Why the nostalgia mode for the novel Cambridge? Is it effective or repetitive?

One might connect the nostalgia mode of the novel Cambrige to Emily and Stella's relationship. We might think about how Emily and Stella's life together at Hawthorn Cottage represents nostalgia for Mr. Brown or Emily's past life at the plantation. Of course, such nostalgia should grapple with their racist foundation. We could also talk about nostalgia as it relates to the multiple genres of the book, including the diary and travel-writing genre.

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According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, nostalgia means "a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations."

Considering the themes of Cambridge , we might think twice about employing the word “nostalgia.” The novel tackles slavery and colonialism....

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According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, nostalgia means "a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations."

Considering the themes of Cambridge, we might think twice about employing the word “nostalgia.” The novel tackles slavery and colonialism. We wouldn't want to suggest that these events have "happy personal associations." It might be more accurate and less controversial to use a word like memory.

We see how the memory mode connects to the murder of Arnold Brown. Does it tell us that the slave's memory of the murder is dismissed in favor of a White news report's memory of a murder?

If you had to use nostalgia, we think "nostalgia" could apply to Emily's relationship with Stella. Without dismissing the racist foundation of their connection, we could talk about how Stella symbolizes Emily's nostalgia for a meaningful relationship—or perhaps her never-realized ideal of a meaningful relationship. We could also view her and Stella's relationship as nostalgia for a loving home, as well as for her doomed affair with Mr. Brown. Would it be far-fetched to view Stella as a symbol for a past lover?

More generally, we could apply "nostalgia" to the multiple genres of the book. We could say Phillips's novel evokes nostalgia for travel writing and diaries. We might be more inclined to highlight the nostalgia mode for such genres in the present context of social media and the general incentive to immediately share our experiences.

Put another way, how might the instantaneous, public nature of current, popular modes of communication make us nostalgic for the more introspective, private mediums of diaries and travel journals?

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