Author Archives: SimonVratsian


Metaphysics of Mutual Penetration in Hovhannes Tumanyan’s and Avetik Isahakyan’s poetry

Naira V. Hambardzumyan
The infinity of the text is formed in the domain of the author’s balanced energy although it is possible to break that balance and emerge into the domain of everlasting changes and movement of a language, creating the dynamic utterance of the text, which ensures the passability of its form [as modus], implementing and realizing the process of structural formation of the text in the domains of the assumed boundaries and intersecting forms. The form is itself a visual-spatial image or symbol and is related to the text-author conversation in the context of subconscious + utterance + form = content; therefore, spatial image + form domain is considered as a boundary because in the ontological domain the same text is created as [Word + Word + Word + Word + ∞ = thought] reality, undergoing changes (or not). In this context, the structural possibilities of the text and the changes conditioned by it, as an unstable whole, are opposed to the part-whole unity, creating incoming and outgoing abstractions where the part relates to the whole, interpreting the text as a heteropolar structure. These actions and relations enable viewing the text as a cosmic microsystem in the domain of its integrity.




To the 200th anniversary of the birth of Fyodor Dostoevsky

Petros H. Demirchyan
The influence of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s personality and his work on the development of Russian and world literary-scientific thought is enormous. Of course, Armenian literature is not an exception with its two historically formed branches The article refers to the case of two original authors representing the above-mentioned branches of Armenian literature: Raffi (Hakob Hakobyan, s/o Melik) and Yeghia Temirchipashyan, who in that sense, we consider, need more comprehensive, complete elucidation. At the heart of the monitoring mainly is the problem of the relationship between the national and the universal of literature, which gives the opportunity to examine the work of a national writer in interaction with world great minds. There can be no doubt that Raffi’s famous works, being the most powerful expression of the life and destiny of the Armenians, provided him with the right of being called “The Armenian national novelist” (A. Chopanyan). Nevertheless, Raffi’s work was also viewed in the broader context of the world literature of his time. He created characters,
which, under the national image and essence expose the soul and psychology of the human being in general. In this sense, the character Godfather Petros of the
“The Diary of a Khachagogh (Cross-thief)” with an equally cruel philosophy that contradicts the irrational laws of a society that undermines the very essence
of the human being: “I am like an evil spirit must punish people’s injustices only with injustices…” directly relates to Dostoevsky’s question in which the
essential thing is whether there is a goal that justifies the right to punish the perpetrator by depriving him of his life. F. Dostoevsky, by Raskolnikov, the
hero of the novel “Crime and Punishment” raises the issue of Conscience. Some of Raffi’s heroes are also forced to commit evil – murder and they try to
justify it with the idea of self-defense having a natural historical basis. However, in many cases, the problem goes beyond that and enters the field of
defense of the people and the homeland. In the novel “Samvel”, Samvel kills his parents because they betrayed the most important sacred things – the nation
and the homeland.

In creative parallels of F. Dostoyevsky and Raffi the issues of crime, punishment, conscience and human relations, national history, search for ways of the future are also crucial.

As for F. Dostoevsky-Y. Temirchipashyan creative parallels, at least two key factors can be considered here: the similarities between the personal nature and biography of the writers and the dominance of the Philosophy of Suffering, which, in fact, had a profound effect on their work. But divine providence finally decided, as if in spite of all this, at least in the last years of the life of great writers, to open a window of consolation before their sufferings. And just as Anna Snitkina for Fyodor Dostoevsky, likewise Ellen Nissen for Yeghia Temirchipashyan were real “guardian angels”, they were able to keep, preserve and comfort their suffering souls and hearts.

The mentioned circumstances, as a whole, give grounds to speak about not only the national, but also the universal standards and values of the creative thinking of F. Dostoevsky, Raffi and Ye. Temirchipashyan.

Taner Akçam, The Young Turks՚ Crime Against Humanity – 2022-2


The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic cleansing in the Ottoman Empire

Armen C. Marukyan
The value of Akçam’s work lies in the fact that a large number of Ottoman archival documents, which are difficult to access for non-Turkish professionals, corroborate information known from other sources and adding additional details. However, it should be noted, that the Turkish historian does not always interpret impartially, analyzing the Ottoman archival documents circulated by him, moreover, his judgments sometimes directly contradict the information in the documents quoted by him.

Criticizing the historians who promote the Turkish official version, Akçam tries to present himself as an impartial historian, but his adoption of a conventional stance on fundamental issues of the history of the Armenian Genocide shows that in practice he is acting as a secret suspect of the crime against the Armenian people. Akçam’s approach differs from the official Turkish denial historiography in that, instead of so-called “hard denial”, he promotes “cautious suspicion” or “unnoticed denial”. Using the term “Armenian Genocide” and condemning the crime, the Turkish historian casts doubt on the motives of the Armenian Genocide, noting that the policy was not racist or nationalistic, that the “state interest” of the empire was the basis of the Armenian Genocide.

Akçam tends to see Armenians as a “threat” to the integrity of the Ottoman Empire, to eliminate which the Young Turks resorted to so-called “social engineering”, which means elements of a policy of genocide against Armenians: extermination, forced deportation, Islamization and assimilation. Thereby, Akçam in fact repeats the approaches of the official Turkish historiography that denies and falsifies the Armenian Genocide, which justifies the criminal policy towards the Armenian people based on the nationalist ideology of pan-Turkism.

Akçam’s various judgments on the motives of the Turkish authorities for committing the Armenian Genocide suggest that either he has not yet made a final decision or in this way he tries to hide the real motives, at the same time raising doubts about the criminal intention to commit the Armenian Genocide, which is the main component of qualifying that crime. Is it a coincidence that Akçam concludes his work with the assumption that, regardless of how we qualify the extermination of Armenians from a legal point of view, it is first and foremost a moral recognition that it was not an unjust act worthy of moral reproach? The Turkish historian is thus trying to transfer the issue of the Turkish state’s responsibility for the Armenian Genocide to a purely moral field, as the discussion of this issue in the legal or political spheres will inevitably lead to processes of responsibility and compensation that are absolutely unacceptable for the Turkish state.

Assessing the works of T. Akçam published in different languages on some issues of the history of the Armenian Genocide, as well as his introduction into scientific circulation of unpublished Ottoman archival documents, nevertheless, we believe that Armenian specialists should have taken part in the process of translating and republishing these books in Armenia . Otherwise, it turns out that we share the biased judgments of the Turkish historian on fundamental-conceptual issues, as well as the approaches and conclusions that are almost identical with the views of the official Turkish historiography denying the given crime.



Ovik G. Musaelyan (Stepanakert)
This article discusses a number of fundamental problems concerning the internal relations of a literary text and affecting the role of the “secret code” in the process of its perception. This process of perception takes into account the fact that  literary creation itself is a closed system, and internal structural relations are
essential in assessing the value of a fiction. Regardless of the story structure, meaning and content of the fiction, these relationships are its key part, uniting the main structural elements and typological features of the text. At the same time, these relations determine the possibilities, boundaries and aesthetic criteria of the
metaphysical perception of art. Each significant fiction carries a secret that has not been fully revealed, the presence of which makes literary creativity accessible
mainly at the highest levels of intuition. The deeper the mystery is the more layered the creativity. This principle operates not only in fiction, but also in all other genres of art, revealing the originality of each artwork and emphasizing its features. This analysis is based on aesthetic, cultural, psychoanalytic theoretical generalizations of samples of classical and modern art and aims to give a more reasonable idea of the role and significance of the phenomena under consideration.



(On the occasion of 125th birth anniversary)

David V. Gasparyan
Inhumane treatment of the First Secretary of the Central Committee of Communist (Bolshevik) Party of Armenia Amatuni with Yeghishe Charents led to the death of the latter. During the work of A. Khanjian as the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the C(B)PA there was a question of sending the poet to Paris for treatment by the decision of the Zakkraikom. But the murder of Khanjian on July 9, 1936 turned everything upside down. It was believed that Charents was under the patronage of Khanjian, who was declared an enemy of the nation and was persecuted.

On November 16, 1936 the NKVD authorities decided to investigate the case of Charents, charged under the articles 67 and 68 of the Criminal Code of the Armenian SSR. He is accused of being one of the leaders of the anti-revolutionary, nationalist group of writers “November”. Charents categorically denies all charges, defends himself and gives explanations. From the same political positions, Charents was harshly criticized at the general meeting of Armenian writers on April 17-21, 1937.

Despite all this, in the last years of his life, the free creative element of Charents produced some great poetry, as well as works that show the real picture of
brutal political violence. In 1935-1937, Charents created more than in previous years. His creative life lasted 25 years – 1912-1937. The discovered pages of the works of those years are collected in three large volumes: “Unpublished and unfinished works” (1983), “Newly-appeared pages” (1996), “The Book of Remnants” (2017), to which new books can be added, because the unpublished pages of the poet’s oeuvre have not yet been fully studied. Each part of this heritage is a historical document of its time.

Hence, authorities come and go, but the spirit-creators, regardless of the official attitude towards them, come and stay. There was Pilate, who crucified Jesus Christ, and there was Amatuni, who sentenced Yeghishe Charents to death. The mythical power of the people’s faith resurrected Christ, and the genius of Charents, after 17 years (1937-1954) of prohibition, unveiled the unpublished legacy of the poet and made him a national heritage.



From the point of view of international principles of protection of cultural property during war

Armine H. Tigranyan
Since the start of the war on September 27, 2020, the Azerbaijani armed forces have openly targeted the Armenian cultural heritage of Artsakh, violating not only its international obligations, imposed by various conventions, but also the generally accepted customary international norms for the protection of cultural heritage.

In this article, on the example of the shelling of the St. Ghazanchetsots Church in Shushi by Azerbaijan, an analysis of the principles of protecting cultural heritage during the war, military necessity, differentiation, prevention and proportionality is presented.

The international protection of cultural heritage from the dangers of war refers not only to the protection of territories occupied after armed conflict or in
peacetime, but also to not harming during the hostilities themselves. The problem is that despite the fact that cultural monuments are considered inviolable in time of war and their destruction by the enemy is not permissible, international law provides some counterarguments, therefore, as there are “permissible” rules that “legitimize” attacks on heritage during war.

Azerbaijan, referring to these norms, is trying to “justify” the attack on the Ghazanchetsots Church on October 8, 2020, even shifting the blame to the Armenian side.

The analysis of the four principles for the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict, considered in this article, led to the conclusion that the armed forces of Azerbaijan were obliged to ensure that the object to be attacked was not a cultural property, and would refrain from attacking the Ghazanchetsots Church and others values. Moreover, the principle has also become customary, according to which cultural heritage is the property of humankind, and regardless the fact of its origin, and religious and cultural significance, it must be protected. The Azerbaijani armed forces were required to take precautionary measures when attacking Ghazanchetsots, which would allow to remove the valuable objects of movable heritage, as well as to relocate people to a safe place.

It is obvious that Azerbaijan did not give advance warnings and required time before the start of the attack, which it was obliged to do in accordance with
customary international law or in accordance with the principles of The Second Hague Protocol of 1999 and the Geneva Convention, which it accepted as a nation state. Azerbaijan was obliged to assess in advance even the possible accidental damage to valuables, the loss of which could be much significant compared to the expected military advantage.

In addition, according to the laws of wartime, the principles of differentiation and proportionality were to be applied, which were also violated. In
this sense, the shelling of the church could not have been an urgent military necessity and the only way to be carried out at that time. And besides, it could not
provide Azerbaijan with such a military advantage that could adequately neutralize the criminal attack.

We can say with confidence that the destruction of the church, of course, could not give Azerbaijan any military benefit. Instead, its cultural overtones were
taken into account here, which was a blow to the Armenian identity since the damage to the cultural structure cannot be assessed only in terms of material
damage – internal ideological value is also important. With this step, Azerbaijan manifested intolerance towards the inalienable right to cultural rights, and that step was aimed at cultural alienation.

Two accurate blows inflicted by the armed forces of Azerbaijan on the dome of the church proved that this was a targeted attack. We can say with confidence that according to the Second Protocol to The Hague Convention of 1954, the attack is regarded as a war crime, where both the initiator and the perpetrator, as well as those who did not prevent it, are subject to criminal prosecution and can be condemned both at the international and national levels.

The Azerbaijani side still continues to deny the reality, even after the case of shelling of the Ghazanchetsots Church was recognized as an illegal attack motivated by intolerance and racial hatred and has already been condemned by the International Court of Justice in The Hague on December 7, 2021. Decisions
adopted in Strasbourg, No. 2391 “On the humanitarian consequences of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict” of PACE of September 27 and No. 2582 “On the destruction of the objects of cultural heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh” of March 10, 2006, also characterized this attack as a part of an ongoing state policy based on deliberate illegal ethnic cleansing.




Historical-geographical notes

Gegham M. Badalyan
As the majority of Armenian regions, the canton of Shirak, despite being one of the most extensive and populous cantons of the Greater Armenian province of Ayrarat, is presented quite superficially and without much detail in medieval Armenian historiography. A different pattern arises from the examination of the epigraphs of religious and cultural centers of the canton, which reveal more than 120 settlements and other locales (farmsteads, estates, fields and pastures, gardens, and even town districts), significantly complementing the data regarding Shirak and allowing one to form an idea about the toponyms of the region. This distinguishes Shirak as one of those “fortunate” Armenian cantons on whose locales a remarkable and a relatively comprehensive data is preserved. The first serious examination attempt of the toponyms recorded in the epigraphs of the region was undertaken by Gh. Alishan in his renowned work “Shirak” (Venice, 1881), preceded by a few similar observations by Nerses Sargisyan, another Mekhitarist monk. Assuredly, the prominent Armenologist could not deliberate on the majority of survived toponyms due to lack of necessary data. The current article is a humble attempt to fill this lacuna. Re-examining both the epigraphic documents and the historical accounts, the modern designations and, by extension, the geographic locations of a whole series of settlements and other locales are emended. The research revealed that the Armenian toponyms have predominantly been either translated (interpreted) and/or distorted by the incoming Turkic populace. Based on this concept and other considerations, we have examined more than twenty toponyms (mostly from Western Shirak where their Armenian character was better preserved), providing necessary comments and conclusions.



In the context of the philosophical problematic field

Gevorg G. Hakobyan
The subject of this analysis is the problem of the (moral, political, scientific, etc.) obligation of demonstration/not demonstration of existing or possible errors in all kinds of spheres of human activity.

At first glance, it seems clear and self-evident that any errors that exist or are possible in human relations must be revealed, educed and eliminated. And if this process of elimination requires that the existence of the error be publicly announced, then this demand also has to be met. But this seems true only at a glance.

Actually, revealing the errors is fraught with the danger of deepening, spreading, and/or strengthening those errors. That is, it is quite possible that when we point out the errors, it will lead to the exact opposite result.

Taking into account this circumstance, it can be insisted that there is a paradoxical situation. Namely, the errors have to be pointed out to be eliminated or at least neutralized, but at the same time, the errors do not have to be pointed out to be eliminated or at least neutralized.

By all appearances, this is the essence of the problem of the obligation of demonstration/not demonstration of errors, which also exists in lexicographical processes.

It is self-evident and many lexicographers also explicitly claim that the purpose of a dictionary is to demonstrate the truth and not the errors. Nevertheless, there are many cases when the lexicographers not only point out the errors and/or explain them in detail, but also put the wrong or inaccurate word in place of the correct headword.

This lexicographical practice can have many causes, perhaps the most predominant of which is the widespread use of the wrong word at the expense of obscuring the right one. Lexicographers sometimes intentionally make the wrong or even non-existent word a headword, being sure that if the correct word was put in place of the headword, the reader would not be able to find it, because the reader only knows the wrong version of that word and will eventually search for its wrong version. In these and other cases of pointing out errors, the errors can be spread, deepened, and/or more strengthened: a result against which (among others) any scientific practice as well as lexicography is directed. And here a question arises. How can we deal with the abovementioned paradoxical situation?

Overcoming this situation is very important, as lexicography has a significant impact on both the speed and direction of the development of the (Armenian) language.

It is clear that there can be more than one way to achieve a possible solution to the problem, but in the article it is suggested to deal with this situation by constructing a conventional paradigm and making it public, as the most common or perhaps the only way to get rid of paradoxical situations is the conventionalist approach.



Seyran Z. Grigoryan
The article discusses the poetic symbol of Amenti in the poetry of the early period of Armenian poet Yeghishe Charents. In 1916-1919 the young symbolist poet wrote several poems in which he described a conditional area that expresses the idea of human immortality and is called the “Land of Amentia” or “Country of Amenti”. According to the author’s notes, he used ancient Egyptian mythology, where there was a doctrine of the immortality of the soul and an afterlife that embodies this idea, which was called Amenti. In the commentary to one of his poems from the collection “Rainbow” (1917), Ye. Charents explains this world in the following way: “Amenti – Sunset, afterlife in Egyptian mythology”. He intended to write a whole book of poetry called “Amenti”. This idea was not fully realized, but in some works of the book “Rainbow” and in the poem “Personal Song” (1919), the poet partially expressed his ideas.

The Land of Amenti existed in the mythology and literature of Ancient Egypt. It is depicted in more details in the ancient Egyptian “Book of the Dead”. It describes the entrance of the deceased to the afterlife, the test of his soul, which takes place in the presence of the lord of the Realm of Souls – god Osiris. During the trial, the heart of the deceased is weighed, and the deceased makes a negative defensive confession. The weighing of the heart of the deceased is carried out by Horus – the son of Osiris, and the guide of the dead Anubis – a god with the head of a jackal. If it turns out that the deceased lived a pure life, his soul appears in Amenti and becomes immortal.

The Land of Amenti was studied by famous Egyptologists. His artistic image was created by many European and Russian writers – T. Gautier, G. Ebers, B. Prus, O. Wilde, I. Bunin, V. Khlebnikov and others. Of all the writers, the Russian symbolist poet Konstantin Balmont was most often and deeply addressed to the Land of Amenti. He translated several chapters from the “Book of the Dead”, traveled around Egypt and wrote a book of essays “The Land of Osiris” about the Realm of Souls of the ancient Egyptians, as well as poems about Amenti.

The analysis of the texts indicates that Ye. Charents was familiar with ancient Egyptian sources and new literature depicting the Land of Amenti. But, being a symbolist poet, Yeghishe Charents was most of all influenced by the work of one of the largest representatives of Russian symbolism K. Balmont. His works were written in Russian, which was the only foreign language available for the Armenian poet. In addition, they were published several years before the idea of the book “Amenti” by Ye. Charents appeared – in 1908-1914. His poems have ideological, psychological and artistic similarities with the works of K. Balmont.

Using the rich experience of world literature, Ye. Charents created a symbol of the Land of Amenti in Armenian. This is the only example of the artistic interpretation of the ancient Egyptian Realm of Souls in Armenian literature.