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.