Bancoop of the Bones of the Mammoth

(ISBN: 0-935102-06-X)
Ashod Press (Publisher)
1982 New York
115 pages
Size: 6" x 9"
Language(s): English

Additional Artists

Ara Baliozian (Translator)

Lawrence Durrell called him “a wild and roguish literary man of almost mythological quality.” Picasso and Chagall illustrated his works, Respighi set his poems to music. Gostan Zarian (1885-1969) was born in the Caucasus, educated in Paris, Brussels, and Venice, was a poet, editor, journalist, teacher, and bon vivant in nearly all the population centers of Europe, the Middle East, the United States, and the Soviet Union. He produced works of an astonishing variety in French, Russian, Italian, and Armenian. Readers of his brilliant memoir The Traveller and His Road are now given an opportunity to follow his further travels through Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and France. Bancoop and the Bones of the Mammoth, however, is much more than a travelogue. In addition to insightful meditations on such topics as the role of the artist in society, the decline of the West, the situation of the Armenians in their diaspora, it contains sharply etched and penetrating portraits of such eminent figures in 20th-century Armenian literature as Shirvanzadeh and Charents (who appear here as Shamakhian and Charcharian), and encounters and conversations with many other fascinating characters. Though it has never been published in book form before, literary historians and critics who read the book when it first appeared in Hairenik Monthly of Boston in 1931-33 are unanimous in regarding Bancoop and the Bones of the Mammoth as one of Zarian’s finest achievements. In addition to an informative introduction, the translator provides copious notes, enabling readers to follow the text without difficulty even if they know little or nothing about Armenian history and culture.

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