Newstalgia

Woke this morning with the portmanteau “newstalgia” in my head. I’m sure it’s been coined many times before, a word for the longing for something before it’s been gone long enough to justify the sadness…or before it’s gone at all (forestalgia?).

As Ben Folds puts it in “Bastard”:

They get nostalgic about the last ten years
before the last ten years have passed

And I’m aware that all of these formations are basically backward, since the “algia” part of the word comes from Greek algos, for pain. But word formation seldom bows to etymological logic. Nostalgia itself is, after all, a relatively recent portmanteau.

I’m guessing the roots of this, other than my own pathological case of critical nostalgia, is from the combination of stumbling across the idea of solostalgia within a few hours of re-reading and commonplacing Sherman Alexie’s poem “Terminal Nostalgia.”

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