Toska (Russian): There isn’t a word in the English language that can fully express the concept of toska. Toska is a state of mind with many different shades. Russian novelist, Vladmir Nabokov describes it this way, “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.”

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