Towards a poetics of nostalgia: the nostalgic experience in modern fiction
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In recent years there has been a body of studies relating nostalgia and fiction in political, sociological, feminist, or historical ways. This thesis, instead, sets out to perform an unusual textual study of nostalgia in modern fiction in order to work towards a poetics of nostalgia. Although the experience of emotion is private, the object of analytical discourse must be to approach this experience with objective tools. The thesis therefore develops a method for analyzing the experience of nostalgia in literary texts and then uses this method to study how nostalgia can be evoked in readers. The method works through close textual readings, developed through reader-response and narratological theories and validated through a thorough investigation of modern nostalgia in general. The result is a taxonomy of nostalgic strategies that possibly create nostalgic reactions in readers.