Showcasing your talent to the worldPhoto credit: Talar Alyemezian, "Street lamps at Raouché" (h-pem Submission)
Critique | On Jennifer Manoukian’s “That’s not Armenian! Encounters with language purists past and present” Last week, we published Jennifer Manoukian's essay entitled “That’s not Armenian! Encounters with language purists past and present,” and asked for comments on the topic. Hratch Demiurge, a long-time contributor to h-pem, came up with a respectful critique—which appeared first in his satirical online journal Bread and Onions, discussing why purism sometimes matters with regard to the spoken language. Check out Demiurge's insightful perspective peppered with his signature wit and humor, and let us know what you think in the comments below!*
Essay | That’s not Armenian! Encounters with language purists past and present Did you know that the Armenian word for pencil, մատիտ (madid), comes from the Italian matita, or that the word for cup, գաւաթ (kavat), has Greek origins? Etymology can be fun. Some of us relish in exploring the derivations of words! But how far back can you trace your language history? Jennifer Manoukian has taken this passion one step further: while writing a dissertation on the emergence of Standard Western Armenian, she has found parallels between the ways we think about purity in Armenian today and the ways it was thought about in the nineteenth century. Based on extensive research and with a penchant for surprising revelations, she makes a clear distinction between the challenge of pursuing purity in the written form of Standard Western Armenian as opposed to verbal communication, reflecting upon the living reality of the language we speak and favoring a more lenient approach towards the vernacular. Check out her electrifying essay submitted exclusively to h-pem and let us know what you think in the comments below!
Paintings | Lara Horoupian's flapping layers of shifting light People usually view, watch, touch, and experience art for entertainment, a tingling of the senses, emotional connectivity, or to develop a deeper understanding of art. Not with Lara, an artist, whose shiny, luminous art is appreciated for its sunny palette.
#ArtsakhPoemsOnHPem | 'The exiled crane' (Artsakh trilogy, #3) by Harasharzh Generations of Armenians have been haunted by the crane, one of the most potent and emotive symbols ingrained in the Armenian psyche. Ever since Komitas Vardapet addressed the bird in his soulful song of a wanderer, “Oh crane, don’t you have news from our homeland?” it has been associated with ill omen, leaving the question unanswered. In the final poem of the “Artsakh Trilogy” Harasharzh gives an ironic twist to the folk-based story of the past. Steeped in renaissance style and contemporary references, the poet’s words act like a mantra in these trying days.
#ArtsakhPoemsOnHPem | 'New Navasardian, a sullen ode' (Artsakh trilogy, #2) by Harasharzh "New Navasardian, a Sullen Ode" is Harasharzh's second poem published by h-pem. The poet addresses Daniel Varoujan, a martyr of the Armenian Genocide, looking for wisdom in his eponymous pagan song, while the Artskah war is entering its most virulent phase. Resilience in dealing with loss remains an amorphous mix of grim sacrifice and hope, as the poet evokes the ancient gods of Armenian mythology, and challenges Varoujan in his optimism about the nation's future.
#ArtsakhPoemsOnHPem | 'Vaspurakan’s echo' (Artsakh trilogy, #1) by Harasharzh Can we expect war to give rise to creative beauty? What is the role of poets in contemporary warfare where sensational media leaves little to the imagination? Do poets still have to bear testimony to war? Stir feelings? Raise arguments? Can war poetry become a path to redefine identity? In "Vaspurakan's Echo," the first poem of the "Artsakh Trilogy," Harasharzh, a young American-Armenian poet, draws answers from history, literature, and the spaces between.