Indian literary critic Dr. Suman Keshari studies the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire and translates the works of Armenian authors, including Yeghishe Charents, Hovhannes Tumanyan, Daniel Varuzhan, and Paruyr Sevak, to Hindi so that Indians can get acquainted with Armenian literature.
“When I first learned about the Armenian Genocide, I realized that for some reason, everyone is talking about politics, history, but only a few people are studying the influence of the Genocide on Armenian literature and how the Genocide is reflected in it. I think that literature is very important because through it, you can understand the thoughts and feelings of the people and learn a lot about their lives,” said Dr. Keshari.
Keshari’s book on Armenians and the Genocide, which will also include literary translations, is likely to be released this fall – according to Dr. Keshari, 60-65% of the work has already been done.
Among the works that most impressed Dr. Keshari in Armenian literature is Sevak’s “The Unsilenceable Belfry”, which she is also translating into her native language.
“This is a very beautiful piece, I really like it! I am trying to make the translation as similar to the original as possible, to keep the rhythm of the text” Dr. Keshari noted, “I want India to learn more about Armenia – not only about the Genocide but also about Armenian literature. This will be the first translation of Armenian works into Hindi.”
In January 2015, Keshari for the first time visited Armenia, lived with an Armenian family for two weeks, met many Armenians, and studied documents, articles, and books on the Genocide. She also visited the Genocide Museum-Institute, where she was presented with maps and many other interesting materials for her book.
Recently, Dr. Keshari was invited to the Second Global Forum “Against the Crime of Genocide”, where she presented her work to the international community.
“At the Forum, I met very interesting people, got acquainted with their works. Thanks to this visit, my book will become even richer and more interesting,” she said.
In the future, Dr. Keshari also plans to learn Armenian, the sound of which she really likes. In the meantime, she is working together with an Armenian student who is doing word-for-word translations for her.