Friday, 28 March 2008
пошлость - poshlost' - deeply more nightmarish than mere vulgarity or philistinism.
V. Nabokov in his brilliant little book on Gogol...
Various aspects of the idea which Russians concisely express by the term poshlost (the stress-accent is on the puff-ball of the first syllable, and the final "t" has a moist softness that is hardly equaled the French "t" in such words as "restiez" or "émoustillant") are split among several English words and thus do not form a definite whole. On second thought, I find it preferable to transcribe that fat brute of a word thus: poshlust—which renders in a somewhat more adequate inner the dull sound of the second, neutral "o." Inversely the first "o" is as big as the plop of an elephant falling into a muddy pond and as round as the bosom of a bathing beauty on a German picture postcard.
This Olympic 'ceremony' was first ceremoned in 1936. Guess who. We salute our herosportspersons.