Anemoia: Nostalgia for a time you’ve never known

by 1389 on October 6, 2015

in 1389 (blog admin), history, language, the human condition

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(h/t: Eoin Riedy)

Published on Dec 21, 2014 by The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” –L.P. Hartley

Looking at old photos, it’s hard not to feel a kind of wanderlust—a pang of nostalgia for times you’ve never experienced. The desire to wade into the blurred-edge sepia haze that hangs in the air between people who leer stoically into this dusty and dangerous future, whose battered shoes are anchors locked fast in the fantasy that none of it risks turning out any other way but the way it happened.


The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is a compendium of invented words written by John Koenig. Each original definition aims to fill a hole in the language—to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for. Follow the project, give feedback, suggest an emotion you need a word for, or just tell me about your day.

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