Bringing Nostalgia Home: Switzerland and the Swiss Chalet

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    This article presents an interpretation of nostalgia in which it is traced back to its original meaning as an emotion concerned not with time, but with place, the Alpine mountains of Switzerland, which in the early nineteenth century became associated with notions of the medieval past. With recourse to nineteenth-century anthropological theories of cultural evolution, an attempt is made to explain the term’s shift in meaning. Nostalgia, as an emotion glorifying authenticity, was and still is propelled by imagery created in a wide variety of media. It found early and long-lasting expression in the international popularity of the Swiss chalet.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)265–288
    JournalArchitecture and Culture
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • Swiss cottage
    • primitive hut
    • neo-gothic
    • Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Julie
    • Johanna Spyri’s Heidi
    • homesickness
    • Fernweh
    • cultural evolutionism


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