Strung in such a way as to counteract the normal

Harrison Street (Exile, Nostalgia, A Broken Heart) ©MAIERMOUL
Harrison Street (Exile, Nostalgia, A Broken Heart) ©MAIERMOUL

“Palintropic” means that which “turns again – which keeps turning,” which loops back or “turns back on itself” or is “back-stretched” –

a going back to oneself, a flipping back to oneself, a sort of systemic reversement reminiscent of the back-sprung reflex Homeric bow, which was strung in such a way as to counteract the normal curvature of the bow, reversing the curve to gain more power.

This, if I might suggest, is the seat of nostalgia, perhaps not its origin but certainly its end point. This is my home, my emotional, aesthetic, and intellectual home.

My home is a counterhome, and my instincts are counterinstincts. Yet this is my home, my emotional, aesthetic, and intellectual home. Exile, nostalgia, a broken heart, and other profound reversals mean nothing unless they induce a corresponding set of intellectual, psychological, and aesthetic reversals as well. I project these reversals on everything, because it is in finding reversals that I am able to find myself.

– André Aciman, False Papers (and excerpted here in the Stanford Presidential Lectures)