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Thread: пошлость

  1. #1
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    I've been reading about Nabokov and Gogol, and this word пошлость has come up several times. I have a couple of questions about it, A) Is it pronounced pOshlust? B) Can you try and explain the meaning, or is that futile? C) Can you give me an example?

    According to Wiki, it's in an untranslatable word, something like, "petty evil or self-satisfied vulgarity," but that doesn't give me much. And if anyone knows, how did Gogol use it, and how/why did Nabokov mock it?

    Sorry for the loaded question, just answer what you can, please. Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
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    Re: пошлость

    yes, it seems hard to translate this to English, gives out the word Platitude
    It is vulgarity, some consider let's say ummm, when Britney spears makes a sexual performance on stage, like performing while wearing just a bra, without the top clothes they would say это пошло.
    It also could be sayings, physical appearence, thoughts...
    And yes it is pronounced пошлость
    What I bump into quite a lot, is that the understanding of what is actually пошло and what is not, differes from one to another, that is actually what makes it hard for me personally, to explain what it is.
    Не плюй в колодец, пригодится водицы, напиться.

  3. #3
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    Re: пошлость

    "Пошлость" - "rudeness", "foul language", "vulgarity".
    For example, obscene humor - it is too "пошлость".
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  4. #4
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    Re: пошлость

    This word has two meanings:

    1) direct meaning (the meaning Gogol and Nabokov are played with):

    Anything related specifically to the tastes of the social group or class which author believes to be inferior.

    This is very emotionally negative word. The one who use this word assumes that there is an inferior social group and says something like: "Hey, this is exactly like those nasty people like to do! This is disgusting, vulgar! Don't be like them!"

    Actually this word is the pure essence of snobbery.

    2) indirect meaning:

    Foul phrase.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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