Postcards from a PhD
I was very sad to learn this weekend of the death on 5th August of Svetlana Boym, academic and artist. Her remarkable 2001 study The Future of Nostalgia is, I imagine, a book I will return to time and again over the next few years. Her distinction between the purposeful, political, reactionary form of restorative nostalgia and a more individual, whimsical form of longing, reflective nostalgia, is in particular a huge contribution to this field of study. Of the few obituaries I’ve read, the New York Times Postscript by her friend Masha Gessen is perhaps the best tribute to Boym’s unique and inventive mind.