Hovhannes Tumanyan’s Will

Hovhannes Tumanyan's Will

In her “Memories and Conversations”, daughter of Hovhannes Tumanyan Nvard Tumanyan shared the will of her father.

“In March 1922, before undergoing surgery at a Tiflis clinic, Tumanyan asked his entire family to gather near his bed. When asked whether his relatives wanted to hear his last will in case of an unsuccessful surgery, Mushegh, as the eldest son, answered that there was no need for that.

But Olga Vasilyevna, who in the most difficult moments of her life showed determination and sobriety, had a different opinion. She said that her husband’s desire should certainly be heard.

Tumanyan liked his wife’s reasonable offer.

“You are already adults and, no matter what happens to me, behave with restraint and calm,” he addressed his wife and children, “As for the doctors… Even if they become the cause of my death, do not blame them, keep the best of relations with everyone. The house should have peace and quiet. Be always together, love and help each other, try to give way, and be able to forgive.

Save the house as it is now… And I am always with you, I am in each of you. Take care of the house and be always friendly. Take care of the library – I have spent many years with such difficulty collecting these books. Use them, read them, and store them.

Burn all my manuscripts. Recently, I have burned a lot and still have a lot to destroy. Burn what has been written long ago. Do not publish incomplete manuscripts.

As for me, I would like you to take me to the village on the slope of Dida. I have loved these places since childhood, and I love them now. And try to find Artik if he is alive and if he returns… And if you find his ashes, bring them to me, let my son be next to me, we will be together. He is very dear to me… I do not value myself as much as I value him, and I would like him to be near…”

Everything that Tumanyan has asked for would be fulfilled rigorously by our family. His wife and children kept the house as they had with him, preserved the library with love. In his office, everything is now kept as it has been, but in the Yerevan Tumanyan house-museum.

And now, it seems that the poet has just left his office. I must say that our family has always been very friendly. And this was the testament of Tumanyan. The elders have always tried to make life easier for the younger ones, willingly helped each other, and often corresponded with each other when parted for a long time.

Unfortunately, Tumanyan destroyed many of his manuscripts himself. Today, everything that was even in our personal archives, like the notebooks of the poet, has been published in an academic ten-volume edition.”

And only his desire to find his last refuge on the slope of Dida, in his native Lori, did not materialize. Fate decreed otherwise. He was buried in the pantheon of the Khojivan cemetery in Tbilisi. And only in 1994, the heart of the great poet found shelter in a small chapel next to his father’s home in his native Lori.

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