Return to the future, project for the past: The creative “nostalgia” of Etienne Souriau
春木, 有亮Haruki, Tomoaki
66 , 2016-03 , 北見工業大学
Concentrically in the past ten years in Japan, some studies on the notion of“nostalgia” have been published. They extend over some different domains ofscience: sociology, psychology, aesthetics and cultural studies. It shows that“nostalgia” is an important state of sentiment for a human being of today.This article treats the notion of “nostalgia” from a point of view of aesthetics.More concretely, it shows the meaning and the siginificance of the notion of“nostalgia (nostalgie)” of Etienne Souriau(1892-1979) by referring to his article: Lanostalgie comme sentiment esthetique(1949). In this process we can survey thewhole aesthetic thinking of Souriau.In the sentiment of nostalgia, Souriau says, “the absent(l’absent)” is more“real(reel) “ than “the present(le present)” which is “unreal(irreel)”. When we feelnostalgia for something, we regard “over there(au dela)” positive and “here(ici)”negative. Artists dissolve this negative sentiment for here not at all by“returning(retour)” to their native home but by “making(faire) a home which is muchmore purely native”. When a poet writes a poem about a thing he lost, the poem isnot the actual thing that he lost, but it is a substitute for that thing. Moreover the“charm(charme)” of the poem even surpasses the charm of the thing he lost.It is bythe fact that the thing the poet lost is not present that he can transform theextensive “distance(distension)” from the thing into the “intensity(intensite)” ofnostalgia for it and can purify the essence of the thing by intensifying his sentiment.This is the mechanism which brings the sentiment of nostalgia from its“esthetisation” to its ”artialisation”. Moreover, Souriau deals with “paradoxicalnostalgia(paradoxale nostalgie)” which goes from its ”artialisation” to its“esthetisation”. He means by this notion that a painter, for example, who is trying tomake something, finds it as something lost in the landscape in front of him andparadoxically feels nostalgia for it.As a result, artists make an art because they feel nostalgia for it, and feelnostalgia for it because they make it. In the “dialectic circle” of “esthetisation” and“artialisation”, artists make “elsewhere(ailleurs)” “here(ici)” without losing theessence of “elsewhere”. In other words, the “given(donnee)” of the sentiment ofnostalgia holds in itself the “whole architectonic of the world(architectonique dumonde) ”. This is why Souriau calls nostalgia a “creative sentiment(sentimentcreateur)”.