(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 <…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Clark, Robert. "Nostalgia". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 November 2005; last revised 05 April 2007.
[, accessed 07 October 2015.]