Forever Voyaging to Cythera

aubrey-foreverAn illustrated history of false nostalgia, from the classical era to tomorrow, with Stephen Aubrey
Date: Friday, February 18th
Time: 8 PM
Admission: $5
Presented by the Hollow Earth Society

Presented as part of the RETROFUTUROLOGY show.

Nostalgia—from the Greek όστος, meaning “returning home” and ἄλγος, “pain.” Literally, “the pain of returning.”

As long as we could remember, we have been nostalgic. It has been described as a medical condition, a form of melancholy and an aesthetic principle. But it has always been a backwards action, a yearning for an elusive past. But what happens when the “home” we ache for is misremembered or never even existed? And more importantly: Why do we always insist on believing that utopia is behind us?

From the Roman emperor Hadrian—who longed for a return to the idealized culture of classical Greece—to today’s current retrofutorology, a curiously simultaneous longing for a false past and a false future, false nostalgia has been a political and cultural force that has toppled nations and tradition, all in the name of a paradise perpetually lost.

Stephen Aubrey is a recovering medievalist. He used to work for the (very small) progressive faction of the Roman Catholic Church but is currently a writer living in Brooklyn. His writing has appeared in Commonweal, The Brooklyn ReviewPublishing Genius, Pomp & Circumstance and The Outlet; his plays have been produced at The Ontological-Hysteric Theatre, The Flea Theater, The Brick, UNDER St. Marks, The Bowery Poetry Club and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where he was nominated for a Fringe First Award. He is a member of the Hollow Earth Society and an instructor of English at Brooklyn College.

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