TCA Organizes Book Tour by Dr. Rita Kuyumjian

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BOSTON — Dr. Rita Kuyumjian, an assistant professor of psychiatry at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and author of an insightful psychobiography on Komitas Vartabed, Archeology of Madness, is going to introduce her Trilogy, discussing the immediate aftermath of the Genocide in a book presentations organized by Tekeyan Cultural Association in Toronto, April 8, Detroit, April 9, Chicago, April 10, New Jersey, April 13, Philadelphia, April 14 and Montreal, April 17.

The Trilogy is a treasure chest of our forgotten past, enhancing our view and understanding of the ghastly events that took place on and after April 24, 1915.

Kuyumjian’s presentation will be focused on Trilogy-April 24, 1915, Before and After-The lives of Survivors, a three-volume work dedicated to the Armenian Genocide.

The first volume, Exile, Trauma, and Death; On the Road to Chankiri with Komitas Vartabed by Aram Andonian, contains 25 articles, translated by Kuyumjian, written between 1946-1947. In memory and honor of Komitas Vartabed, “symbol of the Armenian Genocide,” Andonian, an intellectual rounded up in April 1915 along with Komitas, was commissioned to write these articles about the conditions leading up to Komitas’ mental breakdown. These were originally published in an independent periodical in Paris, however, when the newspaper ceased to exist, the articles slowly retreated into oblivion. These crucial pieces of history chronicling the first three days of the Genocide were forgotten until now.

Kuyumjian’s translations illuminate the lives of lesser-known Armenian intellectuals and their important literary contributions, essential for an enhanced understanding of the Genocide. By adding innovations of her own, such as biographies for each entry and an epilogue, she endeavored to make the reading more accessible.

Volume II consists of two parts; the first, is a biography of the author Teotig. Perhaps his most important contribution was the 19 volumes of Everyone’s Almanac, small encyclopedias recording the day-to-day lives of the Armenian community in Constantinople. The second part is a translation of Teotig’s work Monument to April 11 [April 11 is April 24 in the old Armenian Calendar). It lists the names of 763 Armenian social, religious and community leaders, as well as their biographies and circumstances of death in 1915.

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Volume III, titled The Survivor, is Aram Andonian’s biography. Andonian was a historian, journalist and a known and feared satirist, always ready to make note of what was said or done, truly earning the name “father of Genocide studies.” His ability to observe in a detached manner made him a reliable source, especially as he documented the events of the Genocide.

Trilogy-April 24, 1915, Before and After-The lives of Survivors, is a joint publication of Tekeyan Cultural Association and Gomidas Institute of London, England.

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