Aug 10, 2011

a life lived entirely without nostalgia

I have a thing for nostalgia -- trying to understand the interplay between aging, romanticizing the past and the inevitable March of Progress. No grand theories yet, just a bunch of blog posts that share a category. But I've been reading with interest a bunch of posts lately from Things Magazine which are grappling with the same thing. Today, commenting on a post from James Bridle at, they have this great bit. (Emphasis mine.)

The author continues: ‘I am so bored of nostalgia. Of letterpress and braces and elaborate facial hair. I appreciate these things, but I think there’s something wrong with a culture that fetishises them to the extent that we currently do.’ Very probably. But such fetishists represent a very small part of wider culture, and their obsessions are – it would seem – almost entirely without impact or consequence. Is there a term for a life lived entirely without nostalgia, without any capacity for romantic and emotive engagement with the past? Futurist doesn’t seem to cut it.

Couldn't agree more that the hipster obsession with things like letterpress and facial hair has very, very little impact on the wider culture. But a term for a life lived entirely without nostalgia? Would have to be something very, very close to amnesia.