Happiness is Quite Common: Postmemory of ‘The Fifties’ in De Daltons (1999-2010)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


This chapter builds on Boym's rehabilitation of nostalgia by arguing that nostalgic re-appropriations and re-mediations of the past are best understood in the light of the trans-temporal nature of human emotion. Nostalgia's belatedness is widely acknowledged within the field of trauma theory that human emotions have a way of defying time. Marianne Hirsch has even extended the belatedness of traumatic experience through the concept of "postmemory". This concept implies that Holocaust survivors may even inflict their traumas upon subsequent generations through cultural artifacts that somehow embody the inassimilable trauma. The concept of postmemory has only been applied to the reverberations of traumatic experiences - hardly ever to the aftereffects of bliss, fulfillment, or contentment, to my knowledge. Nostalgia is always fictive, in the sense of 'made, constructed or carefully wrought, wholly dependent on (re-)mediation', but this does not mean that it is therefore of necessity false.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReinventing Childhood Nostalgia : Books, Toys, and Contemporary Media Culture
EditorsElisabeth Wesseling
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge/Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)9781315604626
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

SeriesHistory of Childhood

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