Rus Articles Journal

Platitude and snobbery: different sides of the same coin?

In Russian are words which on other languages and the foreigners learning Russian cause a headache in translators the not convertibility or, more precisely, insufficient convertibility. A striking example of such words - platitude . In what here business? What in this word of it what does not give in to transfer on other languages? Business, probably, that the phenomena designated by this word do not exist or exist short at other people, have no historical roots there.

Best of all the outstanding Russian writer V. V. Nabokov who devoted it special research explained this phenomenon. He considered that only Russians with their special mind ( mysterious Russian soul! ) could think up such capacious word for designation of disgust of the person with elementary art taste to very many things, the phenomena and aspects of life. Of course, all people have vulgar persons. But exactly Russians found so expressive and capacious word because in Russia there was once among the literate a simplicity cult (in sense of lack of pretentiousness) and good taste (My God when it was!).

As a result of full cancellation of censorship at us platitude just the poperla in all cracks, accepted really enormous sizes after landslide and thoughtlessly (and can be, purposefully? Remember the well-known teleconferences and so forth) the worst samples so-called " were borrowed; western civilization and not only in art. And where platitude takes the offensive, it removes the truth and justice, light and sincerity, conscience and honor aside. About it our outstanding musician G. G. Neygauz somehow told that platitude is something like religion, but only is much stronger.

Dictionaries of Russian give two groups of word meanings platitude :

1. Stereotyped, hackneyed, worn out, long ago bothered, is tasteless - rough, outdated, vulgar (simplified excessively, to a distortion of meaning).

2. Low (low), insignificant in the spiritual and moral relation, containing something obscene, indecent.

the First group is related to an esthetics or a form, the second - to ethics or contents. Now in the word platitude died away or, in any case, the inspirituality note is strongly muffled that in the world of self-interest and a profit where the main thing is money, quite explainably.

Along with platitude as negative quality of the person is mentioned and the word " borrowed from English; snobbery . Well, there are no secrets: each more or less educated person, and readers of our magazine - especially, will explain that snobbery is unreasonable claims of the person for refined manners, high art taste, special intelligence, legibility in food and clothes etc. It would seem, snobbery - concept opposite to the concept platitude . But why then they are mentioned nearby and at the same time, and do it intuitively? The matter is that both of these concepts are connected with the word taste . Both the vulgar person, and the snob have damage in taste: the first is deprived it in general, and the second only applies for high taste, and actually - only imitates it, imitates it. Here also it turns out that platitude and snobbery - different sides of the same coin, which name - bad taste.

Many consider that precisely it is impossible to define essence of platitude. It can only be distinguished intuitively and to point to it. Therefore not incidentally women are so sensitive to manifestations of platitude. Can be platitude anything, it is non-material, is not concrete, has no certain form, and receives a type of quality or property, and platitude is a negative qualitative sign, the means of expression which is shown in words and acts. It is interesting that in other people we notice platitude at once, and in ourselves - favourite we see seldom as any person is inclined to justify the words and acts. Not for nothing tells the people: In others eye a mote it is visible, and in the - and the log is not noticeable .

V. V. Nabokov left an image of the vulgar person, painfully familiar to us and in present life. This is, as a rule, the financially secure person, banal (sample, stereotyped) in tastes, well adapted to society similar. He does not avoid high words, adores all beautiful loves to show off it is indifferent generally to literature and art (except cases when it is possible to earn from them), but greedy absorbs concrete information and especially advertizing because advertizing imposes idea as if happiness can be bought for money and that to glorify itself - darling. The vulgar person is always happy with himself, and the mercenary calculation gives out for high feelings. Platitude as speak, is a joke on a subject which at the normal person is inviolable, this lack of a measure and sensitivity to in what the person is most vulnerable. It falshak cheap stuff kitsch (hack-work, fake).

In Russia the word platitude has deep historical roots. Earlier it designated good ancient custom (you remember - drevly piety ) and literally - as it everything went that is it was moved long since, was trite . It got abusive sense at the tsar Pyotr as denial of traditional values and customs. Everything that was consecrated with tradition that was considered as faultless, began to be considered become obsolete, stereotyped, outdated, and therefore - bad, poor quality and property. Subsequently, the word " is closer to our times; platitude it began to be perceived as something indecent, rough, low (low) at all. Among educated people it became just indecent to be financially grounded, mercenary, and decently - disinterested, the carrier of high spirituality empathizing the poor person etc. Well, and now, when the intellectuals became impoverished, it, at last, completely corresponds to this ideal.

And here word snobbery in Russian appeared not so long ago (you remember, at A.S. Pushkin as the dandy London, is dressed ) . It is interesting that now at us in some circles close to fashionable parties, the word snob it is even more often said not with a sneer as it deserves that, and with approval, even with admiration as though it began to designate the person with the developed and exacting taste whereas the snob only imitates these qualities in relation to literature and art, food and clothes, etc. In any case, for the British who thought up this word it did not change the value: all still know that to be a snob - badly! On closer examination it turns out that snobbery, as well as platitude, - one of distinctive properties of human nature. The desire to get above and to look from there, from an upper part, at other people with sense of superiority and " is peculiar to many people; deep satisfaction . Therefore one of the main cares of the snob - it is constant to let know to people around as far as he is close to celebrities.

At the same time snobbery - not such big pleasure; is a type of neurosis rather. The snob is constantly overwhelmed by concern that someone in something will surpass it: will appear in smarter suit from the fashionable couturier, will visit more shikartny and fashionable restaurant, will buy more abrupt wheelbarrow or a picture - a modernist style etc. Not to lag behind, the snob seeks to worm way into the company of people considerable, interesting, elegant, fashionable, with own style. But, imitating these people, the snob will never become same as behind their externally attractive qualities something thorough is always covered - talent, creativity and work. From - for it demonstration of own advantage and own importance for the snob becomes one of the main lines of his behavior.

The vulgar person prefers everything simplified (that is low and rough), and the snob - everything complicated (that is is false - sublime and is false - refined). The vulgar person - the same snob, only on the contrary. In the same way and the snob is a vulgar person, only on the contrary. Snobbery is the prejudice finished to the point of absurdity and built in the absolute that in itself is the highest manifestation of platitude. The snob and the vulgar person often as though without changing the behavior, turn each other, but the snob never admits it, and it is indifferent for the vulgar person. And the main thing in what they meet - snobbery and platitude are equally disgusting to the normal person.

And what to do to us in the society of the triumphing platitude and impudent snobbery? It is necessary to hope only for own taste which was imparted to us by our parents, ( what is well and that it is bad ) in every possible way to resist this wave flowing from pages of newspapers, radio - and telecasts and to raise the children so that they had an own critical view of all events. And vulgar persons and snobs we will provide them to destiny (all of them are equally unrecoverable), it is only necessary to steer clear of them that it was not necessary on - intelligent to hikhikhat in response to their maxims, mentally being burned with shame.

And the world and pleasure in each your house!