A Farewell from the Editors: Nostalgia

by Michael Angerer

The end of the academic year is upon us, vacation-time is about to break out, and so it is time to look back fondly upon our term as Executive Editors of The Poor Print: it is time for nostalgia. You might think that the word ‘nostalgia’ has ancient roots; you would be wrong. It is perhaps quite symbolic that while ‘nostalgia’ is indeed a compound word based on Ancient Greek, it is in fact a comparatively recent coinage: it was originally conceived in 1688 as a medical term modelled on the German Heimweh, the longing for home. It is interesting that, since then, the past seems to have been equated with home.

The Greek word nostos is most famously applied to the return home of Odysseus (Latinised as Ulysses). His decade-long sea travels from Troy back to his native Ithaca have become proverbial as the type of the Irrfahrt, the difficult journey. I will not say that our time at the helm of The Poor Print has always been easy; it has been an odyssey of discovery into what matters (and what does not matter) to the members of the College. We have always tried to conform to the ethos outlined by Peter Gent in his contribution to this issue, and have done our best to present all perspectives submitted to us in their best form.

Of course, algos, that is pain, has to come in at the end, to constitute nostalgia, the pain of the return home. There were, maybe, a few long and somewhat painful nights spent editing and laying out The Poor Print; but the true pangs of pain only come when we look back and realise that these nights are over, and may not come again. Here is the final latent contradiction of nostalgia: what was a longing for home has become a longing for the past. We thank all our readers and contributors of the last year; this was an odyssey that we will miss.

The Poor Print

The Poor Print is the student-run newspaper of Oriel College, Oxford, with contributions from members of the JCR, MCR, SCR and staff. New issues are published fortnightly during term. Our current Executive Editors are Siddiq Islam and Jerric Chong.

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