Magical Pine Ring: Culture and the Imagination in Armenian-American Literature

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Margaret Bedrosian's pioneering interdisciplinary study examines the continuing effect of Armenian history on Armenian-American writing. Using the work of ten Armenian-American poets and fiction and non-fiction writers, she shows the continuing impact on Armenian Americans of cultural symbols, myths, and attitudes carried over from the Old World, and explores the ways in which two cultures meet, conflict, and become integrated in the imagination. Through analysis of writers' actual or fictionalized experience, ...
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Overview

Margaret Bedrosian's pioneering interdisciplinary study examines the continuing effect of Armenian history on Armenian-American writing. Using the work of ten Armenian-American poets and fiction and non-fiction writers, she shows the continuing impact on Armenian Americans of cultural symbols, myths, and attitudes carried over from the Old World, and explores the ways in which two cultures meet, conflict, and become integrated in the imagination. Through analysis of writers' actual or fictionalized experience, The Magical Pine Ring provides an understanding of the Armenians' specific concerns as Armenians and as immigrants, the effect of their self-awareness as Armenians on their adaptation to America, the typical and stereotypical situations and personalities that emerged with time, and the key values and beliefs that endured even as names were changed and assimilation blurred physical and social demeanor. Bedrosian also explores the directions Armenian-American writers have taken in portraying group history and the nature of their self-discovery as Armenian Americans. For the most part, this literature is not a direct outgrowth of the mainstream of Armenian literature. The relationship of the writer discussed here is one of spirit, of ancestral sympathies, burdens, and responsibilities. These writers register the pain of exile and alienation as they weave images of yearning and loss, celebration and futuristic vision into their writing. Through their crossroads identity in America, these writers add to our understanding of the Armenian diaspora.
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Editorial Reviews

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Bedrosian's pioneering interdisciplinary study examines the continuing effect of Armenian history on Armenian-American writing. Using the work of ten Armenian-American poets and fiction and non-fiction writers, she shows the continuing impact on Armenian Americans of cultural symbols, myths, and attitudes carried over from the Old World, and explores the ways in which the two cultures meet, conflict, and become integrated in the imagination. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814323397
  • Publisher: Wayne State University Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/1991
  • Pages: 249

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Transplantation 32
Introduction: The Revolt from the Past in American Culture and the Armenian/American Writer 83
Emmanuel Varandyan: Culture as Entrapment 98
Peter Sourian: The Trap of Multiplicity 109
Peter Najarian: Voyaging Back to America 116
Michael J. Arlen: Setting the Fathers Free 125
Richard Hagopian: Unifying the Household 136
The Two Worlds of William Saroyan 142
Diana der Hovanessian: Language as History 160
David Kherdian: Making Whole the Past 168
Harold Bond: Illuminating the Dark 177
Reweaving the Rug: Symmetry and Rebirth in the Poetry of Peter Balakian 191
Arshile Gorky: The Implications of Culture 207
Epilogue 224
Notes 226
Bibliography 241
Index 247
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