AS OTHERS SEE US: The Armenian Image In Literature
by Leo Hamalian
This perceptive and intriguing study grew out an article published some years ago in Ararat quarterly magazine, subsequently expanded into a long chapter in Burn After Reading. Professor Hamalian kept enlarging the study as new references continued to emerge. And though the end is still not in sight, the abundant material gathered for this volume provides interesting guidelines and deep insights that yield not one, but a number of images.
With the Armenians, as with so many others—and perhaps more with the Armenians than with any others, since they are so few — much of what is written is stereotype, derived from impressions rather than experience; but even these are instructive and significantly influence emerging images.
The references range from the enduring work of great writers to obscure books few many remember. But all have their value in this unique study.
Professor Hamalian is "happy to report that Armenians are alive and well in Western literature. This book documents the various ways in which they are perceived by writers of fiction and travel literature. Armenians are relative newcomers to America and exogenous to Europe, and perhaps for this reason have had no chance to see themselves as they appear in the eyes of their most recent neighbors. The study attempts top provide that important view from outside."