FOOL: Events from the Last Russo-Turkish War (1877-78)
by Raffi (Hagob Melik Hagobian), translated by Donald Abcarian
Set in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, The Fool opens on a rocky mountain slope where two imperial armies clash in the dark of night for control of a strategic fortress, and the reader is plunged into the heat of battle.
But soon the focus shifts to earlier more tranquil days, when Armenian villages tucked away in little valleys went about their age-old routine, prospering warily beneath the snow-capped summits of Armenia. It is in this setting that Raffi summons his mastery of ethnographic detail to open the doors on every theme relevant to the lives of their inhabitants and we hear their impassioned discussions trailing off into the summer night.