(915 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

The word nostalgia was coined by medical student Johannes Hofer in his Dissertatio medica de nostalgia, oder Heimehe [Medical Dissertation on Nostalgia, or Homesickness] first published in Latin in Basel, Switzerland, in 1688. The neologism was coined from the Greek nostos, meaning “a return home”, and algos, meaning “pain”. Hofer coined the term as part of an attempt to develop a scientific theory explaining the malady of homesickness which afflicted Swiss mercenaries who were fighting for various monarchs in distant lands. Hofer's precise theories are today mere curiosities in the history of medicine: according to Fred Davis in Yearning for Yesterday: A Sociology of Nostalgia <…

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Clark, Robert. "Nostalgia". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 November 2005; last revised 05 April 2007.
[, accessed 02 July 2015.]