Ruins of Nostalgia
Author: Donna Stonecipher
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press (2023)
What is it to feel nostalgia, to be skeptical of it yet cleave intently to the complex truths of feeling and thought? In a series of 64 gorgeous, ramifying, unsettling prose poems addressing late-twentieth- and twenty-first century experience and its discontents, The Ruins of Nostalgia offers a strikingly original exploration of the misunderstood phenomenon of nostalgia as both feeling-state and historical phenomenon. Each poem, also titled The Ruins of Nostalgia, is a kind of lyrical mini-essay, playful, passionate, analytic. Some poems take a location, memory, conceit, or object as their theme. Throughout the series, the poems recognize and celebrate the nostalgias they ironize, which are in turn celebrated and then ironized again. Written often in the fictional persona of the first-person plural, The Ruins of Nostalgia explores the rich territory where individual response meets a collective phenomenon.