In the French version of Hermann Broch’s celebrated essay, the word “kitsch” is translated as “junk art” (art de pacotille). A misinterpretation, for Broch demonstrates that kitsch is something other than simply a work in poor taste. There is a kitsch attitude. Kitsch behavior. The kitsch-man’s (Kitschmensch) need for kitsch: it is the need to gaze into the mirror of the beautifying lie and to be moved to tears of gratification at one’s own reflection.

– Milan Kundera, The Art of the Novel (1986)

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