Hagop Oshagan, one of the greatest Armenian novelists of the twentieth century, was born in Brusa (Anatolia) in 1883 and died in Aleppo (Syria) in 1948. He was the author of a series of groundbreaking novels and short stories, as well as several plays and an extensive production of literary criticism, including his 10-volume Panorama of Western Armenian Literature.
An unfinished, eighteen hundred-page work written between 1928 and 1934 in Cyprus, Oshagan's Mnatsortats (Remnants) is his magnum opus and the culmination of a series of powerful, innovative novels that have as their theme Muslim-Christian, and especially Turkish-Armenian, relations in the Ottoman Empire. Mnatsortats is a literary reconstruction of the pre-genocide world of the Armenians told through the horrific collapse of a family, the Nalbandians. The author intended the novel to be divided into three parts (Part I: The Way of the Womb; Part II: The Way of Blood; Part III: Hell), but was unable to write the third part, which was to be devoted to the extermination of the Armenians, depicting the twenty-four hours during which the Armenian population of Bursa was annihilated.
The Gomidas Institute has just released book 1 of Mnatsortats in a paperback edition, translated by G. M. Goshgarian.
"In G. M. Goshgarian's groundbreaking English rendition of Mnastortats, Oshagan's novel has found its translator. Goshgarian has translated into English more Oshagan than anyone else, most of it as yet unpublished. He says: Oshagan's Armenian is not at all natural but barbarously beautiful. Being faithful to Oshagan, therefore, can appear to be bad translation until the reader begins to understand the author's logic, deliberate puzzlers, and snares. The meanings begin to multiply, and, to paraphrase Oshagan, the reader is home in literature" (Taline Voskeritchian)