Posted By ara baliozian on July 23, 2014
READING BARUIR MASSIKIAN,
THE ABOMINABLE NO MAN
OF ARMENIAN LITERATURE
“Armenian literature is a vast cemetery and writing for Armenians as cheerful a prospect as attending a requiem mass.”
A handful of his contemporaries may have heard of him but the rest have every reason to assume that he is a fiction of my own imagination whose raison d’etre is to reinforce my own peculiar views on Armenians and related atrocities. It is to dispel that notion that I have translated below the brief entry on him in the SOVIET-ARMENIAN ENCYCLOPEDIA (volume 7, page 267), by A. Yapujian:
“Armenian author, born in Adana in 1914. He lived in Cairo in 1920. Received his primary education in the Berberian School, Studied law at the University of Paris, philosophy and literature at the University of Brussels. His works include OUR LIFE (1946), BROKEN CROSSES (1959), and PELTING RAIN (1962), which is a collection of humorous tales, and the plays “My Grandson,” “The Cross,” “One Million,” and “Akhjikdes” [literally, “girl-viewing,” a formal visit arranged by match-makers). His operetta ERZRUM RONDO was staged in Cairo, New York, and elsewhere.”
In addition to being a composer he was also an excellent violinist, or so I am told by a personal acquaintance of his.
He died about ten years after the Encyclopedia was published in 1981.
His contempt of Armenian activists, Panchoonies, and Jack S. Avanakians was such that, when several of them approached his deathbed suggesting he bequeath his estate to an Armenian educational foundation (he died single and, as a successful lawyer, he was a wealthy man), he is said to have replied: “I’d much rather leave it to a Cairo bordello.”
“To be an Armenian poet means to be a beggar at the mercy of buggers.”
“They asked a thief why he stole, and he replied: ‘To qualify as a member of an Armenian organization.’”
“He was convinced he looked like a doctor though he had not had much practice in legal murder.”
“The logic of an Armenian charlatan: All geniuses have major failings. Since I have a major failing, I must be a genius.”
“Instead of books, they want basterma.
Instead of theater, belly-dancing.
Instead of poems, obscenities and brawls.”