When we are home, we don’t need to talk about it. To feel at home is to know that things are in their places and so are you; it is a state of mind that doesn’t depend on an actual location. The object of [nostalgic] longing, then, is not really a place called home but this sense of intimacy with the world; it is not the past in general, but that imaginary moment when we had time and didn’t know the temptation of nostalgia.
When we start speaking of home and homeland, we experience the first failure of homecoming. How does one communicate the pain of loss in a foreign language? Can one love again away from home?
—Svetlana Boym in “The Future of Nostalgia”