While taking note of the anniversary of the capture of Shushi this week in 1992, one of the key events in the Nagorno-Karabakh war, we look back at two noteworthy books from NAASR’s Mardigian Library from the late 19th century that explore the then recent past of Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabagh: KhamsayiMelikʻutʻiwnnerě(ԽամսայիՄելիքութիւններ) by Raffi and Gaghtnik‘ Gharabaghi (ԳաղտնիքՂարաբաղի) by Apresi Beknazareants‘.
Not everything in NAASR’s Mardigian Library is a book. There are also, among other things, a huge number of recordings—78s, LPs, tapes, CDs, etc., all with some Armenian connection or another. Some of these will be topics of future installments; most of them are obscure, except to specialists and collectors. For this installment we will go in a totally different direction and focus on a record that was a huge hit in its day, and its Armenian connections.
Franz Werfel’s novel Die Vierzig Tage des Musa Dagh (The Forty Days of Musa Dagh), originally published in Berlin by Paul Zsolnay Verlag in 1933, is undoubtedly the most famous work of literature that focuses on the Armenian Genocide. We pause to remember the contribution Werfel (1890-1945) made, in the year 2020 which marks the 130th anniversary of his birth and the 75th anniversary of his death.