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Toska – noun /ˈtō-skə/ – Russian word roughly… • literary jukebox

June 11, 2013

Toska (Тоска) – noun /ˈtō-skə/ – Russian word roughly translated as sadness, melancholia, lugubriousness.

No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.

Vladimir Nabokov, cited in A Field Guide to Melancholy by Jacky Bowring

via Toska – noun /ˈtō-skə/ – Russian word roughly… • literary jukebox.

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