Fatal Night, The: An Eyewitness Account of the Extermination of Armenian Intellectuals in 1915
By Mikayel Shamtanchian
Mikayel Shamtanchian beat the odds to survive the first genocide of the 20th century. The Fatal Night, his memoir of the annum horribilis of his nation, is a detailed account of the extermination of Turkey s Armenian cultural and civic leadership in 1915. One of the guiding lights of Istanbul's lost generation of Armenian intellectuals, Shamtanchian renders a profoundly-nuanced psychological portrait of innocent men who experienced the indignities and uncertainty of exile before being massacred. The author survived the carnage and went on to bequeath to future generations the moving image of Siamanto sitting dejectedly across the desk of a deceitful Turkish police chief; the shadows of Ruben Zardarian, Garegin Khazhak, and other luminaries who perished in Anatolia's sinister places of exile; the wistful echoes of ""Lord, Have Mercy,"" the last hymn sung by Komitas and a throng of exiles held in a Turkish military fort; the harrowing pangs of Varuzhan and Sevak as they were slaughtered in the field of death called Ayash... Written with a poetic sensibility that draws the beauty of inner fortitude from the most dreadful of circumstances, The Fatal Night is a literary masterpiece of haunting lyricism.
H. and K. Manjikian Publications (2007)