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Mourning PhilologyArt and Religion at the Margins of the Ottoman Empire$
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Marc Nichanian

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823255245

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823255245.001.0001

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The Disaster of the Native

The Disaster of the Native

(p.108) Chapter 4 The Disaster of the Native (p.109)
Mourning Philology

Marc Nichanian

G. M. Goshgarian

Jeff Fort

Fordham University Press

This chapter introduces the reader to the poetical work of Daniel Varuzhan and offers a new account of the invention of the native. It shows how the poet reclaimed “poetic paganism” as a motto for his work, and how this work aims at the restoration of the native. The native is a fallen witness and a living ruin. The main object of this chapter is the description of the “aesthetic principle,” which both explained this “disaster” of the native and was supposed to overcome it through the aestheticization of the popular sources. The aesthetic principle was thus a way of bringing the disaster to language. The chapter discusses the connection (or absence thereof) between the disaster presupposed by philology (and inherent in the native) and the historical catastrophe that befell the Armenians of the Ottoman empire. Daniel Varuzhan is read as one of these “writers of disaster” who tried to cope with the catastrophe.

Keywords:   Poetic paganism, Aesthetic principle, Aeshetic nationalism, Writers of disaster, Catastrophe

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