Category Archives: LITERARY CRITICISM

THE SATIRE AND THE TRAGEDY IN THE NOVEL “PHONY GENIUSES” BY ZABEL YESAYAN – 2021-1

Summary

Hayk A. Hovhannisyan
The article is about the satirical novel “Phony Geniuses” which was written by Zabel Yesayan. In it, the author depicts the life of the young Armenian intelligentsia, who were living in Paris at that time. Yesayan clearly shows how the wrong assessment of the society turns a talented man into lazy, haughty and selfassured person.

In this work we have tried to refer to the prototype of the novel. We tried to show the obvious similarity of Intra – one of the modern writers to the main character of the novel. Most likely, Zabel Yesayan did not like the selfcontainedness of Intra’s literature, the sheer size of his self-image. That is why she criticizes the literature of her main character in the novel.

In the article we referred to the peculiarities of Zabel Yesayan’s satire showing the unity of satire and tragedy. Even the most satirical images of Yesayan have a tragic sublayer and the author’s pain is clearly seen in the composition.

Zabel Yesayan’s novel “Phony Geniuses” is a realistic work, it stands out with its high art and with a unique way of depicting reality.

RAFFI’S VIEWS ON ENLIGHTENMENT AND PEDAGOCY – 2021-2

Summary

Ashot N. Hayruni
The family and school occupied an important place in Raffi’s ideological worldview in reaching societal enlightenment and national unity. According to him, these two important social structures were important vehicles for transforming any given individual, which through enlightenment would lead to the desired success. According to Raffi, both of these institutions were not prepared and unable to serve the nation’s progress and enlightenment, since fundamentally their practices had remained in the past with inhumane beatings, punishments, with highly illiterate teachers who showed despotic behavior and lack of pedagogical skills.

While analyzing the many flaws in the upbringing and education of Armenian children within the family and schools, Raffi pointed out that these in turn greatly stifled the individual from fully understanding his or her national identity, thus effectively also hindering a proper development of the Armenian society at large. According to Raffi, the main culprit for this was the Church, which yielded greatest influence upon the society and was the main unifying factor of its members, thus, the latter could become the torchbearer for enlightenment and progress, if only it would be able to fulfill this role. After conducting a comprehensive study of the historic path of the Armenian Church, Raffi concluded that the Church had lost its moral compass and had strayed from the path of leadership. Raffi pointed out that Armenian priesthood had to undergo a reform, only after which, it could once again take up the mantle of educating and enlightening the Armenian society at large.

The writer, thus, emphasized the importance of reforming family and school education, which in turn, would transform the society by instilling within the individual ideals of enlightenment. For this task Raffi especially emphasized the important role of the Church.

According to Raffi, the school had to have a stable school curricula and methodological guidebooks, its teachers should have received specialized training, national values should have been underlined and highly emphasized in subjects like Armenian History. Raffi also placed importance in teaching Theology, in particular, teaching the children those parts of the Bible, which developed a sense of morality. Raffi also criticized the view that the religious denomination and national origin were one and the same. He pointed out that national origin and religious affiliation could not be equated, since the two had different historic origins. He pointed out that a religion of a given people would throughout history often change, thus no matter what an important role the given religion had played for a people, it could not fully constitute the totality of their national identity and existence. The core, which according to Raffi could unify all of the members of an enlightened nation and society, was national self-consciousness, which could be gained after proper understanding and self-realization of national identity, which according to him was first and foremost based upon the use of a common language.

DIFFICULTIES IN TEACHING LEXICAL EASTERN ARMENIAN – 2021-2

Forms of pronouns

The problem of intralinguistic relations of words and types of semantic relations of pronouns has always been discussed in Armenian linguistics. There are structural disagreements. The accepted view is the multifaceted classification of pronouns (personal, demonstrative …), which, however, we strongly believe does not have sufficient scientific validation. The intra-group classification of pronouns should be done according to the contextual meaning, in relation to other parts of speech. In this combination-comparison, the grammatical description of noun-pronouns is more emphasized and visible, therefore, it is mastered well.

POLITICAL VIEWS OF RAFFI – 2021-2

Aschot N. Hayruni

Raffi opened a new era not only in the history of Armenian fiction and literary criticism, but also in the history of Armenian social and political thought. Guided by the principle that fiction should not only be a mirror of life, but should also address and clarify the most important issues of public concern, Raffi presented a path of national liberation struggle that he believed could lead to the desired liberation and to the start of nation-building. According to him, the future, the dreamed Armenia should be built on four main cornerstones, the first of which is the religious life, the second is the educational sphere, the third is the economic development, and the fourth is the national statehood. Raffi’s powerful public discourse grew from these four cornerstones. His ideal of national liberation was closely intertwined with the programs of education, enlightenment, and economic prosperity, completing an ideology of general transformation of life and reality in general.

Not only did Raffi offer a unique program of national liberation, but he also presented a moral concept for the realization of this program, which was based on the national wisdom, so it can never lose its relevance. He was deeply observant, pointing out the wounds and shortcomings rooted in national and social life, the elimination of which was very necessary for the reconstruction of society, consolidation, and the realization of the desired goals. Through his literary works and public speeches, the writer unleashed a broad ideological struggle, educated and nurtured generations. There is not a single area of life that he has not touched. His writing talent was enhanced with great sociological, economic and political knowledge. The article examines Raffi’s political views, which, by penetrating advanced Armenian thought and educating generations, became a reference point for the organization and expansion of Armenian political parties. Raffi’s work best proved the truth of his thesis that a good book can save an entire nation.

THE PROBLEM OF RECIPROCITY BETWEEN THE NATIVE AND THE ALIEN – 2021-1

In Simon Simonyan’s collection of “The Twilight of the Mountaineers”

Marine D. Ghazaryan

Lebanese-Armenian writer Simon Simonyan’s collection “The Twilight of the Mountaineers” has a special place in the literature of the Armenian Genocide, which is characterized by various issues and questions. Summarizing up the author’s main ideas, it turns out that his thoughts are built through the binomial concepts, and the whole system created by them expresses the perceptions of the writer about the native and the alien.

In this very article, with the combination of phenomenology and imagology methods, native and alien issues are examined in schematic contrast relating to components of national identity: values, mentality, language, racial memory, which reveal Simonyan’s national self-consciousness and his own system of values. The heroes of the book are immigrants from Sassoun, who survived the Genocide, who differ in their emphasized sense of nationality.

The story is told by the author-character, who interweaves episodes of his own biography with the eyewitness history. The idea of the beginning: roots have a pivotal importance. Following the tendencies of the development of modern culture, in order to find the ontological foundations of a nation, Simonyan chooses the way to reach the roots from the present to the ancient times, the basis of which is the mythological events.

In his works, Simonyan acts as a great humanist, because raising patriotic issues, he is not molded by narrow national issues. In his stories, the consequences of wars are examined first as universal, then as national, family, and then as individual tragedies. There are no explicit depictions of genocide events in the collection. In most of the works, the scenes of the massacre are concentrated in the general images. The stories are distinguished by the examination of the cause-andeffect relations of the tragedy, making the reproach of national mistakes the most important part of the author’s ideology.

In his short stories, with various perceptions of the native and the alien, Simonyan has tried to achieve the truth by mentioning the theme of the Armenians of Sassoun who have escaped the genocide, examining the realities in terms of an impartial historian and convincing artistry, showing his own aesthetic of being faithful to reality.

THE IMAGE OF A TURK IN HAKOB OSHAKAN’S NOVELS – 2020-4

Summary

Narine A. Hovhannisyan (Stepanakert)
Hakob Oshakan’s novel, besides being culturology, chronology, psychoanalysis and ideology, is, in our deep conviction, the novel of the Armenian Question. The historical process that started the tragedies of the Armenian people to counter the Armenian Question was largely conditioned by the presence of the Turks. Consequently, Turkishness and the Turk, as a collective whole of national characteristics, became the main concentration of thoughts of Oshakan’s novel.

Exceptional depths are the psycho-observations and psycho-instinctive discoveries of the Turk’s character created by Oshakan, the penetration of racial inner, dark folds, the uncoverings and decipherments of the instincts of the sexual psychological impulses, the subconscious flow, the discoveries of internally stored realities.

In Oshakan’s novel, the most typical manifestations of sexual psychology of the Turk’s character are vulgarity, rape, ethnic profanation, homosexuality, forced feminization, at that they are not private cases of racial psychology, but a public phenomenon and morality. Turkish sexual harassment and racial sadism were fully exposed during the Armenian massacres. According to Oshakan, the Armenian massacres, especially the 1915 Genocide, were the historical platform for Turkish self-manifestation.

One of the striking features of Turkish ethnic psychology described in Oshakan’s novel is religious fanaticism with a focus on anti-Armenian sentiment. Hatred on an unbelievable level is a sacred feeling in Turkish national psychology, also a public phenomenon, a state-encouraged policy. The false ideology of the Turkish state-nation has for centuries instilled in Turkey the mentality that Armenians live on their lands, sowing hatred towards Armenians to the point of national fanaticism.

According to Oshakan, the psychology of extermination and expansionism reaches the level of doctrine in Turkey. The ideology of the Great Turan is the cornerstone of the Turkish national-political strategy and Oshakan shows that Pan-Turkism and Turanism, as complementary concepts, are the national basis for the education of Turkish generations. The dream of the Great Turan, complemented by the racial biological instincts of the Turks, became the precondition for the Armenian Genocide and the occupation of the Armenian Highland.

Oshakan’s revelations of Turkish ethnic psychology are falsification, denial, cunning and unsurpassed diplomacy. On the symmetry of the subconscious and conscious levels of Turkishness Oshakan directs sharp emphases especially against the conscious։ crime and villainy are born from the inner drive of the Turkish biological instincts, from the unconscious level of meditations, from the sound of blood, while denial and treachery are manifestations of the conscious level.

Oshakan’s revelations of the Turkish ethnic image lead to the philosophical notion of an anti-human. The philosophy of the anti-man rises on the internal psychological basis of the history of sadistically committing genocides towards unarmed nations and cold-heartedly denying them. Conscience and self-esteem as psychological elements are completely absent in the Turkish national consciousness and psychological structure.

Thus, in Oshakan’s novel, blood and gender are the poles of the ethnic Turkish type of psychoanalysis, the tensions of internal density. Turkey, as a collective psychology, is at the level of the blood of the Turkish heroes of Oshakan, that is, of innate essence. In other words, Turkishness is a biological psychology, an instinctive mental system.

THE COGNITIVE PROBLEMS OF LIFE AND DEATH IN HENRIK EDOYAN’S POETRY – 2020-3

On the occasion of the 80th birth anniversary of the philosopher-poet

Summary

Hripsime A. Zakaryan
The theme of life and death has been and remains one of the main literature themes. It is an undeniable truth that life and death problem, in all its multiplicity of themes, is connected with Armenian poetry as an inner worldview. It has developed regularly and logically, in the light of philosophical conceptions of the authors of this or that period, mainly in two directions։ first, death was traditionally perceived as some absolutely natural necessity, at the same time including in itself tragic mood nuances. Second, moral-philosophical, when death is viewed and perceived as the end of earthly sufferings and transition to another life. The philosophical manifestation of this problem is mostly expressed in works of poetsymbolists.

In contemporary Armenian poetry, the theme of this orientation remains relevant and necessary. Emphasized, fully and universally, the life and death theme was sought to be more concretely and vividly transformed in Edoyan’s lyrical works. By redefining the traditional ways, the poet expands and enriches philosophical reflections on life, death, and immortality. This becomes more obvious and expressive as a result of comparing it with works of different authors of different historical periods (Yeghishe Charents, Vahan Terian and others).

The synthesis of Christian and Eastern religious-philosophical perceptions in the worldview of lyrical “I” is the main component of H. Edoyan’s entire creative art.

Thus, the relevance of this article is conditioned by the need for a special analytical work dedicated to the problem of life and death in Edoyan’s poetry, to his philosophical reflections on death, human life and soul immortality.

The article attempts to identify from the standpoint of traditional religiouscultural beliefs the essence, the content originality of the poems written on the issues of life and death that one often meets in the poetry of the prominent Armenian poet Henrik Edoyan. The eternal theme of life and death is often met in Armenian and world poetry in various wordings. However, unlike other poets, Henrik Edoyan, by rediscovering the eternal essence of world religions, confirms non-existence of death and the eternal life that in the poetic text is perceived as a realized truth, conveying a new meaning and a new artistic coloring to the poem.

The poet’s philosophical reflections on the meaning of life, death and immortality are reinterpreted in poems such as “Chaos is us, me and you”, “Here and there”, “Light and heavy”, “One and numerous”, etc.

The purpose of this article is the psychological-philosophical analysis of lifedeath correlation problems, which allows to rethink the peculiarities of H. Edoyan’s poetic world perception.

POEM “REQUIEM” BY RAZMIK DAVOYAN – 2020-3

On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the poet

Summary

Suren S. Abrahamyan
The poem “Requiem” published in 1969 is the most significant work in Razmik Davoyan’s poetic legacy. That is one of the masterpieces of Armenian poetry of the last half-century which expresses the way of development of the poetry of the post-Sevak period whose worldview, poetics is extremely complex and has not yet been analyzed. Therefore, this analysis is the first literary attempt that offers a unique starting point for interpretation.

In general, Davoyan’s way of poetry, starting from the 60s of the last century, is the search for the song that is transformed into a melody. The word corresponds to the song that is born before things and is not a metaphor, and the melody corresponds to the spirit that expresses the substratum of the word. That is why the word bears the echo of the melody which is embodied in things, “fills the universe with life”, jingles in the depths of the melody that lives forever, like the instant in cosmic peace. Therefore, the poet’s word has an ontological substratum that seeks the purity of the poetics and the melody. The loss of the word is therefore the loss of the melody, and the loss of the melody is the destruction of the word, the elimination of the meaning that is probably the loss of life. Consequently, the poet’s reliance is the word that is reborn within the melody, lives with it, is resurrected, as below, above. But the melody is above, the word is below.

The substratum of the song, then, descends from the top down, embodying the word that radiates the meaning of existence. Davoyan’s “Requiem”, which sounds like a melody, mourns the song and the loss of the word. Figuratively speaking, it is like the mystery of the cross that descends from the top down as a melody to connect the word with the upper sphere. And below strives up to sound like its
melody. Thus, in the poem “Requiem”, Davoyan is looking for the prototype of the word, the soul, the antecedent song, which contemporaries call poetry. The tragedy and tragical, however, lies there that the distorted song, like a tortured woman like a ghost, wanders from heaven to earth as a pillar of light leading to Golgotha, looking for itself in chaos. That is why God has become a probable god, a probablespirit, like a ghost of a true song. But our spirit struggles. The yearning for the song has made us sick. But the roads do not save us, though our souls sing the song of the road. A faithless nomad, strange and horrific, appears on our way again and says, “Your song is sung”. Not only the person but also the song is a martyr that has been persecuted as much as our way has persecuted us again.

FREUDIAN DREAM SYMBOLS IN ZAREH VORBOUNI’S FICTION – 2020-1

Summary

Anna S. Mikoyan
French-Armenian writer Z. Vorbouni having psychological education reflected the theses of Freudism in his fiction. In his opinion, psychology is the only way to discover the truths of life. The author confessed many times that the theory of the psychologist Z. Freud had had a big effect on his creative thinking. In this article we examined the symbols of dreams, pointed out by Freud, that are reflected in Z. Vorbouni’s fiction.

The author, being a follower of Freudism and at an early stage of literary life adhering to the surrealist literary stream, which is also based on Freud’s psychoanalysis, paid much importance on dream study. He published his dreams and their interpretations. He often wrote literary works based on the plots of those dreams. Vorbouni also published the interpretations of some of his dreams. By the confession of the writer, he saw the difficult solutions of his novels in a dream and wrote down. In general, while writing he closed his eyes and “dreamed” the adventures of his characters.

That is the reason why in Vorbouni’s fiction are found almost all the symbols highlighted by Freud. Those symbols have sexual character. Vorbouni often mentioned that the issue of gender and sexuality is essential in his fiction. Mainly the symbols of female sexuality dominate, as women have a dominant position in Vorbouni’s fiction. The following female symbols are displayed: from geographical-spatial units there are street, field, meadow, sea, garden, from buildings there are church, bell tower, ship, tunnel, room, from animals there are helix, crayfish, silkworm, turtle, from concave objects there are costrel, bottle, from clothes there is lingerie. The flower and some fruits symbolize woman’s genitals. There is also a line of activities associated with sexual activities, such as playing, dancing and so on.

RAFFI – NATIONAL AND UNIVERSAL – 2020-2

On the occasion of the 185th birth anniversary

Summary

Petros A. Demirchyan-Doctor of Sciences in Philology
Raffi (Hakob Melik-Hakobyan) is one of the prominent Armenian writers whose fate was closely connected with the fate of the Motherland, and for the sake of the Motherland and the people, his literary and civil heroism paved the shortest path to immortality.

Indeed, the large-scale activities of Raffi and his erudition are surprising. He was a great novelist, warlike publicist, progressive thinker, patriotic figure.

Sincere interest in the historical fate of the people, high patriotic feelings forced the writer to look for new ways to deal with forces that impede the development of people and society. To this end, he got acquainted with the sociopolitical, philosophical and aesthetic views of European and Russian progressive thinkers Voltaire, Feuerbach, Rousseau, Belinsky, Dobrolubov and Chernyshevsky, inherited the creative principles of folk literature of H. Abovyan.

The ideological and creative flight that Raffi made, from the ideology of enlightenment to romanticism, to the greatest ideals of the true freedom of peoples, deserves deep respect and appreciation. This is the reason for the great aesthetic, national, social and historical value of the heritage of the great writer. His talented books “Samvel”, “David Bek”, “Sparks”, “Golden Rooster” and others are an encyclopedia of the historical life of the Armenian people, a school for the education of freedom and patriotism.

Raffi considered the problems of the Homeland and the people in his works based on the principles of historicism and national, including linguistic, unity.

Raffi’s highly artistic works were considered by many in the wider context of world literature of his time. Back in 1913, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the death of Raffi, Daniel Varuzhan wrote: “Raffi became the father of Armenian novelism. Our Scott, if you like, who was able to vividly invoke the past and prophesy about the future”.

A. Chopanyan also believed that some of Raffi’s works, such as “Samvel”, “The Fool” and others, could be presented to a foreign reader “and receive a warm welcome.” Moreover, with some reservations, he put the name of Raffi next to the names of Dickens, Balzac, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy.

Concerning some characters and episodes of Raffi’s novels, parallels also arise with the works of Shakespeare and Dostoevsky (“Richard III”, “The Brothers Karamazov”).

Of course, all this was not accidental. The basis for the abovementioned statements is provided by the work of Raffi himself, when considering it not only from the point of view of national, but also universal ideas, as well as from the point of view of the level of creative thinking of the writer.