“The outburst of nostalgia both enforced and challenged the emerging conception of patriotism and national spirit. If was unclear at first what was to be done with the afflicted soldiers who loved their motherland so much they never wanted to leave it, or for that matter to die for it. When the epidemic of nostalgia spread beyond the Swiss garrison, a more radical treatment was undertaken. The French doctor Jourdan LeConte suggested in his book written during the French Revolution of 1789 that nostalgia had to be cured by inciting pain and terror. As scientific evidence he offered an account of drastic treatment of nostalgia successfully undertaken by the Russians. In 1733 the Russian army was stricken by nostalgia just as it ventured into Germany, the situation becoming dire enough that the general was compelled to come up with a radical treatment of the nostalgic virus. He threatened that ‘the first to fall sick will be buried alive.’ This was a kind of literalization of a metaphor, as life in a foreign country seemed like death. This punishment was reported to be carried out on two or three occasions, which happily cured the Russian army of complaints of nostalgia. (No wonder longing became such an important part of the Russian national identity.) Russian soil proved to be a fertile ground for both native and foreign nostalgia.”

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