Introduction: In the Comfort of Perpetual Abandonment



Central to the notion of modernity has been a historical loss of meaning and a resulting state of melancholy. An abandoned classical landscape allows for repeated inspiration and the possibility of rebirth after the rupture. Archaeological field survey has shown that the Greek countryside has been stable in only one way, a perpetual cycle of abandonment and re-habitation from prehistory to the present. This rhythm of eternal return differs from the catastrophe of a single golden age. Rather than producing anxiety, the trope of endless abandonment annuls the drama of collapse and comforts the modern psyche. The Greek countryside, thus, provides unique fodder for modernity’s historical posturing.


Abandonment Catastrophe Melancholy Modernity 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Art and Art HistoryFranklin and Marshall CollegeLancasterUSA

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