Treasures of NAASR's Mardigian Library:
Literature in Translation (1845-1950), part 2
In the first part of this feature we looked at works translated into Armenian and published between 1845 and 1909; Part 2, below, continues with volumes published from 1910 until 1915. The years just prior to World War I seem to have been an especially busy time for such publications.
We have transliterated Armenian names and book titles in accordance with whether the book in question is in Classical, Eastern, or Western Armenian. All images can be viewed at larger size by clicking on them.

As always, we welcome additional information and/or corrections.
Author: Vigdoria Aghanur = Վիկտորիա Աղանուր [Vittoria Aganoor]

Title: Nor Erker = Նոր երգեր [Nuove Liriche, 1908]

Publication Information: Venedig-S. Ghazar: Mkhit‘arean Dbakrut‘iwn, 1910

Translator: H[ayr]. Arsēn Ghazikean [Հայր Արսէն Ղազիկեան]

Vittoria Aganoor Pompilj (1855-1910) was born in Padua, the descendant (on her father’s side) of a wealthy Julfan Armenian merchant family. Her sister Elena (1852-1912) was also a published poet of note. Vittoria’s first collection of poems, Leggenda eterna, was published in 1900; Nuova Liriche appeared in 1908, with the Armenian translation issued in 1910, the year of her death.

Fr. Arsen Ghazikian (1870-1932) was a prolific Armenian bibliographer, translator, philologist, and pedagogue. He translated many works of European literature into Western Armenian (he also wrote in grabar, Classical Armenian) and was nicknamed the “guardian angel of the Armenian language” for his advocacy of the purity of the Armenian language.

NAASR Mardigian Library: From the collection of Alice Odian Kasparian
Author: Ēmil Zōla = Էմիլ Զօլա [Émile Zola]

Title: Arkasaworut‘iwn: Chors awedarannerě: hador A = Արգասաւորութիւն : Չորս աւետարանները: Հատոր Ա [Fécondité,or Fecundity, 1899]

Publication Information: G. Bolis: Hradaragut‘iwn V. ew B. Zartarian Eghpayrneru, 1910

Translator: Smpad Piwrad = Սմբատ Բիւրատ

Fécondité is the first novel in Zola’s (1840-1902) final cycle of novels known collectively as “Les Quatre Évangiles” (The Four Gospels, 1899-1903). Zola was the leading proponent of naturalism in French literature and memorably took a bold stand during the Dreyfus Affair, writing the open letter "J'Accuse...!" in 1898 to denounce the French military and government’s anti-Semitism. 

Translator Smpad Biwrat (1862-1915), a native of Zeytun, was a prolific Western Armenian author in his own right, and was murdered during the initial phase of the Armenian Genocide in 1915.

NAASR Mardigian Library: From the collection of Harry and Araxie Kolligian
Author: Dantē Aligiēri = Տանդէ Ալիկիէրի [Dante Alighieri]

Title: Asduadsayin gadagerkut‘iwn: Tzhokhk‘ = Աստուածային կատակերգութիւն: Դժոխք [Divina Commedia: Inferno or Divine Comedy: Inferno, completed ca. 1320]

Publication Information: Venedig: Mkhit‘arean Dbaran, 1910

Translator: H[ayr]. Arsēn Ghazikean = Հայր Արսէն Ղազիկեան

Dante’s Divine Comedy was and is one of the most influential works of literature in any language. This Armenian translation was done by Fr. Arsen Ghazikian; see below for his translations of Tasso’s La Gerusalemme liberata and of Das Nibelungenlied. The NAASR library also has his translations of Homer, Virgil, Milton, and more. This 1910 printing is the second; the first, also in the NAASR Library, is from 1902, and a third appeared in 1927.

Ghazikian also translated the other two books of the Commedia: K‘awaran (= Քաւարան, Purgatorio) was first published in Venice in 1905, and Ark‘ayut‘iwn (Արքայութիւն, Paradiso) in 1924. (See below.) An Eastern Armenian translation by Arbun Tayan of the Commedia was published in Yerevan in 1969.

NAASR Mardigian Library: From the Collection of Haroutiun Kazazian
Translations of Dante's Purgatorio (K'awaran= Քաւարան) and Paradiso (Ark‘ayut‘iwn=Արքայութիւն). NAASR Mardigian Library: From the collection of Armen Loosararian.
Author: Ēōzhēn Siw = Էօժէն Սիւ [Marie-Joseph “Eugène" Sue]

Title: Kaghdnik‘ Parizu = Գաղտնիք Բարիզու [Les Mystères de Paris or The Mysteries of Paris, 1842-43]

Publication Information: G. Bolis: Dbakrut‘iwn Osmanean Kortsakts‘agan Ěngerut‘ean, 1910)

Translator: Piwzant M. Bozachean = Բիւզանդ Մ. Պօզաճեան

Author: Ēōzhēn Siw = Էօժէն Սիւ

Title: Ēsrarě P‘aris = Էսրարը Փարիս

Publication Information: Istanbol, 1882

Translator: Garabed H. P‘anosean = Կարապետ Յ Փանոսեան

Eugène Sue (1804-57) was one of the most successful of the 19th century feuilleutonistes, specializing in novels depicting the dark side of urban life. Les Mystères de Paris first appeared serially in 1842-43 and was hugely popular and influential, spawning many imitations. It was translated into Armenian by Mamurian (see part 1 of this feature) in 1868 as Gaghdnik‘ Parizi (Գաղտնիք Բարիզի); Bozachian’s 1910 translation was one of several from the same period to present new versions of works previously translated by the “Smyrna school” of the 19th century.

We also show here an Armeno-Turkish translation, Ēsrarě P‘aris, as further evidence of this book’s popularity among Armenian audiences (among others). A full-length English translation—there were 19th century translations that omitted large portions of the text—was published in 2015. In the foreword to that translation, scholar Peter Brooks states that “It was certainly the runaway bestseller of nineteenth-century France, possibly the greatest bestseller of all time.”

NAASR Mardigian Library: 1910 ed. from the collection of Charles Johnson; 1882 Armeno-Turkish ed. from the collection of Diana Richards
Author: Zhip = Ժիբ [“Gyp,” nom de plume of Sibylle Aimée Marie-Antoinette Gabrielle de Riquetti de Mirabeau, Comtesse de Martel de Janville]

Title: Gabudigě = Կապուտիկը [Petit Bleu, 1888]

Publication Information: G. Bolis: Dbakrut‘iwn H. T‘ireak‘ean, 1910

Translator: Akabi Zh. Sayabalean = Ագապի Ժ. Սայապալեան

“Gyp” (1849-1932) was a prolific author, journalist, caricaturist, and public figure, whose self-declared occupation in Dreyfus Affair-era France was “anti-Semite” (placing her in direct opposition to Zola, see above). Her biographer, Willa Silverman, writes that “Her novels of the fin de siècle constitute a right-wing nationalist’s account—lying somewhere between chronicle and fable—of the major political upheavals of the Third Republic … In this era of polemic and vituperation, she perfected a genre, the anti-Semitic novel. And in so doing she helped widen the great political debate of the fin de siècle (Gender and Fascism in Modern France, edited by Melanie Hawthorne, Richard Joseph Golsan, p. 26). Nonetheless, her books were widely read and translated into various languages.

In his foreword, Rupen Zartarian praises the novel as a gift to young Armenian women, declaring that: “Our girls, morally oppressed, deprived of personality and flight, in the paternal house, in the schools, in matrimony! By translating this novella into Armenian, an Armenian lady offers the best intellectual present to her sisters.” (Thanks to Dr. Vartan Matiossian for his translation.)

The book’s translator, Akabi Sayabalian, was married to writer Jacques Sayabalian (known as Paylag); she died in 1925. (see Hay Gin, 16 Mard 1925, p. 2007; and thanks again to Vartan Matiossian for this reference).

NAASR Mardigian Library: From the collection of the Hairenik Association
Author: Bayrěn = Բայրըն [George Gordon, Lord Byron]

Title: Tsovahēně = Ծովահէնը [The Corsair, 1814]

Publication Information: Tēhran: Aragatip Tpr. “P‘aros,” 1911

Translator: H. Z. Mirzayeants‘= Յ. Զ. Միրզայեանց

Lord Byron (1788-1824) achieved tremendous fame in 1812 with the publication of the first two cantos of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage; his narrative poem The Corsair appeared near the height of his fame and notoriety, and is estimated to have sold its entire first printing of 10,000 in one day. One of Byron’s most famous “Oriental” tales, The Corsair gives ample testimony to his fascination with the Levant—a fascination that manifested itself, among many other ways, in Byron’s efforts to learn Armenian in Venice and his going to Greece to fight for Greek independence from the Ottomans, where he died at Missalonghi.

Hamadan native Hovsep Mirzayants (1868-1935) was an Iranian-Armenian statesman, cultural figure, and translator. He studied at the Armenian school of New Julfa. From 1900, he held the position of Minister of Finance of Iran (after 1927, Special Assistant to the Plenipotentiary). He was elected a deputy of the Iranian parliament (1910-11, 1915, 1923). He was fluent in English, French, Persian. He also translated Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Longfellow’s “A Psalm of Life,” Walter Scott’s Lord of the Isles and The Lady of the Lake, among others, which were published in Armenian periodicals such as Murch and Nor Hosank. He summarized some of the translations from Persian in Omar Khayyam’s collection Baba Taher and Miscellaneous (1923), where he also published a preface-study on the work of Omar Khayyam. (See below.)

NAASR Mardigian Library: From the Collection of Herman D. Sahagian
Author: Torguadoy Tassoy = Դորկուատոյ Դասսոյ [Torquato Tasso]

Title: Erusaghēm Azadeal = Երուսաղէմ Ազատեալ [La Gerusalemme liberata or Jerusalem Delivered, 1581]

Publication Information: Venedig: S. Ghazar Mkhit‘arean Dbagrut‘iwn, 1911

Translator: H[ayr]. Arsēn Ghazaros Ghazikean = Հայր Արսէն Ղազարոս Ղազիկեան

Torquato Tasso (1544-95) was one of the great writers of the Italian Renaissance. Gerusalemme liberata, his most famous work, is an epic poem about the First Crusade. It was first translated into English in 1600; this Western Armenian translation is part of Fr. Arsen Ghazikian’s vast output.

NAASR Mardigian Library
Author: Lēon T‘olst‘oy = Լէոն ԹոլսԹոյ [Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy]

Title: Anna K‘arēnina = Աննա Քարէնինա [Анна Каренина / Anna Karenina, 1877]

Publication Information: G. Bolis: Kradun B. Balents‘, 1911

Translator: Eruant Odean = Երուանդ Օտեան

Tolstoy’s (1828-1910) Anna Karenina is undoubtedly one of the great novels in any language. This Western Armenian translation by Yervant Odian was the first into Armenian; an Eastern Armenian translation by Vahan Ter Arakelyan was published in Yerevan in 1957. It is striking that Western Armenian translations of Anna Karenina and War and Peace (see next entry) appeared in the same year.

NAASR Mardigian Library: From the collection of Harry and Araxie Kolligian
Author: Goms Lēōn N. Tōlstō = Կոմս Լէօն Ն Թօլսթօ [Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy]

Title: Baderazm ew Khaghaghut‘iwn = Պատերազմ եւ խաղաղութիւն [Война и миръ / Voyna i Mir or War and Peace, 1869]

Publication Information: G. Bolis: Dbakr. Giwt‘ēmbērg, 1911

Translator: Etuart Amaduni = Եդուարդ Ամատունի

This was the first Armenian translation of Tolstoy’s epic historical novel; a second, also in Western Armenian, would be published in Beirut in 1957, and an Eastern Armenian translation was issued in Yerevan in 1975. The first full-length English translation from the Russian was published in 1899.

NAASR Mardigian Library: From the collection of Harry and Araxie Kolligian
Author: Chelal Nuri = Ճէլալ Նուրի [Celal Nuri]

Title: Mghdzawanj?: Vēp Hamitean Keankē = Մղձաւանջ: Վէպ Հաﬕտեան կեանքէ [Cauchemar?: roman des temps Hamidiens, 1911]

Publication Information: G. Bolis: Dbakr. Onnig Barseghean ew Orti, 1911

Translator: Enovk‘ Armēn = Ենովք Արմէն

Celâl Nuri İleri (1882-1936) was a well-known author, journalist, intellectual, and political figure who spanned the late Ottoman and early Republican era in Turkey. “Celâl Nuri became an eminent journalist of the late Ottoman era, both as a founder of and contributor to numerous journals and newspapers. One of them, Le Jeune Turc, an Istanbul daily in French, is known to have been secretly funded by the World Zionist Organization after the 1908 revolution. As its editor, Celâl Nuri sought to advance the Zionist cause in the Ottoman Empire. He was of two minds about Zionism, however, and in 1913, in his book İttihad-ı İslâm, he advocated a Turkish-Arab coalition against imperialism. During and after World War I, Celâl Nuri reinvented himself as a radical westernizer. He served in the parliament of the Turkish Republic continuously until 1935” (İlker Aytürk, Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World; thanks to Daniel Ohanian for the reference).

Nuri’s novel Cauchemar (Nightmare) was written and first published in French; he contributed a foreword to the Armenian translation which says in part, "The Hamidian period is one of the saddest periods in Armenian history because Armenians had many martyrs in that period. We Turks are grieved by all the crimes committed by the dictator...In the time of Hamid II, the Armenians were killed/crushed by people who bore the Turkish name unworthily.”

NAASR Mardigian Library
Author: H. Senkievich = Հ. Սէնքիէվիչ [Henryk Sienkiewicz]

Title: Ho Ert‘as = Յո՞ Երթաս [Quo Vadis, 1896]

Publication Information: K. Polis: “Shogh,” 1911

Translator: Ōshin = Օշին

Sienkiewicz’s (1846-1916) historical novel, set in the time of Emperor Nero and dealing with persecution of early Christians, was enormously popular in its day and translated into many languages. (Likewise, many of his other works were also translated into Armenian.) It was also filmed several times, including an MGM production from 1951. Sienkiewicz was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1905. Raphael Lemkin has stated that reading Quo Vadis had a profound impact on him as a young man.  An Eastern Armenian translation by Stepan Lisitsean was published in Tiflis in 1898 and reprinted in Yerevan in 1961.
NAASR Mardigian Library: From the collection of Mihran Kupelian.
Author: Charlz Dikkens = Չարլզ Դիկկենս [Charles Dickens]

Title: Dawit‘ Koppērfild = Դաւիթ Կօպպէրֆիլդ [David Copperfield, 1850]

Publication Information: Tiflis: Ēlēktrasharzh tparan Ōr. N. Aghaneants‘i, 1912

Translator: P‘ilippos Vardanean = Փիլիպպոս Վարդանեան

Dickens (1812-70), the greatest English novelist of his era, was translated into Armenian as early as 1883; Vardanean’s Eastern Armenian translation of David Copperfield was first published in Baku in 1898.

NAASR Mardigian Library: From the collection of Harry and Araxie Kolligian
Author: Gabriel DʻAnnunts‘io = Գաբրիէլ Դ՛Անունցիօ [Gabriele D'Annunzio]

Title: Jiokonda = Ջիօկօնդա [La Gioconda, 1899]

Publication Information: Tiflis: Elektratparan or. N. Aghaneantsi, 1912

Translator: S. Hakobean = Ս Յակոբեան

Gabriele D'Annunzio (1863-1938) was the leading Italian writer of his time, a poet, novelist, and dramatist, as well as a World War I hero and later a committed Fascist. La Gioconda, one of his most famous plays, was written for the great actress Eleonora Duse with whom D’Annunzio had a long affair.

NAASR Mardigian Library: From the collection of the Hairenik Association
Title: Nasrēddin Hōchayi zuarchalik‘nerě = Նասրէտտին Հօճայի զուարճալիքները [The Pleasantries of Nasreddin Hodja]

Publication Information: Bost‘on: Hradaragut‘iwn I. A. Eran, no date [ca. 1915?]

Translator: not stated

The tales or “pleasantries” of Nasreddin Hodja were first known in written form in Turkish in the 16th century. The NAASR Library also has an 1875 Armeno-Turkish edition and a 1910 Western Armenian translation published in Constantinople which is different than the version featured here.

This undated, early 20th century version was published by (and may have been translated by) I. A. or E. A. or Edward Arakel Yeran. Yeran was born Yervant Arak‘eli Iknadiosean (Ignatiosean) in Chemeshgadzak in 1875 and emigrated to the U.S. in 1893. He was translating books into English by the early 1900s soon thereafter he was publishing books himself and would continue to do so until approximately 1930. In that period of some twenty years, he published a wide array of books, including dictionaries, textbooks, histories, songbooks, and literature. The title page presents the iconic image of the Hodja riding his donkey backwards.

NAASR Mardigian Library: From the collection of Hagop and Hamest Atamian
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