WATERTOWN – Yervand Ter-Khachatryan, a prominent literary critic from Armenia, will be in the United States on a book tour sponsored by the Tekeyan Cultural Association (TCA) of the United States and Canada. He will speak in New Jersey on August 4, Watertown on August 6, and Glendale on August 16, and will be hosted by local Tekeyan chapters. In addition, the Boston event is cosponsored by St. James Armenian Church. His talks will be on the memoirs of painter and political activist Panos Terlemezian of Van, which he has edited and annotated.
Terlemezian’s newly published memoirs constitute a treasure-trove for Armenians. They were only recently discovered in manuscript form in the archives of the State Art Museum of Armenia. Terlemezian was a prominent painter after whom the Terlemezian School of the Arts in Yerevan has been named. He was a multitalented historical figure who is also known as a freedom fighter and one of the leaders of the battles Van waged for self-defense in 1915. He was one of the founders of the Armenagan party. Van Armenians were among the few groups to survive the Armenian Genocide, thanks to their successful battles for self-defense, after which they withdrew into the territory of the present Republic of Armenia. Terlemezian was among these refugees.
At a mature age, Terlemezian developed his artistic talents, studying in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Paris, and attained undisputed fame. The discovery of Terlemezian’s memoirs proves that he was an equally talented prose writer. He depicts his early life in Van, its historic insurrection and his subsequent life as a refugee in Armenia.
In addition to bringing to life Terlemezian’s book manuscript, Ter-Khachatryan has conducted pioneering work in discovering, reevaluating and publishing the masterpieces of Western Armenian literature, which are not very well known in the Republic of Armenia. There are few literary scholars knowledgeable in this field, and he is breathing new life into it, despite having scanty resources.
Yervand Ter-Khachatryan (Yuri Khachatryan) was born on April 25, 1949 in the village of Karakhach in the Vedi district of Armenia (today Ararat Province). In 1971, he graduated the philological division of Yerevan State University, and finished his graduate work two years later on contemporary Armenian literature, with a thesis on the lyric poetry of Paroyr Sevak.