Responding to Vatché, Vahakn and Mesrob

By Prof. Hovhanness I. Pilikian, London, 25 August 2012

Prof. H. I. Pilikian's response-comment exceeds the customary 100-200 words and it deals with a variety of subjects. Accordingly it's presented to Keghart.com readers as an article on its own.Ed.

Sireli Vatché, Sireli Vahakn, yev Sireli Mesrob

I am very grateful that, not only you have taken the trouble of reading Mr.Tutunjian’s top-notch, first class piece on Shakespeare (honoring my discoveries), but you have also put pen to your deep thoughts about the matter.   You represent a collectively deeply intelligent readership, the reason why I cherish a positive bias towards Keghart, and the wholesome editorial formula Dr. Dikran Aprahamian has cultivated successfully.  I always feel good reading Keghart, and the correspondence from its readers, who are never less than cultured and civilized – and this is Dr. Aprahamian’s great achievement, creating the ambience for such an intellectual evolution, especially in view of the passionate nature of our people who are frequently unforgiving, unjustly judgmental, morbidly envious of each other, and often blindly ultra-nationalist, and very treacherous – let us not forget that the List of the 200 odd intellectuals arrested on April the 24th, 1915, was compiled by an Armenian son of a dog … and he was present for the identity checks.  I get very depressed by Armenians who would not tolerate even a miniscule criticism, firing nationalist cannons instantly disowning their mildly critical compatriots … Nothing delights me more than a friend’s success.  I cannot understand how a human being calling himself someone’s friend can then hate him/her with uncontrollable envy because of the latter’s success.  I know (for example) the case of a President of the Union of Painters in Yerevan, who gets other colleagues removed from the planned publication of an encyclopedic Who’s Who … and the Editors unfortunately oblige him for a few hundred dollars more … 

By Prof. Hovhanness I. Pilikian, London, 25 August 2012

Prof. H. I. Pilikian's response-comment exceeds the customary 100-200 words and it deals with a variety of subjects. Accordingly it's presented to Keghart.com readers as an article on its own.Ed.

Sireli Vatché, Sireli Vahakn, yev Sireli Mesrob

I am very grateful that, not only you have taken the trouble of reading Mr.Tutunjian’s top-notch, first class piece on Shakespeare (honoring my discoveries), but you have also put pen to your deep thoughts about the matter.   You represent a collectively deeply intelligent readership, the reason why I cherish a positive bias towards Keghart, and the wholesome editorial formula Dr. Dikran Aprahamian has cultivated successfully.  I always feel good reading Keghart, and the correspondence from its readers, who are never less than cultured and civilized – and this is Dr. Aprahamian’s great achievement, creating the ambience for such an intellectual evolution, especially in view of the passionate nature of our people who are frequently unforgiving, unjustly judgmental, morbidly envious of each other, and often blindly ultra-nationalist, and very treacherous – let us not forget that the List of the 200 odd intellectuals arrested on April the 24th, 1915, was compiled by an Armenian son of a dog … and he was present for the identity checks.  I get very depressed by Armenians who would not tolerate even a miniscule criticism, firing nationalist cannons instantly disowning their mildly critical compatriots … Nothing delights me more than a friend’s success.  I cannot understand how a human being calling himself someone’s friend can then hate him/her with uncontrollable envy because of the latter’s success.  I know (for example) the case of a President of the Union of Painters in Yerevan, who gets other colleagues removed from the planned publication of an encyclopedic Who’s Who … and the Editors unfortunately oblige him for a few hundred dollars more … 

Mr. Tutunjian’s essay is as good as an Anthology piece, publishable in any collection illustrating first class writing in the English language, and on Shakespeare.  I feel pride in the fact that my ideas merely occasioned its coming into being …

All this is to say that I find it very difficult, dear Vahakn, to tell you how wrong you are – in actual fact, you are terribly wrong, and totally mistaken.  Your forceful statement –

“There's nothing in the play which suggests that Othello was black” – should never have seen the light of day …

Please forgive me for saying so … if you were an Internet troll, I would have fired my intellectual cannons to annihilate you … but for being within Dr. Aprahamian’s Keghart-ian circle, I can only apologize for hurting your feelings, which is of course not my intention.   What is written in the public domain cannot be unwritten, or can only be unwritten by factual counter-writing.

My scholarly dedication to evidence-led factual truth is total – publicly harsh, only as a necessity to protect the factual truth from the grime of historical un-truths accumulated over time. 

I take therefore great comfort from sireli Mesrob’s learned correction.  And I apologize to sireli Vatché for the delay in my Response – the usual lack of time … Tempus fugit, and how!

Elaborating Mesrop’s point further, putting some flesh on it, I’ll point out that there are not one, but three groups of references to Othello’s Blackness – What others say about his skin-color;  What he himself states about it; and finally, the very complex network of metaphors (conceits) that Shakespeare weaves in the minds of his audience/readers thus;

In Act 1, Scene 3 – the Duke of Venice uses even some naughty humor to comfort Desdemona’s father, Brabantio, after hearing his side of the story about Desdemona’s elopement with Othello,

Your son-in-law is far more fair than Black …

Shakespeare liked this kind of layered and complicated play-on-meaning, contrasting the Medieval Nordic Chivalric ideal of Beauty – Blonde, Blue eyes, Fair; with African pitch Black – a grand theme that runs also through the Sonnets dedicated to his Mistress.  Cognate with this is the other, this time a Biblical network of themes, of White angels Vs the Black Devil – again Shakespeare likes playing conceptual mind-games, very disturbing for his audience living through the horrendous religious strife of his days.

Emilia, Desdemona’s maid and Iago’s wife, grief stricken in the last scene screams at Othello –

O the more Angel she, and /You the blacker Devil – meaning, Desdemona being innocent, whiter than white, and Othello being a devil, blacker than … Black, or most Black (in the Sonnets, the Mistress is darker than the night!)

Iago, in Act 1, Sc. 1, had woken up the neighborhood screaming deep into the night, from the street, in front of Brabantio’s house, banging on the gates, shouting obscenities;

Even now, now, very now, an old black ram

Is topping your white ewe!

In Act 2, Sc.3, when Iago tries hard to get Cassio (Othello’s lieutenant) drunk, he proposes a toast to Othello, to

The health of black Othello

In Act 3, Sc. 3, when Iago gets Othello worked up by sexual jealousy, Othello moans

…………………  Haply, for I am Black

I’ll have some proof.  Her name,

…………………. Is now begrimed and Black

As mine own face.

Arise, black vengeance, from thy hollow cell!

As for Othello’s Moor-ness, sireli Vahakn, you are on safer ground – There is a modern Arabic translation titled (guttural) U-(heavy double) tt-ail … your version of Atallah is conceivable, what is however inconceivable is that Shakespeare would have known … Arabic, as some Arab poets would like to believe … they even call him Sheik Sbeerr

Just as some Yerevan-Armenians, who worship the Nazi-Armenian leader Njdeh as … a God, have convinced themselves that, like Picasso, who had assumed his mother’s name as a surname, the great Shakespeare as a good Armenian boy, had honored with his name his mother Shake(h) Ispearian ….    

Finally, sireli Vatché, I am delighted that with a one-liner you have lifted the veil on a huge problem of the Diaspora Armenian Media – it is a horror story conceived and promoted by the Anglo-American imperialists to destroy, if not to genocide the Diaspora Armenian … intellect!  How? 

The historical fact is that the American Armenians, under command from their masters, began the humungous nonsense of blowing hot air on the Turkish inheritors of the … Young Turks demanding what?  Not the stolen Armenian territories, but a mere emotional acknowledgment of their genocidal crime.

I remember distinctly an article by one Edmon Godolazian, in Armenian, saying precisely that – that all we want is an acknowledgment, not … our lost Lands.  Mr. Godalazian then became the Private Secretary of AGBU’s Life-President, Mr. Alec Manoukian, and very recently signed a vicious article in Keghart.com denouncing not the genocidal Turks, but the Armenian … Communists, shamelessly including the Keghart contributors among them – that is me and you and Dikran and Jirair and Barouir Aghbashian …

The Keghart Founder/Editor Dr. Aprahamian proved his democratic credentials by publishing the said ridiculous and downright stupid article! I grieved especially because Mr. Godolazian was my elder brother’s best friend, and during my childhood almost a family member, full of mirth and gentle humor … now falsely and fraudulently including me and my brother (as proud contributors of Keghart)  in his obnoxious CIA-rotten charge …

Mr Godolazian himself had become a pioneer of spreading that mortal infection which was god-sent for the Turks to perversely hang upon it, playing the game of non-acknowledgment, still pursued very actively by their Anglo-American imperialist masters.

First of all, Do we really truly care that the Turkish fascist states will not acknowledge the genocide of the Armenians? 

Even labeling it "Armenian genocide" was yet another subliminal US marketing trickery to give the problem a linguistic ambiguity and obfuscation entirely born out of sheer dumb-American ignorance of the British English discourse … The imperialist American elite hopes that one day the ignorant fascist Turks may even succeed in proving that the genocide was actually an Armenian genocide (as the American Armenians already call it so) … of the Turks – they are working on this idea this very minute, day and night!

Secondly, the modern Turks had ALREADY ACKNOWLEDGED THEIR GENOCIDE OF THE ARMENIANS – Ataturk, the Father of the modern Turks, had court-martialled the genociders, and condemned the leaders (Talaat, Enver et al.) to death even in absentia.  He had labeled it a “shameful act”a euphemism in Turkish culture for the most disgusting and reprehensible sin of Rape!  Ataturk thus had called the spade a spade, his nation one of Rapists!

And here come the American Armenian leaders to convince the Turks that actually, they must forget about the whole thing, so that then they, the American Armenians can demand that the Turks remember them …

What was the purpose of this imperialist conspiracy?

Precisely to dumb down the Armenian intellect, to distract attention from the main issue of the territorial demand … Stalin at the end of the Second World War had demanded Kars and Ardahan. It was the bloodthirsty Churchill, labeled in the British Parliament as “the Butcher of Gallipoli” that he was in the First World War, who had said an emphatic No to Stalin. 

The political elites of the US and Britain succeeded for two decades now to scupper the territorial issue … and we the sad Diaspora masses, led by CIA infected idiots fell in the trap head and foot … Today, as if brainless, and definitely brain-damaged, we are fed by our Armenian news-media exclusively with nothing else but obsessive matters of narrow Armenian interests.

T.E Lawrence (and Churchill adored him) at the end of the first world war had given an interview in Paris at the Peace Conference to an American journalist, stating that the Armenians were “the most intelligent, the most civilized, evolved people in the world, and given the chance will dominate it”… he thought – and if he, Lawrence, then his English masters, as he was their voice – the famous American journalist should get the American government complete the job they the British could not accomplish … Lawrence ironically thought the Americans were better at perpetrating genocide, based on their experience of wiping off the Red Indians from their continent …

Dumb-ing down the Armenian intellect was the first step … the Diaspora Armenian Media, by publishing nothing else but articles of Armenian interest for two decades now serves that purpose … Please remember, that before the genocide, the Armenians of Istanbul used to publish the widest range of European culture, Teotik’s Amenun Daretsuitseh, Hagop Baronian’s sophisticated urban satires, Komitas’ pioneering collections of folk-music of the greatest antiquity, Tchoukhajian’s Italianate operas, Adamian’s performances of Shakespeae  – having conquered Moscow audiences, he was preparing to visit Britain when he died … the Armenians had practically created the whole range of the Euro-Ottoman culture

But today, we have placed ourselves on the narrow groove of the broken record of genocide recognition … Wake up Armenian media Barons … there is light, and a whole world outside the Turkish dead-spot of genocide …

Listen to Armenians like Vatché, thirsting for the Armenian intellect exercising at the Olympic level of global culture – find out (for example) that we have a Greg Andonian, perhaps the only Professor of Architecture in the world, who has created a whole department of Architecture at the Carleton University in Ottawa, travels the world, and organizes UNESCO Conferences, and has nurtured over 3,000 students practising around the world, and many from China … writes stylish essays on path-breaking architectural concepts of his own invention … I had never heard of him through the Diaspora Media, until I met him in London during the Olympics!        

 

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