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« Physical Appearance and Literary Reputation [by Jeffrey Meyers] | Main | Beautiful Ruins - Part 1 [by Lera Auerbach] »

March 15, 2013


Brilliant post. I especially like points # 5, 6, 9, 10, and 12. And I'm glad you didn't call it "Thirteen Ways of Looking at Nostalgia," which would be kitschy (as in #3). To Sontag's observation, I would add that Larry Rivers did a series of paintings called "Toward the Elimination of Nostalgia," a title I fancied. I believe this was back in 1977. The funny thing about the 1960s is that it is easier to get worked up into a nostalgic lather over the early 1960s (roughly Jan 1, 1961 through November 22, 1963) than the louder later part of the decade. Hell it's easier to get nostalgic over the 1950s with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Kim Novak slinking into James Stewart's life in "Vertigo," Richard Carlson playing a double agent in "I Led Three Lives," and Ann Sothern as the secretary smarter than her boss -- with Marilyn presiding over the whole cast, like the cloud above our computers so different from the governing image of my childhood: the mushroom cloud.

DL, apologies for this late reply, but I wanted to say thank you for your thoughtful comment. It was wonderful to hear a positive response after launching these missives into the vast internet space and not being sure who is reading. I was thinking of Sontag's "Notes on Camp" when I titled this, as I felt a similar attitude (she describes herself as being both attracted to and repelled by "camp", which was part of her need to write about it).

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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