Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0001470, Thu, 21 Nov 1996 09:07:10 -0800

Re: More on poshlost' (fwd)
From: Leonid L. Delitsyne <delitsin@geology.wisc.edu>

Daniel Dolinov,

> In Nabokov's writings it seems that Poshlost' is a concrete object in
reality, > or a specific quality of that object

well, the dictionary says "banality", and indeed we translate
"banality" as poshlost'.

Curiously, a hundred year earlier Pushkin confessed that there is no
Russian word for "vulgar". Later Russians just adopted this word, and
it's often considered to be a part of "poshlost".

> "bozhe, kak eto poshlost'",

"bozhe, kak ehto poshlo"

> quickly add that there certainly must be an underlying human attitude and/or
> disposition that drives people to produce Poshlost'

"poshlost'" depends not just on the artist, but on the reader too.
Some great novel have been blamed to be "poshlost" for describing
sex. Funny enough, for many Russias "Lolita" is utterly "poshlyi"
novel (just because it deals with sex).

Sincerely yours Russian On-Line Literary Society
Leonid Delitsin TENETA \Te-'nyo-ta\ [Russ. 1.web 2.net]