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Posts from the ‘Micheline Aharonian Marcom’ Category

Draining the Sea

Marcom Draining the Sea

I am a man collects corpses. I eat photographs and I am a dead man also. A tired man; a whorish man; a man who does not look back, I have only the future in front of me, no present; I am a man without history; and I am a man of despair…

Micheline Aharonian Marcom’s Draining the Sea (Riverhead Books, 2008) is the third in a trio of books that included Three Apples Fell from Heaven (2001) and The Daydreaming Boy (2004). Not quite a trilogy, the three novels each have their roots in the Armenian Holocaust. Read more

The Daydreaming Boy

Marcom Daydreaming Boy

“How did I become this sort of man?” Vahé Tcheubjian asks himself.  Vahé is, by his own admission, a debauched and pathetic coward and a constant liar, stuck in a loveless marriage and pawing at servant girls.  Micheline Aharonian Marcom’s second novel The Daydreaming Boy (NY: Riverhead, 2004) attempts to tell us just how Vahé became the man he is.  It’s 1963 and Vahé estimates he is about forty-six years old.  His family, about whom he remembers nothing concrete, disappeared into the Armenian Holocaust that overtook the final days of the Ottoman Empire.  As a result, he was raised in an orphanage euphemistically named the Bird’s Nest but which operated on cruelty, scarcity, and deprivation – somewhere between a prison and a concentration camp.  Now a resident of Beirut (just as their civil war is getting under way), Vahé spends his days daydreaming, reliving the past, and visiting the zoo, where he sits in front of the chimpanzee enclosure and intensely watches the behavior of the caged beasts with whom he clearly identifies. Read more

Eavesdropping on History: Micheline Aharonian Marcom

Marcom Three Apples2

For a little while, the Commander said, there will be some confusion.  The post may be delayed.  The cartographers will require overtime and extra pay.  But you’ll see, it won’t take long.  Soon the villages will have always existed this way.  A few extra dogs.  A few extra shoes.  Extra women in the haremlik for a few years.  Some children who need to work extra hard on their religious training.  It’s better than dead, it’s history.

The year is circa 1917 and the cartographers are earning their overtime wiping the traces of Armenian life off the deeply troubled map of the old Ottoman Empire.   Since 1915, the Ottoman government had been systematically killing and deporting Armenians and other minorities in what is now known as the Armenian Genocide, while most of the world focused on the Great War.  In her first novel, Three Apples Fell from Heaven (NY: Riverhead Books,, 2001), Micheline Aharonian Marcom suggests how the past might be reconstituted by the imagination into a form of elegiac empathy.   Read more