Author: Gary Cross
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be. For many of us, modern memory is shaped less by a longing for the social customs and practices of the past or for family heirlooms handed down over generations and more by childhood encounters with ephemeral commercial goods and fleeting media moments in our age of fast capitalism. This phenomenon has given rise to communities of nostalgia whose members remain loyal to the toys, television, and music of their youth. They return to the theme parks and pastimes of their upbringing, hoping to reclaim that feeling of childhood wonder or teenage freedom. Consumed nostalgia took definite shape in the 1970s, spurred by an increase in the turnover of consumer goods, the commercialization of childhood, and the skillful marketing of nostalgia. Gary Cross immerses readers in this fascinating and often delightful history, unpacking the cultural dynamics that turn pop tunes into oldies and childhood toys into valuable commodities. He compares the limited appeal of heritage sites such as Colonial Williamsburg to the perpetually attractive power of a Disney theme park and reveals how consumed nostalgia shapes how we cope with accelerating change. Today nostalgia can be owned, collected, and easily accessed, making it less elusive and often more fun than in the past, but its commercialization has sometimes limited memory and complicated the positive goals of recollection. By unmasking the fascinating, idiosyncratic character of modern nostalgia, Cross helps us better understand the rituals of recall in an age of fast capitalism.
Combining personal memoir, philosophical essay, and historical analysis, Svetlana Boym explores the spaces of collective nostalgia that connect national biography and personal self-fashioning in the twenty-first century. She guides us through the ruins and construction sites of post-communist cities-St. Petersburg, Moscow, Berlin, and Prague-and the imagined homelands of exiles-Benjamin, Nabokov, Mandelstahm, and Brodsky. From Jurassic Park to the Totalitarian Sculpture Garden, Boym unravels the threads of this global epidemic of longing and its antidotes.
Flickers of Film
Author: Jason Sperb
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Whether paying tribute to silent films in Hugo and The Artist or celebrating arcade games in Tron: Legacy and Wreck-It-Ralph, Hollywood suddenly seems to be experiencing a wave of intense nostalgia for outmoded technologies. To what extent is that a sincere lament for modes of artistic production that have nearly vanished in an all-digital era? And to what extent is it simply a cynical marketing ploy, built on the notion that nostalgia has always been one of Hollywood’s top-selling products? In Flickers of Film, Jason Sperb offers nuanced and unexpected answers to these questions, examining the benefits of certain types of film nostalgia, while also critiquing how Hollywood’s nostalgic representations of old technologies obscure important aspects of their histories. He interprets this affection for the prehistory and infancy of digital technologies in relation to an industry-wide anxiety about how the digital has grown to dominate Hollywood, pushing it into an uncertain creative and economic future. Yet he also suggests that Hollywood’s nostalgia for old technologies ignores the professionals who once employed them, as well as the labor opportunities that have been lost through the computerization and outsourcing of film industry jobs. Though it deals with nostalgia, Flickers of Film is strikingly cutting-edge, one of the first studies to critically examine Pixar’s role in the film industry, cinematic representations of videogames, and the economic effects of participatory culture. As he takes in everything from Terminator: Salvation to The Lego Movie, Sperb helps us see what’s distinct about this recent wave of self-aware nostalgic films—how Hollywood nostalgia today isn’t what it used to be.
This is a book about the Super Nintendo Entertainment System that is not celebratory or self-congratulatory. Most other accounts declare the Super NES the undisputed victor of the "16-bit console wars" of 1989--1995. In this book, Dominic Arsenault reminds us that although the SNES was a strong platform filled with high-quality games, it was also the product of a short-sighted corporate vision focused on maintaining Nintendo's market share and business model. This led the firm to fall from a dominant position during its golden age (dubbed by Arsenault the "ReNESsance") with the NES to the margins of the industry with the Nintendo 64 and GameCube consoles. Arsenault argues that Nintendo's conservative business strategies and resistance to innovation during the SNES years explain its market defeat by Sony's PlayStation. Extending the notion of "platform" to include the marketing forces that shape and constrain creative work, Arsenault draws not only on game studies and histories but on game magazines, boxes, manuals, and advertisements to identify the technological discourses and business models that formed Nintendo's Super Power. He also describes the cultural changes in video games during the 1990s that slowly eroded the love of gamer enthusiasts for the SNES as the Nintendo generation matured. Finally, he chronicles the many technological changes that occurred through the SNES's lifetime, including full-motion video, CD-ROM storage, and the shift to 3D graphics. Because of the SNES platform's architecture, Arsenault explains, Nintendo resisted these changes and continued to focus on traditional gameplay genres.
Author: Tom Winton
Dean Cassidy looks back on a life filled with hardship and remembers Theresa Wayman, the bright spark that lit up his world when he was eighteen. As an adult, many years later, Cassidy continues his struggle to be successful in life, but can't move past his betrayal and loss of Theresa. Beyond Nostalgia is a poignant story about growing up, making choices, betrayal, forgiveness and moving on. Cassidy and Theresa find inspiration, joy and acceptance together in their world of dysfunctional families and economic hardships. But one night Cassidy, in a drunken stupor, makes a terrible choice that costs him his relationship with Theresa. Twenty-five years later, with the encouragement of his devoted wife, Cassidy focuses his sadness and angst into writing a book - a book that will eventually lead him to another crossroad in his life and redemption from his suffering.
The Nostalgia Factory
Author: Douwe Draaisma
Publisher: Yale University Press
You cannot call to mind the name of a man you have known for 30 years. You walk into a room and forget what you came for. What is the name of that famous film you've watched so many times? These are common experiences, and as we grow older we tend to worry about these lapses. Is our memory failing? Is it dementia? Douwe Draaisma, a renowned memory specialist, here focuses on memory in later life. Writing with eloquence and humor, he explains neurological phenomena without becoming lost in specialist terminology. His book is reminiscent of Oliver Sacks's work, and not coincidentally this volume includes a long interview with Sacks, who speaks of his own memory changes as he entered his sixties. Draaisma moves smoothly from anecdote to research and back, weaving stories and science into a compelling description of the terrain of memory. He brings to light the "reminiscence effect," just one of the unexpected pleasures of an aging memory. The author writes reassuringly about forgetfulness and satisfyingly dismantles the stubborn myth that mental gymnastics can improve memory. He presents a convincing case in favor of the aging mind and urges us to value the nostalgia that survives as recollection, appreciate the intangible nature of past events, and take pleasure in the consolation of razor-sharp reminiscing."
Author: Clay Routledge
Nostalgia is a topic that most lay people are familiar with, but, until recently, few social scientists understood. Once viewed as a disease, nostalgia is now considered to be an important psychological resource. It involves revisiting personally cherished memories that involve close others. When people engage in nostalgia, they experience a boost in positive psychological states such as positive mood, feelings of social connectedness, self-esteem, self-continuity, and perceptions of meaning in life. Since nostalgia promotes these positive states, when people experience negative states (such as loneliness or meaninglessness), they use nostalgia to regulate distress. This book explains in detail what nostalgia is, how views of it have changed over time, and how it has been studied by social scientists. It explores issues like how common nostalgia is and whether people differ in their tendency to be nostalgic. It looks at the triggers and inspiration for nostalgia, and the emotional states that are associated with it. Finally, the psychological, social, and behavioral effects of engaging in nostalgia are discussed. This volume provides the most comprehensive overview to date of the social scientific research into the complex and intriguing phenomenon of nostalgia. It will be of interest to a range of students and researchers in psychology and beyond, and its accessible writing style and engaging anecdotes will also be appreciated by a wider, non-academic audience.
The Collective Memory Reader
Author: Jeffrey K. Olick, Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi, Daniel Levy
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
There are few terms or concepts that have, in the last twenty or so years, rivaled "collective memory" for attention in the humanities and social sciences. Indeed, use of the term has extended far beyond scholarship to the realm of politics and journalism, where it has appeared in speeches atthe centers of power and on the front pages of the world's leading newspapers. The current efflorescence of interest in memory, however, is no mere passing fad: it is a hallmark characteristic of our age and a crucial site for understanding our present social, political, and cultural conditions.Scholars and others in numerous fields have thus employed the concept of collective memory, sociological in origin, to guide their inquiries into diverse, though allegedly connected, phenomena. Nevertheless, there remains a great deal of confusion about the meaning, origin, and implication of theterm and the field of inquiry it underwrites.The Collective Memory Reader presents, organizes, and evaluates past work and contemporary contributions on the questions raised under the rubric of collective memory. Combining seminal texts, hard-to-find classics, previously untranslated references, and contemporary landmarks, it will serve as anessential resource for teaching and research in the field. In addition, in both its selections as well as in its editorial materials, it suggests a novel life-story for the field, one that appreciates recent innovations but only against the background of a long history.In addition to its major editorial introduction, which outlines a useful past for contemporary memory studies, The Collective Memory Reader includes five sections - Precursors and Classics; History, Memory, and Identity; Power, Politics, and Contestation; Media and Modes of Transmission; Memory,Justice, and the Contemporary Epoch - comprising ninety-one texts. In addition to the essay introducing the entire volume, a brief editorial essay introduces each of the sections, while brief capsules frame each of the 91 texts.
Why should we have to “Keep Calm and Carry On”? In this brilliant polemical rampage, Owen Hatherley shows how our past is being resold in order to defend the indefensible. From the marketing of a “make do and mend” aesthetic to the growing nostalgia for a utopian past that never existed, a cultural distraction scam prevents people grasping the truth of their condition. The Ministry of Nostalgia explodes the creation of a false history: a rewriting of the austerity of the 1940s and 1950s, which saw the development of a welfare state while the nation crawled out of the devastations of war. This period has been recast to explain and offer consolation for the violence of neoliberalism, an ideology dedicated to the privatisation of our common wealth. In coruscating prose—with subjects ranging from Ken Loach’s documentaries, Turner Prize–shortlisted video art, London vernacular architecture, and Jamie Oliver’s cooking—Hatherley issues a passionate challenge to the injunction to keep calm and carry on. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Christine Sprengler
Publisher: Berghahn Books
Through a series of detailed visual analyses of popular films, the author demonstrates that the visual creation of 'pastness' does not necessarily sever our connection to history as is commonly claimed, but can yield new insights into the relationship between the present and the past.
We are familiar with the importance of 'progress' and 'change'. But what about loss? Across the world, from Beijing to Birmingham, people are talking about loss: about the loss that occurs when populations try to make new lives in new lands as well as the loss of traditions, languages and landscapes. The Geography of Nostalgia is the first study of loss as a global and local phenomenon, something that occurs on many different scales and which connects many different people. The Geography of Nostalgia explores nostalgia as a child of modernity but also as a force that exceeds and challenges modernity. The book begins at a global level, addressing the place of nostalgia within both global capitalism and anti-capitalism. In Chapter Two it turns to the contested role of nostalgia in debates about environmentalism and social constructionism. Chapter Three addresses ideas of Asia and India as nostalgic forms. The book then turns to more particular and local landscapes: the last three chapters explore the yearnings of migrants for distant homelands, and the old cities and ancient forests that are threatened by modernity but which modern people see as sites of authenticity and escape. The Geography of Nostalgia is a reader friendly text that will appeal to a variety of markets. In the university sector it is a student friendly, interdisciplinary text that will be welcomed across a broad range of courses, including cultural geography, post-colonial studies, landscape and planning, sociology and history.
The Comedy Man
Author: D. J. Taylor
Publisher: Open Road Media
An entertainer looks back on his life in this novel based on the rise and fall of a famous British comedy team From the vantage point of late middle age, Edward “Ted” King—one half of the dynamic duo Upward & King—discovers that nostalgia isn’t what it used to be. Ted met Arthur Upward in Britain’s National Service. They started out doing gigs at Soho cabarets, and in the mid-sixties, they took their act on the road. By the late seventies, they were the most beloved comedians on British television, watched by ten million viewers per week. This inventive novel, narrated by Ted on the eve of the release of a documentary about their famous partnership, begins with his boyhood in the farm fields of post-war Yarmouth. The son of a shopkeeper with few aspirations, Ted soon realizes he wants to tell jokes for a living. Then, one day in a hall at the sergeants’ mess, he sees Arthur perform the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.” He instantly senses the titanic influence the other man will have on his life. Ted plays the straight man to Arthur’s pratfalling comic, and they go on to captivate a nation. Until it all goes wrong. Crosscutting between the past and present, The Comedy Man is a poignant, funny “memoir” that reminds us how comedy is often derived from the most serious situations—and from the inexpressible longings of the human heart.
My Dad Had That Car
Author: Tad Burness
Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal
This one-of-a-kind, massive illustrated history of more than 10,000 American automobiles is perfect for the millions of classic car enthusiasts. With more than 1,300 pages and 12,500 illustrations covering 70 years, this may be the most complete visual history of the American automobile ever published. Nowhere else are there so many collector, luxury, sporting and every day cars assembled with fascinating information about original prices, engine sizes, horsepower, and other specifications. The pages are packed with genuine, factory-fresh photographs and drawings taken from contemporary advertisements, catalogs, and brochures. More than 250 manufacturers and hundreds of individual models trace the evolution of the American automobile, from the millions of Model Ts that rolled off Ford's assembly line through the art deco streamliners of the '30s, to the tail-finned land yachts of the '50s and muscle cars of the '60s and '70s up to the early SUVs of the '90s. Throughout author Tad Burness adds handwritten details not found anywhere else, including pointing out unusual options and differences found within a model. Automotive journalist Matt Stone provides a new general introduction and one to each era within the book.
We Are Okay
Author: Nina LaCour
After leaving her life behind to go to college in New York, Marin must face the truth about the tragedy that happened in the final weeks of summer when her friend Mabel comes to visit.