nostalgia for imagined past, lust and longing, happiness, kitchenware

Lust for an imagined past

News, but somehow unsurprising news. Lust for an imagined past engenders nostalgia, as strong as it would be if that past existed. Science now tells us we don’t just wax nostalgic about actual pasts we once knew. A fictional era, or one conjured from the mind’s inherent powers for longing, works too.

Maybe this is not surprising because of all the virtual memory/implanted past/data set recall etc. movies we’ve seen.

nostalgia retro water kettle, imagined past, retro plush, completeness, desire

example of nostalgic kitchenware

Retro water kettle, I remember…

In a way, it is a relief to know how easily the mind can associate feelings and attach them to events that are merely imaginary. There is something comforting about the past that has been lost, even when that past is fictional. But in another way, that should shake us up — how real are our feelings, how true are the things to which they are attached?

Just aesthetically, the round meter on the side of the retro kettle in this image is somehow… witty and pleasing. A pleasure. Lust for an imagined past, though, is another matter entirely. Politics subject us to those longings for an ideal past — a better day we can get back. But we can’t get back in many cases, and those better days can be a fiction.


We recently did a short article on an Olympus Tough Waterproof Camera (you can find it here), and I also experienced this same feeling — as if I’ve used that device or something very like it. Except I don’t think I have. Similarly, an article on about nostalgic towns in America, is very difficult to pass by without paging through…

“Lemon trees like well-drained soil,” I read, and they evoke a past I don’t recall. Maybe I grew up with a potted lemon tree by the couch, but I doubt it… No matter, I feel as if I did — I remember, sort of, this sensation…


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