Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0001444, Sat, 16 Nov 1996 10:50:00 -0800

Poshlost (fwd)
EDITOR'S NOTE. Cornelia Mueller-Goedecke recently mentioned the frequency
of the word "poshlost'" in conversations with Russian friends. I inquired
whether any of them particularly associated the word with Nabokov who made
the word "famous" (in English) in his book on NIKOLAI GOGOL (and
elsewhere.) As a result, the word when used by non-Russian speakers,
almost always has Nabokovian resonance. Mueller-Goedecke put the question
to her friends and shares their answers below. The word, of course, has
long been common in Russian usage, but, judging by the comments below,
there has not been any particular "back-flow" from Nabokov into common


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: C. Mueller-Goedecke <100524.266@CompuServe.COM>

Hello from Hamburg!

I got some feedback in my quest for associations with the word Poshlost:
==================================================== schnipp ===================
1. One friend told me, that she knows the word but she uses it 'casually',
without any literary association. She has read some Nabokov, but sees no
connection with "Poshlost."

2. Oh, I'm affraid that I won't able explain without my favorite Longman
dictionary. That is a literary word and is close to English 'shallowness'.
We use it quite widely, sometimes in other but similar senses, e.g in arts
and music - when the author satisfies the tastes of public only, of the
"grey' public. Without any attempt to express its own sensation of the
world, only for money.
I don't know.... that is my personal opinion. I'm not an expert.
Besides current situation influences everybode (and me) here and now.
==================================================== schnipp ===================

If I get more answers, I let you know!

Have a look at my russian-related (and St. Petersburg-related) pages at my
domain http://www.avantart.com!

Cornelie Mueller-Goedecke
in Hamburg / Germany