translated from Armenian by Ara Stepan Melkonian
London: Taderon Press, 2008,
102 pp,
ISBN 978-1-903656-63-1, paperback,
UK£12.00 / US$20.00
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Tajkahayk is probably one of the most foretelling Armenian political tracts of the 19th century, written on the eve of what came to be known as the Armenian Question. Raffi, a gifted political and literary commentator, could see the clash between an emerging Armenian civil rights movement and traditional elites in the Ottoman Empire. Despite the rhetoric of the Tanzimat era of reforms, Raffi identified powerful forces which opposeed social and political change, especially in the so-called Armenian provinces of the empire. An astute and critical thinker, Raffi gives us invaluable insights into the political millieu of this critical period in modern Armenian and late Ottoman history. This book is one of the most important literary commentaries on the Armenian Question in the late Ottoman Empire.

This first English translation of Tajkahayk is part of a series of translations from Raffi s work sponsored by the Gomidas Institute. The titles are The Fool, Jalaleddin, The Golden Rooster and The Five Melikdoms of Karabagh. Taderon Press is an imprint of the Gomidas Institute.

About the Author

Raffi (né Hakob Melik-Hakobian) was born in 1835 in Bayajuk, near Salmas, in northwestern Persia. He died in Tiflis in 1888. He was a prolific and popular writer who contributed to Krikor Ardzrouni‚Äôs Tiflis-based liberal periodical, Mshak (Cultivator). Among his other principal works of fiction are Jalaleddin, Gharib Mshetsi (The exile from Moush), Khachagoghi Hishatakarane (The diary of a cross-stealer), Kaitzer (Sparks), Davit Bek, and Samuel.

About the Translator
Ara Stepan Melkonian is a British based Fellow at the Gomidas Institute. His other translations include The Five Melikdoms of Karabagh (Taderon Press, 2010) by Raffi, and Accursed Years (Gomidas Institute, 2009) by Yervant Odian.

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