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The New of Nostaligia


Art Nouveau style for New Wave fantasy. New Art - New Wave. Is that coincidence or symbolic design choice? Perhaps even a subconscious design choice, but there still is a deeper revelation to be extracted. This revelation illustrates an elegant tapestry woven with the principles of longevity and transition. Join me on the innocuous journey that lead me to their intertwined and paradoxical musings, where new inhabits nostalgia.

I had been hunting down an old short story I'd read as a kid, The Lamia and Lord Cromis. It was mixed in with other short stories from more well known authors like Ursala K Le Guin and R. A. Lafferty, but this one story just burrowed in and nestled in my young mind. I could still smell the metallic odors of the iridescent bog and hear the insects with too many legs drone as Lord Cromis trekked through the Lamia's domain. So I sought to revisit the tale in Basilisk, but found I could purchase a greater collection of short stories all by M John Harrison, first in Viriconium Nights, then the whole collection of related works in Viriconium. So a hunt for an old short story turned into acquisition of a 480 page book. Along the way discovered I'd been seeing similar cover artwork to another series of books I'd borrowed from my eldest brother's library so many years ago. Those happened to be the Elric Saga. The common thread was Robert Gould's Art Nouveau covers.

The joy of it all is the excitement of visiting new places in old worlds, that are still just as vibrant as they had always been, never dulled by time. It feels like stepping into the super reality of trance and dream, unlocking new meanings in old memories. Both styles, Art Nouveau and New Wave, have an inherent oldness which harken back to another time and attempt to bridge the gap in time by tapping into the quality of longevity. The new that is the namesake of the styles comes from a transition, marking a turning point. Timeless but in a state of flux. 

The world is not the same as when we were children and these changes accelerate with each generation. The neighborhood woodlands, in which we once cavorted, no longer stand. The houses we grew up in changed possession. Old landmarks have been completely altered. But the books I read in my youth can still be visited, unchanged, yet with new vistas to explore. This is the new of nostalgia.




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