'With one of you? Yes, I suppose that would be serious. Congress wouldn't like it.' Why does one want to tease the innocent? Perhaps only ten days ago he had been walking back across the Common in Boston, his arms full of the books he had been reading in advance on the Far East and the problems of China. He didn't even hear what I said; he was absorbed already in the dilemmas of Democracy and the responsibilities of the West; he was determined — I learnt that very soon — to do good, not to any individual person but to a country, a continent, a world. Well, he was in his element now with the whole universe to improve.
The 20th century began with a futuristic utopia and ended with nostalgia. The optimistic belief in the future has become outmoded while nostalgia, for better or for worse, never went out of fashion, remaining uncannily contemporary. 2 Contrary to what the great actress Simone Signore—who entitled her autobiography Nostalgia Is Not What It Used to Be —thought, the structure of nostalgia is in many respects what it used to be, in spite of changing fashions and advances in digital technology . In the end, the only antidote for the dictatorship of nostalgia might be nostalgic dissidence. Nostalgia can be a poetic creation, an individual mechanism of survival, a countercultural practice, a poison, and a cure. It is up to us to take responsibility of our nostalgia and not let others “prefabricate” it for us. The prepackaged “usable past” may be of no use to us if we want to cocreate our future. Perhaps dreams of imagined homelands cannot and should not come to life. Sometimes it is preferable (at least in the view of this nostalgic author) to leave dreams alone, let them be no more and no less than dreams, not guidelines for the future . While restorative nostalgia returns and rebuilds one’s homeland with paranoid determination, reflective nostalgia fears return with the same passion. Home, after all, is not a gated community. Paradise on earth might turn out to be another Potemkin village with no exit. The imperative of a contemporary nostalgic: to be homesick and to be sick of being at home—occasionally at the same time.
"Only the dandy, last heir of the stoic tentative, has imposed himself in the world of appearance as a thing and has evaded fashion in the name of a "mode" that would be inseparable of him. Actually, it is necessary to summon the void in itself, to conqueror the cool way that qualifies the dandy, which is "thousand of kilometers farther from immediate sensations". And for Eduardo Sanguinetti this means, in terms of the multiple strategics he will use in the passages from "anti-fashion" to "look" a radical self-emptying that emancipates from time, but that does not reject the effort that has to do to register the emerging novelty. Obtaining this space resembles a landscape, where, in accordance with Baudelaire "carries Hercules upon his shoulders".