Posted on Jul 20, 2023

The Upcoming Publication of Hagop Baronian’s My Ledger and the Revolutionary Translation Course that Produced It

Posted in Baronian, Translation

Whether good or bad, every “first” is a cause for commemoration. If bad, it is commemorated so that it never happens a second time; if good, that it may be remembered and become a pattern to be repeated as often as possible. This year, Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School in Hollywood California, just had the kind of “first” which deserves to be commemorated and repeated again and again. For the first time in the history of Armenian schools in the United States, and, to my knowledge, anywhere else in the world, Rose and Alex Pilibos offered a translation...

Posted on Mar 12, 2023

Reviewing the Reviews of Pagan Songs

Posted in Translation

After publishing my translation of Daniel Varoujan’s Pagan Songs in 2019—which, to be candid, contained as much of me as it did Varoujan, what with my behemoth fifty page preface and an additional twenty pages of appendices for sixty something pages of translated poetry—I said almost nothing about its reception, partly because there was no reception to speak of, but also partly because my brain child was well armed against the nitpicks which a handful of reviewers threw its way. The martyrdom of its author was a built-in defense mechanism, which instantly insulated it from a wide swathe of...

Posted on Aug 09, 2022

On Jennifer Manoukian’s “That’s not Armenian! Encounters with language purists past and present”

Posted in Uncategorized

Jennifer Manoukian’s recent essay titled “That’s not Armenian! Encounters with language purists past and present” published on H-Pem is thoughtful and informative and worth reading. It argues that the Armenian language has always borrowed from others and even the version of Armenian which we commonly think is the most “pure Armenian” (մաքուր հայերէն), classical Armenian, is also full of borrowings from other languages, especially Persian. It advocates an easing up of the purist approach to the language adopted by the Mekhitarists in the 1700’s and a more relaxed attitude toward spoken Western, and presumably Eastern Armenian as well. An...

Posted on Aug 09, 2021

Comedy Always Punches Down!

Posted in Comedy

In boxing, the taller fighter always has the advantage because punches that are thrown downward hit harder. The shorter fighter, on the other hand, is always fighting two fights: one against his opponent, and another against the heavy weight champion of the universe, gravity, which is undefeated, with a record of infinite wins, zero losses, and one draw against Jesus… In war, the side that occupies the higher ground has the upper hand because not only are they aided by gravity, which makes their position easy to defend, the elevation allows them to see farther in every direction and...

Posted on Aug 03, 2021

An Armenian Philosophy…by a Comedian

Posted in Ethics and Satire, Philosophy

I argued in previous articles that satire is a subcategory of ethics and, by comparing Armenians in America in 1981 and Armenians in Armenia in 18 A.D., showed conclusively that Armenians don’t have now nor have ever had an ethic. Therefore, to do what I want to do, which is write satire, and to do it in the right way, I’m forced to create an ethics. But ethics in turn is a subcategory of philosophy…If ethics answers the question “How should one behave?” then philosophy answers the question “What is real?” It’s obvious that a person who doesn’t have...