Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms Used in Articles.

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autochthonous – From Greek autos (self) + kthohn (earth)

poshlost’ (по́шлость) – Untranslatable Russian word that “encompasses triviality, vulgarity,
sexual promiscuity, and a lack of spirituality. The war againstposhlost’ was a cultural obsession
of the Russian and Soviet intelligentsia from the 1860s to 1960s” (Svetlana Boym, Common
Places: Mythologies of Everyday Life in Russia, 1994). Nabokov had a go at defining it with
examples. “The list is long, and, of course, everybody has his bête noire, his black pet, in the
series. Mine is that airline ad: the snack served by an obsequious wench to a young
couple—she eyeing ecstatically the cucumber canapé, he admiring wistfully the hostess. And, of
course, Death in Venice. You see the range” (in Robert Golla, editor, Conversations with
Vladimir Nabokov, 2017).

rastaquouère – French word defined by the 1952 Nouveau Petit Larousse Illustré as “a stranger
who lives in great style but nobody knows on what”; abbreviated as early as Proust to rasta