By Taleen Kupelian
PARAMUS, N.J.—With the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide quickly approaching, now is a more poignant time than ever to celebrate the Armenian culture rather than mourn its loss. Accomplished author, scientist, professor, playwright, poet, translator, actor, literary and theater critic, and director Dr. Herand M. Markarian does just that with his latest publication, an anthology titled, The Martyred Armenian Writers (1915-22).
All those present at the Armenian Presbyterian Church in Paramus on March 18 heard the words of the greats brought to life in a moving performance with help from a number of the community’s youth: Nick Aynilian, Jr., Raffi Aynilian, Vatche Demirjian, Richard Hekemian, Anoush Kalachian, Niree Kaprielian, and Melani Salibian.
This special event, titled “The Literary Works of 13 Armenian Martyred Writers,” began with remarks by Armenian Missionary Association of America, Inc. (AMAA) Executive Director/CEO Zaven Khanjian and included a brief biography of the honored guest. Khanjian qualified the literature of the 19th and early 20th centuries “as superb, distinct…and deserving to be read, enjoyed, and spread.” Markarian’s enlightening slide show that followed highlighted the accomplishments of the 13 writers featured in his book.
Markarian’s anthology is brilliantly segmented into three parts, each one a pertinent background about the time the subject matter was written. The first part contains general introductions to Western Armenian literature of the 19th century. The second contains a foundation for understanding the Armenian Genocide. In the final section, the readers are provided with short biographies of 13 of the most beloved Armenian writers of the era, along with a bibliography of their writing and excerpts from each author (in English).
While there are certain nuances that may get lost in translation, Markarian’s anthology is as good as it gets. Markarian (with skillful help) has translated the works of the 13 featured authors. In his book, he beautifully records the classic and powerful words of the martyred Armenians during the Armenian Genocide, proving that whether it’s 1 or 101 years that have passed, these writings have truly stood the test of time.
The literary program was brought to a moving close by the dynamic aforementioned performance and was followed by a delectable reception graciously organized by Seta Nalbandian, Anita Buchakjian, and Berjouhi Gulesserian.
To order The Martyred Armenian Writers, visit www.amaa.org, or contact the AMAA by calling (201) 265-2607 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Armenian Weekly Mid-Atlantic