Nostalgi

Græsk: Hjemstavnslængsel, hjemve.
Nostalgibegrebet blev udviklet i en lægevidenskabelig afhandling.
Afhandlingen, Dissertatio Medica De Nostalgia, oder Heimwehe, blev forsvaret 22. juni 1688 af den schweiziske læge Johannes Hofer (1669-1752), som beskrev, hvad man dengang kaldte den schweiziske syge: mal du Suisse, Swiss illness, eller Schweizerheimweh. En epidemi af denne sygdom var brudt ud blandt unge mere eller mindre tvangshvervede schweiziske lejesoldater i Frankrig og i Italien. Kuren på sygdommen var nedsættelse af tjenestetiden og hjemsendelse.
Små hundrede år senere skrev den østriske læge Leopold Auenbrugger (1772-1809) i Inventum Novum fra 1761 (citeret fra Jones, Franklin D.: Psychiatric Lessons of War):
'When young men who are still growing are forced to enter military service and thus lose all hope of returning safe and sound to their beloved homeland, they become sad, taciturn, listless, solitary, musing, full of sighs and moans. Finally, they cease to pay attention and become indifferent to everything which the maintenance of life requires of them.
This disease is called nostalgia. Neither medicaments, nor arguments, nor promises nor threats of punishment are able to produce any improvement. While all thought is directed toward ungratified desires, the body wastes away, with a dull sound (sonitus obscuras) on one side of the chest. [Some cases of nostalgia were undoubtedly linked with tuberculosis and other chest diseases. Such diseases were noted in the author's descriptions of autopsy reports.]
Some years ago this disease was rather common but now occurs very rarely since the wise arrangement was instituted of limiting the period of military service to a definite number of years. As a result the young men retain the hope of leaving military service after this period has elapsed, and of being able to return to their homes and enjoy their civic rights.'
Nostalgi blev senere et yndet tema i romantikken, blandt modeskabere og indenfor antikvitetshandel
Se også: Melankoli.

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