Monthly Archives: August 2010


Was reading for work and encountered this Hollis Frampton quote: “In Greek the word means ‘the wounds of returning.’ Nostalgia is not an emotion that is entertained; it is sustained. When Ulysses comes home, nostalgia is the lumps he takes, not the tremulous pleasures he derives from being home again.”

If only that were the original usage, though I enjoy the thought that nostalgia truly describes a past that waits around patiently for an opportunity to hurt us. The word is actually a modern coinage, but I was tempted to consult my trusty Middle Liddell nevertheless, to see if any like sentiments popped up in ancient minds. But that dictionary is gone, packed off to storage with all the other books, or maybe even just lost, effectively just lost.

And thanks to Frampton I’m here, thinking back to the years I spent hunched over in libraries flipping through that book. Remembering, and not with longing.