An international online conference entitled “Life and Novel Inclusions: Effects and Guidelines” took place on May 27. The conference was organized by the ASPU Chair of Modern Armenian Literature and its Teaching Methods after Vache Partizuni and “Spyurq” scientific-educational centre. The international conference was attended by literary critics and scholars from the USA, Portugal, Ukraine, France, Lebanon, Armenia and Artsakh. Mr. Alexander Bozhko, former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to Armenia, was also among the attendees.
Greeting the participants, Doctor of Sciences in Philology, Prof. Suren Danielyan stressed that ‘the conference was unprecedented’ as leading specialists from seven countries addressed the issues in the theory of novel, as well as its effects, patterns of development and guidelines. Fiction is a struggle for survival, an opportunity to fight against the whirlwind and whims of time, to defend the principle of identity and vision. Armenian fiction remains the most difficult part of our literature and cannot solve the basic task of including literary material. Every time temptation gets a certain objectification and the most important thing is somehow confused; the question of an individual’s fate is subordinated to people’s collective tragedy,” the Professor said.
After welcoming the participants of the conference, ASPU Vice-Rector for Educational and Academic Affairs Srbuhi Gevorgyan touched upon the need for contemporary writers to create the image of a modern-day hero as ‘today we need to rediscover our national identity.’ While emphasizing the importance of the psychological novel and interdisciplinary analysis, she stressed the need to cultivate scientific education and value system in a modern man. The vice-rector expressed hope that the conference would identify scientific issues related to the topic under discussion and propose new solutions to them.
Archbishop Nathan Hovhannisyan, a representative of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, conveyed the patriarchal blessing of the Catholicos of All Armenians to the conference participants and spoke about novel as one of the important genres in literature. He particularly stressed its influence on people, adding that the 19th century was the Golden Age in Armenian literature.
“Today, novel should be the mirror of our century; it must be restored as a genre, as a book and guide people throughout their lives,” said Archbishop Nathan Hovhannisyan. He also spoke about the language of novels, noting with regret that it has dropped considerably to the level of demand. The archbishop emphasized the importance of preserving our ‘golden’ Mother Tongue through literature and creating modern literature through novels.
“Today we lack the hero of our time, who should become the bearer of the present-day value system, whom the writers created in the previous centuries,” he added. Nathan Hovhannisyan advises doing everything possible to bring the future generation closer to literature and especially to the hero; today there is a great need for it.
“The conference is of special importance because it addresses current issues in literary theory. Today great importance is attached to the development of fiction; our task should be to keep the novel close to the patriotic upbringing,” said Academician Yuri Suvaryan, Vice -President of the National Academy of Sciences. He then shared his concerns about preserving and presenting our value system and the necessity to take practical steps in that direction.
After the plenary session, the conference continued in two subgroups – “Within the boundaries of Armenian fiction” and "In Historical and theoretical parallels".