On the Theme of Nostalgia in Paolo Bacigalupi’s Post-Apocalyptic Novel The Windup Girl
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After the massive outbreaks of violence and catastrophes at the dawn of the twentieth century, experiences of dislocation and dissonance, as well as their reflection in the human psyche, nostalgia, captivated the interest of various disciplines from literary studies to politics. Although viewed through various lenses, nostalgia as a state of a wistful affection for the past still permeates the present discourses. These studies on nostalgia overlap with a rising trend in the Western literary canon, the surge of derivative forms of utopia. Building on the contemporary interdisciplinary approaches on nostalgia and dystopian tradition, this paper investigates the individual’s position in a dystopian setting with an emphasis on the experience of nostalgia in Paolo Bacigalupi’s novel The Windup Girl (2009). This article aims to investigate the role of nostalgia in a post-apocalyptic dystopian setting with a focus on various experiences of nostalgia. I argue that Bacigalupi’s novel is a nuanced exploration of the experience of nostalgia and a meditation on the connection between nostalgia and utopianism, due to its engagement with both individual and collective experiences of nostalgia.
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