The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows defines anemoia as the feeling of nostalgia for a time you’ve never known. This word may not be frequently used, but it describes a common feeling. The New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik believes that this longing for the past follows a 40 year cycle, as he explains: "The prime site of nostalgia is always whatever happened, or is thought to have happened, in the decade between forty and fifty years past".
A clear example of a person with an anemoic nostalgia, and that also serves as supportive evidence of Gopnik’s Golden-Forty year rule, is the producer and director Steven Spielberg.
He was born in 1946, just one year after the end of WWII, a war that he only “lived” through the stories that his father told him (he was a pilot during the conflict) that did not stop him from creating blockbuster hits such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schinlder’s List or Saving private Ryan, all of them fitting the 40 year cycle and setting a nostalgic aura of the 1940’s.
This theory also highlights the future of toddlers as "chroniclers" of a time they didn’t lived and evidencies the role of middle aged artists, designers and producers as drivers of cultural change inspired by nostalgia.
If this cycle theory is true, then 40 years after the Vietnam War it's about time to see a trend of movies about it, oh wait, Steven Spielberg is making a movie about Vietnam.
Source: The New Yorker. Image: Paramount Pictures