This introductory chapter presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of the book. The book specifies Boym's categories of restorative and reflexive nostalgia, addressing the ethics of nostalgia. Mariano Narodowski puts the contemporary nostalgia wave in perspective by taking his lead from Margaret Mead's anthropological distinction between "postfigurative" and "prefigurative societies". Pieter Gaudesaboos uses intermedial strategies to create an ironic, playful distance between the words and the highly nostalgic pictures in his picture books. In spite of nostalgia's persistent association with falsehood and distortion, realistic didactic genres such as the photo book or scientific disciplines such as developmental and evolutionary psychology are nevertheless steeped in it as unwitting inheritors of the Romantic poets. Nostalgia comes in a whole range of different modalities, and it all depends on the ways in which authors or scientists bring nostalgia to bear upon the depiction of children and childhood.
|Series||Studies in Childhood, 1700 to the Present|