Monday, September 12, 2016

More About Nostalgia

I've been thinking a lot about a comment Michael Leddy made a few weeks ago on my post Roman Holiday. With regard to nostalgia, Michael wrote: Besides, it doesn't have to be first-hand experience. That reminds me of an observation I’ve been trying for years to track down — that what people often feel nostalgic for is the time just before their own. For me, it’s the mid-century black-and-white world I know from movies and photographs and TV."


I agree with Michael, and would even go so far as to say that nostalgia, with all its ramifications, may often be for something or somewhere I have NEVER  known! It seems to me that it is often at its purest precisely when, to echo Michael's words, it does NOT involve first-hand experience. 
For example, I do not look back with all that much affection on the England of the 1960s with which I was all too closely acquainted, but the America of the same period is a different story. In writing these words, I am thinking in particular of Joni Mitchell, whose career I was barely aware of at the time. 

Here are two versions of Both Sides Now, separated by goodness knows how many years. The first version is nostalgia in its simplest form, but blowed if I don't almost prefer the second one. What a beautiful arrangement








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