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Prof. James R. Russell, Mashtots Professor of Armenian Studies at Harvard University, will give a lecture on Thursday, December 4, 2008, at 8:00 p.m., at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) Center, 395 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA. Prof. Rus-sell’s lecture will be entitled “Black Milk and the Stairway to Heaven: Bedros Tourian, Paul Ce-lan, and Anselm Kiefer.” This lecture will be co-sponsored by the Hamazkayin Armenian Edu-cational and Cultural Society, Boston Chapter, and NAASR.
Russell’s lecture will consider the lyric poems of the 19th century Armenian Romantic Bedros Tourian, the mid-20th century German-language Jewish modernist poet Paul Celan, and the late-20th century German artist Anselm Kiefer.
Tourian (1851-72) is generally acknowledged as the creator of the modern Western Ar-menian poetic language. In the last few years before his death from consumption he produced a corpus of forty-odd poems. They have been the touchstone and primer for generations of Armenian symbolists, decadents, and revolutionary realists.
In 2006 NAASR’s Armenian Heritage Press and Harvard’s Dept. of Near Eastern Lan-guages and Civilizations published Prof. Russell’s landmark translation and analysis of Tou-rian’s lyric poems, Bosphorus Nights.
Celan (1920-70) was one of the major poets of the post-World War II era. His most fa-mous poem, Todesfuge (“Death Fugue”), is an account of the Nazi death camps of which Celan was a survivor.
The art of Kiefer (1945-), heavily influenced by Celan’s poetry, confronts the horror and trauma of Germany’s Nazi past in a distinctive and at times controversial visual style.
Each of these three figures wrote or painted and sculpted in protest against an enormous cruelty and evolved a mythopoetic strategy of transcendence, and their imagery overlaps in un-canny ways that will be explored in the course of the lecture.
Prof. James R. Russell has been the Mashtots Professor of Armenian Studies at Harvard University since 1992. His books include Bosphorus Nights: The Complete Lyric Poems of Bedros Tourian, Armenian and Iranian Studies, The Book of Flowers, An Armenian Epic: The Heroes of Kasht, Zoroastrianism in Armenia, and Hovhannes Tlkurantsi and the Medieval Armenian Lyric Tradition.
Admission to the event is free (donations appreciated). The NAASR Center is located opposite the First Armenian Church and next to the U.S. Post Office. Ample parking is avail-able around the building and in adjacent areas. The lecture will begin promptly at 8:00 p.m.
More information about the lecture is available by calling 617-489-1610, faxing 617-484-1759, e-mailing, or writing to NAASR, 395 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA 02478.
November 7, 2008


Il sito è curato dall'Arch. Vahé Vartanian e dal Dott. Enzo Mainardi;
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