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6 article(s) translated from Armenian

from A Book, Untitled: Preface, or We As Two Separate Planets

Translator’s Note: In this first chapter of Book-Untitled, Shushan Avagyan lays the loose framework for the rest of her book: an imagined encounter between two early twentieth-century feminist writers, Zabel Yesayan and Shushanik Kurghinian, juxtaposed with a conversation between the author and a friend, and the author’s own meanderings on censorship, translation and literature. Woven in fragments, “Preface, or We As Two Separate Planets” (bearing the name of a...

Wide Shot

A small piece of land, a hole dug by a blind mole and a mound of clay soil pushed out by its snout—pity the small coriander garden that has settled itself here, pushing aside some pretty bad things. I close my eyes and she digs at her bleeding wound with her soil-stained fingers. A branch of sorrel has cut into her leg and has got stuck in her flesh, but the wrinkles on the old woman’s skin do not wince in pain. Why don’t old people die? I open my eyes as she collects...

Before Sunrise

for h.s. The long silence is broken by a buzz of descending words about how the day stretches like a deformed piece of chewing gum. Ever since you lost the taste in your mouth, it leaves behind a couplet: you bled like the fountains of Julfa when I had just returned from Kars. And the little boy poked around in the bloody pit with a wooden ice cream stick, dividing it into two parts like the Red Sea, performing a unique miracle. You bled after the gym with muscles tight from the heavy...

I’m Not Going to Die

“Are you sad?” “I don’t know.” “Did something happen?” “….” “You know, I don’t like it when I ask a question and you don’t answer.” “Sorry, I was lost in thought. Fel, do you remember how we wouldn’t come home on Sundays until we found the bracelets and rings I wanted from Vernissage market. Then, how before it was time to go home, we would sit at Vernissage after close and eat bananas....

from “The Remnants”

Note: A towering figure in modern Western Armenian literature, Hagop Oshagan casts a long shadow as a prolific novelist, literary critic and historian, short-story writer, and dramatist. He was born in Bursa (Western Anatolia) in 1883, and died in Aleppo (Syria) in 1948. Oshagan's life was shaped by turbulent events in the Ottoman realm and beyond: the decline of the empire; World War I, the 1915 genocide of the Armenians—the massacres, deportations, and dispersion. Between...

St. Mesrop Cycle

EULOGISTIC Most holy grave of Oshakan, Soil of intellect today, from whence An illustrious history of fifteen stormy centuries, From East to West--two Armenias entire, Moves freely, praying, toward You . . . Endless dead one of Oshakan, You with thousands of branches, Golden-tongued river of knowledge, Redeemer of the mind, Titan of hope, Center of life, You, reduced to eternal dust, You, vault of inextinguishable torches, To whom I came, like a beggar, In my days of...

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