Books: AND NOW, POSHLOST

PHONY, kitch and camp are examples of a useful phenomenon: every so often a word breezes into common usage meaning many things and weaving together previously unrelated objects into a new category. Novelist Vladimir Nabokov offers a new word, poshlost (pronounced push-lost). In Russian it means vulgarity or triteness, but in an interview with Author Herbert Gold in the current Paris Review, Nabokov so expands the definition that it makes one wonder how the English language ever got along without it.

Poshlost, says he, means...

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