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« Écrire les camps » en Arménie soviétique : Barbelés en fleurs de Gourguen Mahari

Published inConnexe, vol. 8, p. 61-79
Publication date2022-12-30
First online date2022-12-30

Gurgen Mahari (1903–1969) is one of the most important writers in the literature of Soviet Armenia. In his youth, he was an active participant in the intellectual movements of the capital, briefly presented in this paper, before falling into disgrace in 1936 and being deported to the Gulag camps, from which he could only return after Stalin’s death. This article focuses on Barbed Wires in Blossom, a work written in 1965 and resulting from the writer’s long years in the camps. Censored in Soviet Armenia, it was first published in the diaspora (Beirut and Paris) in 1971–1973, and only in 1988 in Armenia, in the context of perestroika. This article analyses the narrative plans of Barbed Wires in Blossom and the writing processes employed by Mahari by comparing them with the writing choices adopted by other non-Armenian writers to “write the camps”. A cross-reading with Mahari’s second major work, Burning Orchards, about the self-defence of the city of Van in 1915, proved to be fundamental. In both works, the author makes use of dialogism and refraction, to make a plurality of voices and perspectives heard. The article also recalls some aspects of the bans on Armenian-Soviet literature, not only in the name of party ideology, but also of the official Armenian discourse on the history of the liberation of the Armenians from the Ottoman Empire. The Armenian censors did not forgive Mahari for showing the Armenian revolutionary movement, in Burning Orchards, from the perspective of deheroisation and desacralisatio

  • Mahari
  • Arménie soviétique
  • Goulag
  • Censure
  • Littérature de témoignage
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Citation (ISO format)
CALZOLARI BOUVIER, Valentina. « Écrire les camps » en Arménie soviétique : <i>Barbelés en fleurs</i> de Gourguen Mahari. In: Connexe, 2022, vol. 8, p. 61–79. doi: 10.5077/journals/connexe.2022.e1040
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ISSN of the journal2406-5749

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