A Struggle to Comprehend the Catastrophe and Survive

A Comparative Study of the Armenian and the Jewish Literary Responses to Catastrophe
  • Rubina Peroomian
Chapter

Abstract

The history of the Armenian and the Jewish peoples is marked by a constant struggle to preserve religious and national identity in all circumstances. The struggle not to succumb to foreign encroachment has more often than not resulted in national disaster. The shocks of the catastrophe have affected the frame of mind and worldviews of both peoples, producing a reverberation in their cultures, specifically, in the literature of the time. In both cases, literature has become the repository of response to disaster and the attempt to explain and interpret history.

Keywords

Burning Dust Amid Assimilation Smoke 

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Notes

  1. 2.
    Although the Book of Lamentations was not among the books of the Old Testament officially adopted by the Armenian Church, it was translated and widely read. See Maghakia Ormanian, Azgapatum [National History] (Constantinople: V. & H. Ter Nersesian Press, 1912), pp.883–884.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    See Alan Mintz, Hurban: Responses to Catastrophe in Hebrew Literature (New York: Columbia University Press, 1984), p.24.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    See David Roskies, Against the Apocalypse: Responses to Catastrophe in Modern Jewish Culture (Cambridge, Mass., and London: Harvard University Press, 1984), p.45.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    David Roskies (ed.), The Literature of Destruction: Jewish Responses to Catastrophe (Philadelphia, New York, Jerusalem: The Jewish Publication Society, 1988), p.169.Google Scholar
  5. 14.
    Zapel Esayan, Namakner [Letters], ed., Arpik Avetisian (Erevan: University of Erevan Press, 1977), pp.76–77.Google Scholar
  6. 16.
    Edward Alexander, The Resonance of Dust: Essays on Holocaust Literature and Jewish Fate (Columbus OH: Ohio State University Press, 1979), p.43.Google Scholar
  7. 18.
    Zapel Esayan, Averaknerun mej [Amid the Ruins] (Beirut: Erevan Press, 1957), p.141.Google Scholar
  8. 20.
    Suren Partevian, Kilikian arhavirke [The Cilician Catastrophe] (Constantinople: Nshan Papikian Bookstore, 1909), p.84.Google Scholar
  9. 22.
    Aram Antonian, Ain sev orerun [In Those Dark Days] (Boston: Hairenik Press, 1919), pp.80–81.Google Scholar
  10. 23.
    Lawrence Langer, The Age of Atrocity (Boston.: Beacon Press, 1978), p.205.Google Scholar
  11. 25.
    For the discussion of The House of Dolls, see Alan J. Yuter, The Holocaust in Hebrew Literature: From Genocide to Rebirth (Port Washington, N.Y.: Associated Faculty Press, 1983), pp.5–17.Google Scholar
  12. 28.
    Ehe Wiesel, Night, trans. from the French by Stella Rodway (New York: Hill and Wang, 1972), p.71.Google Scholar
  13. 33.
    Yisrael Gutman, Fighters Among the Ruins (Washington, D.C.: B’nai B’rith Books, 1988), p.96.Google Scholar
  14. 38.
    Suren Partevian, Ariunin matiane [The Book of Blood] (Cairo: M. Shirinian Press, 1915), pp.73–80.Google Scholar
  15. 49.
    See David G. Roskies, ‘The Holocaust According to the Literary Critics’, Prooftexts, 1 (May 1981), 209–216.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rubina Peroomian

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