How Paruyr Sevak’s Books Were Burned for His Harsh Remarks About Moscow

How Paruyr Sevak’s Books Were Burned

Doctor of Philology, laureate of the State Prize of the Armenian SSR Paruyr Sevak was loved and respected by the people. However, Paruyr Sevak has amassed many enemies for his harsh remarks about Moscow and the ruling circles both in the country and at the house of writers.

“The last days of his life were the most difficult for him. Imagine a disappointed man with deeply sad eyes. That was Sevak on that ill-fated day when he died in the car accident,” told Avetik Grigoryan, director of the house-museum of Paruyr Sevak, in an interview with Sputnik Armenia.

There were several reasons that brought the great poet to complete disappointment: envy, the propaganda Moscow, and the lack of understanding from his colleagues.

How the books of Sevak were burned

Eyewitnesses recall that an unpleasant incident occurred during one of the congresses at the house of writers a few days before the poet’s death. During the intermission, strangers approached Sevak and reported that the entire printing of his book “Let there be light” was taken out from the printing house into its courtyard and burned. The Soviet censorship considered that a call to revolution was hidden in this book.

“Sevak burst out with obscene language addressed to the highest circles. Everyone understood that this was the last straw in the poet’s life,” said Grigoryan.

According to him, almost no one came up to support the poet. There was a feeling that everyone was afraid to utter words so as not to become involved in the acts of Sevak. However, he always advocated justice: he once rebelled alone against an article authored by Soviet and Azerbaijani professor Ziya Buniyatov.

Buniyatov published a nationalist work in which he called all Armenian ancient monuments in the eastern part of Armenia Albanian. For this, he was reprimanded by Paruyr Sevak who scientifically proved the falsity of his statements.

“He addressed them with words, and they addressed him with knives,” said Grigoryan and added that it was because of his directness and fairness that Sevak had made many enemies.

The car crash

On June 17, 1971, returning home from his native village, Paruyr Sevak and his wife Nelly Menagharishvili died in a car crash. Eyewitnesses recall that when Sevak’s body was brought to Yerevan, Armenian poet Silva Kaputikyan said in grief: “This is suicide.” Later, many, taking this version as a basis, wrote that in Sevak’s state, suicide was the only way out.

“Sevak was just learning to drive a car, and he got into a similar situation for the first time. I think that both his severe mental state and his inability to drive led to the car accident,” Grigoryan said.

Decades later, the real cause of the car accident in which the great poet died still remains undisclosed. Some claim that it was a suicide, others like Grigoryan think that it was an accident, while others even assume that the great poet was assassinated.

Laura Sargsyan

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