with the irreversibility of time: something in the past is no longer accessible. Since the European seventeenth century, with the emergence of a new sense of temporality increasingly characterized by the radical asymmetries of past, present, and future, nostalgia as a longing for a lost past has developed into the modern disease per se.2 This predominantly negative coding of nostalgia within modernity is easily explained: nostalgia counteracts, even undermines linear notions of progress, whether they are framed dialectically as philosophy of history or sociologically and economically as modernization. But nostalgic longing for a past is always also a longing for another place. Nostalgia can be a utopia in reverse. Temporality and spatiality are necessarily linked in nostalgic desire. The architectural ruin is an example of the indissoluble combination of spatial and temporal desires that trigger nostalgia. In the body of the ruin the past is both

Journal

Grey RoomMIT Press

Published: Apr 1, 2006

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