• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

The term nostalgia was coined by a doctor, Johannes Hofer, in a medical dissertation from 1688, to define a recurrent ailment of Swiss mercenaries, who were afflicted with a pathological longing for their native mountainscapes and homely fare as they were stationed abroad. While medical discourse thus defined nostalgia as a pathological fixation on a place that one was forced to leave behind, the Romantic poets reinvented nostalgia by transferring it from a medical to an aesthetic context, redefining it as an elegiac desire for the child one once was. Rather than a longing for a particular type of place, it now became a desire for a particular time. Moreover, nostalgic longing was divested of its pathological connotations, as the Romantics linked the nostalgic project ...

Loading
  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles