9 September 2007

Vanishing Nostalgia

The first time I trawled through Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, one of the annotations I made was a wonderfully contradictory quotation about nostalgia. The trouble is, I no longer have that copy and I can't seem to find the quotation anywhere online, even with the aid of Google Book Search (chances are, the quotation was on a page that isn't available). The quotation goes something along the lines of nostalgia for something they never experienced but extensive Googling has brought no joy so I am re-reading. However, as the book is so big and so dense that there is a good chance I will miss it, although I vaguely remember in which part the quotation appears. 

Meanwhile, in an attempt to read the book before watching the movie, I have been hurtling through Atonement today. Somewhere in the first fifty pages, I found a similar quotation on nostalgia, which I had the presence of mind to transcribe: 

...her improbable nostalgia for a time barely concluded.

I didn't, of course, have the presence of mind to write down the page number and now I can't find it, despite scouring through the opening section several times. Nor is a Google search providing any useful results. Am I hallucinating these quotations? If not, why can't I find them? Perhaps I am going mad or perhaps I am too caught up in nostalgia for quotations about nostalgia.

Update (more than a decade later): It turns out that the quotation I was looking for was actually from Dawson's Creek. In the season four episode A Winter's Tale, Jack talks about, "nostalgia for a time we never really experienced." I should have known really given that the exact same thing happened with a Flaubert quote about anticipation and pleasure that turned out to be a Dawson's Creek paraphrase of a Julian Barnes interpretation of a Flaubert quote about anticipation and pleasure.


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