Ex re the re-edition of Grigor Beledian’s novels
Haroutiun L. Kurkjian
The present essay attempts to analyze several prose works of diasporan author Grigor Beledian. The th ree works presented here, his first novels, “Semer” (“Thresholds”), “Harvadze” (“The Blow”) and “Nshan” (“Mark”), have been republished recently in a single tome by publisher Sarkis Khachents (Printinfo) in Armenia.
The article first examines G. Beledian’s first two decades of literary production, both prose and poetry (free verse), with which the reading public, not only in Armenia but also in the diaspora, is often unfamiliar, and which has not been sufficiently studied, in order to reveal the maturation process of the author’s choice of themes and prose technique.
The study then addresses the three aforementioned novels.
In conjunction with the critique of the works itself, the study seeks to appraise the “Beledian phenomenon” in contemporary Armenian literature, especially in the Diaspora. In this context, it is necessary to note that in the Middle Eastern communities, literary creation, especially in prose, stagnated during the half century following their establishment, due to the overbearing dominance of traditional stereotypes and the social and cultural isolation inherent to such communities, rendering them incapable of partaking in the international literary movements of their era. In contrast, the first generation of Armenian Diaspora authors in Europe had achieved notable success in the same domain.
G. Beledian’s work in the form of novels, the outcome of a highly personal literary conception and language, bridges the gap between the traditional literary practices of the past referenced to above and the contemporary world, creating a series of literary murals of unprecedented expanse and depth, personal testimony from the collective past of those Middle-Eastern communities.