Longing to Belong: Disease, Nostalgia, and Exile in Ling Ma's Severance

Sonja Pyykkö
The word nostalgia originally referred to a literal disease: a lethargic condition experienced by soldiers and seamen, thought to be caused by homesickness. These days, nostalgia is more often used in a broader sense of a sustained attachment to the past, whether real or mythical, individual or communal. Because the past is always by definition beyond retrieval, nostalgia is often considered a harmful, even self-delusional condition: No longer a literal disease, nostalgia has instead become...
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