The Uses and Misuses of Nostalgia in Omeros and Herzog: Struggling with Diaspora, Modernity, and Identity in Derek Walcott and Saul Bellow


  • Nicolas Turner


Nostalgia, Bellow, Walcott, Boym, Jewishness, Diaspora, Modernity, Empire, Herzog, Omeros


Nostalgia has emerged as an increasingly theorised aspect of modernity, but its potential as a tool to examine key questions literary theorists are asking at the intersection of identity, diaspora, and post-coloniality remains underutilised. This article argues that a close reading of Derek Walcott’s Omeros and Saul Bellow’s Herzog demonstrates the counter-hegemonic potential of Bellow’s diasporic nostalgia, in contrast with the reinscribing of imperial discourses in Walcott’s post-colonial nostalgia. By integrating the conceptual work done in Svetlana Boym’s The Future of Nostalgia with the ideas of key post-colonial theorists, including Paul Gilroy, Stuart Hall, and Homi Bhabha, this article also demonstrates the gaps in the current theoretical framework of nostalgia and points towards ways in which it can be developed as a tool for further literary analysis