Definitions

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Etymologies

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Examples

  • "The Russian word poshlost suggests the transcendent vulgarity at work in the Marcos spectacle.

    reason is the reason

  • With all due respect to Toole and Southern, such political poshlost could give a new meaning to the titles of a Confederacy of Dunces and The Magic Christian.

    Mark Axelrod: Michele's Makeup; or, What's Political Representation Got to Do With It?

  • By basing his humor upon public interaction with unknowing victims, it is reality humor, made more powerful by the irony that these idiots allow his poshlost behavior. by

    Borat Movie; Hilarious Yes, Antisemitic No.

  • There is another all-embracing term for this sort of thing, but again it is Russian: poshlost '— "vulgarity, tawdriness, triteness, banality, [Nabokov's] posh-lust" are not quite adequate translations.

    Translating Pasternak

  • "Pure poshlost" is what Mr. Remnick called the Tea Room-a complex Russian word best translated to mean false, tacky and pretentious all at the same time.

    The New York Observer -

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  • Poshlost is the Russian version of banality, with a characteristic national flavoring of metaphysics and high morality, and a peculiar conjunction of the sexual and the spiritual. This one word encompasses triviality, vulgarity, sexual promiscuity, and a lack of spirituality. The war against poshlost is a cultural obsession of the Russian and Soviet intelligentsia from the 1860s to 1960s.

    Dostoyevsky applied the word to the Devil; Solzhenitsyn, to Western-influenced young people.

    D. S. Mirsky was an early user of the word in English in writing about Gogol; he defined it as "'self-satisfied inferiority,' moral and spiritual". Vladimir Nabokov made it more widely known in his book on Gogol, where he romanized it as "poshlust" (punningly: "posh + lust"). Poshlust, Nabokov explained, "is not only the obviously trashy but mainly the falsely important, the falsely beautiful, the falsely clever, the falsely attractive".

    July 28, 2008

  • Russian for self-satisfied mediocrity. A wikipedia article on the writer Sologub says its meaning lies somewhere between banality & evil.

    December 11, 2006