Wanting the past is shadowed by doubts about whether its merits outweigh its flaws. The valued attributes that distinguish the past from the present often come at a heavy cost. The next three chapters survey the disputes that perennially embroil partisans of tradition versus innovation, youth versus age. Chapter 4 discusses the rival repute of past and present in four different epochs. Chapters 5 and 6 deal with pastness in terms of life-cycle analogies, first surveying well-nigh universal preferences for the new and young, then contrarian fondness for the old, the worn, and the decayed.
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