Tuesday, June 26, 2012

PoshLusT

PLT is a resentful business - there are so many accolades for blowhards, it can be hard to stomach.

Thankfully, the writer Vladimir Nabokov offers a remedy: the word poshlust:
Let me refer to one more method of dealing with literature- and this is the simplest and perhaps most important one. If you hate a book, you may still derive artistic delight from imagining other and better ways of looking at things, or, what is the same, expressing things, than the author you hate does.The mediocre, the false, the poshlust-remember that word-can at least afford a mischievous but very healthy pleasure, as you stamp and groan through a second-rate book which has been awarded a prize.
He also has advice for dealing with the good stuff:
But the books you like must be read with shudders and gasps. Let me submit the following practical suggestion. Literature, real literature, must not be gulped like some potion which may be good for the heart or good for the brain-the brain, that stomach of the soul. Literature must be taken and broken to bits, pulled apart, squashed-then its lovely reek will be smelt in the hollow of the palm, it will be munched and rolled upon the tongue with relish; then, only then, its rare flavour will be appreciated at its true worth and the broken and crushed parts will again come together in your mind and disclose the beauty of a unity to which you have contributed something of your own blood.
What PLT made you shudder and gasp? For me, the first things that come to mind are Kernel, the MOP, Ī©mega, and A monadic framework for delimited continuations.

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