With the initiative of “Hayoki” Publication Series and with the joint organization of Vahe Setian Publishing House of Hamazkayin, “Aztag” Daily, and “Hayoki” Publication Series, an event celebrating the Western-Armenian version of “Verk Hayasdani, voghp hayrenaseri” (“Wound of Armenia: lament of a patriot”) by Khachadour Apovian took place June 6, 2011, at 7:30 PM, at the Punig Hall of “Aztag” Daily.
Hagop Havatian delivered welcome the audience and said that after 12 years of interruption, the “Hayoki” Publication Series once again puts itself on the frontlines of the mission of spreading and enriching Armenian books and literature. This time the initiative has been the publication of the Western-Armenian version of “Verk Hayasdani” by Khachadour Apovian.
“Khajag Kalousdian, the initiator, founder, and person in charge of the “Hyeoki” publication series, reacting to the threat the Armenian language and culture faces from the retreat of reading, with a bold move decided to publish this book in 2500 paperback and hard cover copies,” Mr. Havatian said. On this occasion and on behalf of the “Aztag Daily” and the Vahe Setian Publishing House of Hamazkayin, he expressed thorough appreciation to two deceased dedicated individuals, who have been members of the Hayoki” publication series board and made major contributions to the development of new Armenian generations. One of them is veteran pedagogue, educator, intellectual, and school director Manooshag Boyajian, and intellectual, publicist and intellectual activist Vazken Etiemezian.
Dr. Armenag Yeghiaian, the book editor and the translator of the book into Western Armenian, was the first keynote speaker. He presented the challenges he faced during his task. He said that although the person and the works of Khachadour Apovian have been greatly admired by the Armenian people, it has been difficult to read his books because his language is not understood by modern Western Armenian readers. Dr. Yeghiaian added that during the translation of the book around 2000 words have been interpreted. Some of those words come from the Armenian Golden Age and have changed their meaning throughout centuries to the extent that they are totally incomprehensible to the contemporary reader. Another section of words have been subjected to fewer changes in their meaning, yet they are still incomprehensible since they come from the dialects. The majority of the incomprehensible words are Turkish, while some of them are Persian.
Mr. Yeghiaian also talked about issues with grammar and expressions which now seem to be incomprehensible, because they were developed and used for a given community with its own mode of thinking and rules.
Concluding his speech, Mr. Yeghiaian called for encouraging reading especially among students, since it is during the school years that the bondage with books are forged and this has a significant role in the preservation of national identity. Lastly, he thanked the initiators of this translation and everyone who contributed to the realization of this project.
Afterward, Heghnar Yeghiaian read excerpts of the “Verk Hayasdani, voghp hayrenaseri” (“Wound of Armenia: lament of a patriot”) in Western Armenian.
The second lecturer was literary specialist and art specialist Prof. Yervand Ter Khachatryan from Armenia, who emphasized the importance of making such a book accessible to the Western Armenian reader. He said this initiative is indeed historical, as is the event celebrating its publication. He added that with this publication the reader will come in contact with one of the greatest Armenian figures, Khachadour Apovian, who with his life and fate is a symbol of the fate of the Armenian people and who has created a unique language to represent his own times and to make literature comprehensible and true to their hearts.
According to Prof. Ter Khachatryan, after completing this oeuvre, Khachadour Apovian said he achieved his ultimate goal: having put the foundations of a path that would continue in the Armenian literature. The Professor said the book is not just a novel, but it contains very special meaning, value, and message, since it is all about the people and its life, it is comprehensible by all the social classes, and its heroes belong to the same society.
According to him, with “Verk Hayasdani, voghp hayrenaseri” (“Wound of Armenia: lament of a patriot,”) Khachadour Apovian has created a vibrant oeuvre, wrapping our past history and reaching the future. The book was lit like a torch and until today it continues illuminating. Anyone associated with it is cleansed, and undergoes personal changes on completing the reading of the book. He also stated that this is the first complete publication of the book in Western Armenian. Concluding his words, he offered his congratulations on the book’s publication.
After the conclusion of the event, Dr. Armenag Yeghiaian and Prof. Yervand Ter Khachatryan signed copies of the book.