Cummings Foundation Grant Recipient
RAFFI: The Prophet from Payajuk
Mayreni Publishing

RAFFI: The Prophet from Payajuk

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By Murad A. Meneshian

Raffi: The Prophet from Payajuk is the first comprehensive English language biography of iconic Armenian writer Raffi (Hakob Melik Hakobian). Featuring nearly 500 references from 80 sources, author Murad A. Meneshian spent a collective 10 years on this project. This is an account and analysis of the life and works of Raffi, describing little-known aspects of the man, his times, and his enduring significance in modern Armenian literary and political history.

Raffi is considered the founder of the Eastern Armenian modern language. He set the foundation for Armenian prose and developed the primitive, rough, and disorganized language into the rich, gentle, and organized language of the nascent modern Armenian novel. He wrote in simple, clear, flexible, and vigorous ashkharhabar. His style was elegant and lyrical; his works were beautiful, encouraging, and enchanting. He wrote enthralling novels and became the most ardent and zealous interpreter of Armenians’ bitter and anguished experiences and the most skillful interpreter of the nation’s thoughts and emotions.

He instilled patriotic ideas in his readers and aroused their national pride and bravery and inspired new hopes for a rebirth. He motivated and galvanized a generation and gave the Armenian people personality and character. He was the greatest force behind Armenia’s emancipation and liberation from servitude and domination. He was the apostle of freedom by revolution. He was a tireless advocate of his people’s freedom of thought and conscience. Raffi is the nation’s novelist.

Mayreni Publishing (2010)