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Nostalgia

  • The sudden nostalgia was as much of the body as of the spirit. Her very veins seemed full of tears ...

  • There has never been an age that did not applaud the past and lament the present.

  • The out-of-date returns in due course as the picturesque.

  • I think the reason why people suppose everything in the world to be worse now than it was when they were young is, first, that they remember the world as it looked to them in their young days, and not as it looked to older people. To the young, all things shine in a rosy light; they are satisfied with themselves and with their companions, and looking back all seems to have been very satisfactory. A second reason for this exalting the days of the past is, that year by year communication between all parts of the country becomes closer; we know of the manners and doings of more people; we hear of all the evil that transpires; and thus being cognizant of more evil we hastily decide that there is more evil in proportion to the population than there was formerly.

  • Kitchens were different then, too — not only what came out of them, but their smells and sounds. A hot pie cooling smells different from a frozen pie thawing.

  • I hate nostalgia, it's laziness with prettier accessories ...

  • There is no remedy for this: / Good days that will not come again.

  • ... nostalgia, that residue of pleasure.

  • Each generation supposes that the world was simpler for the one before it.

  • People who are always praising the past / And especially the times of faith as best / Ought to go and live in the Middle Ages / And be burnt at the stake as witches and sages.

  • It will be a great thing for the human soul when it finally stops worshipping backwards.

  • A mark was on him from the day's delight, so that all his life, when April was a thin green and the flavor of rain was on his tongue, an old wound would throb and a nostalgia would fill him for something he could not quite remember.

  • We have the bad habit, some of us, of looking back to a time — almost any time will do — when society was stable and orderly, family ties stronger and deeper, love more lasting and faithful, and so on. Let me be your Cassandra prophesying after the fact, and a long study of the documents in the case: it was never true, that is, no truer than it is now.

  • Outgrowing things we love is never a pleasant process.

  • Oh! to be a child again. My only treasures, bits of shell and stone and glass. To love nothing but maple sugar. To fear nothing but a big dog. To go to sleep without dreading the morrow. To wake up with a shout. Not to have seen a dead face. Not to dread a living one. To be able to believe.

  • To look back is to relax one's vigil.

  • I have all that I lost / and I go carrying my childhood / like a favorite flower / that perfumes my hand.

  • The past is good (as we all know), twenty, thirty years back everything was good, anyone can tell you that.

  • They clung like barnacles to the sunken keel of the style and tastes of the 'Nineties.

  • Then I went an' stood up / On some high ol' lonesome hill / I went an' stood up / On some high ol' lonesome hill / An' looked down on the house / Where I used to live.

    • Bessie Smith,
    • "Backwater Blues," Bessie Smith Songbook ()
  • It's not good to take sentimental journeys. You see the differences instead of the samenesses.

  • I cannot think of a thing that was better in those good old days.

  • I loathe nostalgia.

  • Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

  • Always, our eyes look backwards with the conviction that then, and not now, was the golden age.

  • Oh, these are Voices of the Past, / Links of a broken chain, / Wings that can bear me back to Times / Which cannot come again — / Yet God forbid that I should lose / The echoes that remain!

  • I cannot sing the old songs / I sung long years ago, / My heart and voice would fail me, / And foolish tears would flow ...

  • ... in the old days all the boys were men, and all the men were tough as saddle leather.

  • Do you remember / That sweet September / When sky was golden and sea was blue, / We two together / In love's own weather / Walking at sunset the woodland through. / ... / Ah! shall we ever / Walk again in the dear old way?

  • Visiting old haunts is hard on memory. Things shrink, change, and disappear.

  • The grand road from the mountain goes shining to the sea, / And there is traffic on it and many a horse and cart, / But the little roads of Cloonaugh are dearer far to me, / And the little roads of Cloonagh go rambling through my heart.

  • The saddest human experience is to view alone the scenes one has viewed through other eyes — to walk solitary where one has walked in company — to have its particular barbed shaft aimed at one from every stick and stone that mark familiar ways.

  • Ah, the homesickness — / Not for a home which I have left, / But for the strange places! / The nostalgia — / not of memories / But of what has never been!

    • Zoë Akins,
    • "The Tomorrows," The Hills Grow Smaller ()
  • In my day, we didn't have dogs or cats. All I had was Silver Beauty, my beloved paper clip.

    • Jennifer Hart,
    • in Louis Patler, Don't Compete ... Tilt the Field ()
  • Old voices call me, through the dusk returning; / I hear the echoes of departed feet; / And then I ask, with vain and troubled yearning, / What is the charm that makes old things so sweet?

    • Sarah Doudney,
    • "Between the Lights," in Fanny B. Bates, ed., Between the Lights: Thoughts for the Quiet Hour ()
  • At times, my nostalgia for our family life as it used to be — for our own imperfect, cherished, irretrievable past — is nearly overwhelming.

  • We all have hometown appetites. Every other person is a bundle of longing for the simplicities of good taste once enjoyed on the farm or in the hometown left behind.

  • The] past, reimagined as a slower, gentler place, a world of tight-knit communities, social cohesion and charming rural pastimes, was contrasted to the present's new, fractured, urban style of living. Nostalgia became not a longing for a lost place, but for a lost time, either of the nostalgic's own childhood, when things had been less complicated, or, more broadly, of society's childhood, an imaginary past.