“It Seems That People Have Been Given Time To Think”

Nune Hakhverdyan

Art critic, journalist

In extreme conditions, for some reason, we want to read clean, crystallized texts rather than information about the complex and unknown, what will happen, and what we must do.

We want poetry rather than news.

Maybe it’s a self-defense instinct. Or the fact that the audience wants something more profound and subtle and different than the talkative and predictable media field can give itself.

Mher Arshakyan is a journalist, publicist, but first of all a poet who writes poems with more pleasure during conditions of emergency.

For example, he wrote about the writer and the non-writer on his Facebook page.

“Anyone who can’t write is in a better position than a bad writer. The first can create the illusion that he can write well. The second one doesn’t have that opportunity. “

Mher Arshakyan, of course, works as a journalist, but in his words, now without the previous and usual tension.

The situation is stressful because people are left out of the work and life rhythm that they were used to. Is it possible that this is a reason to reconsider life?

I think the problem is that self-isolation from this coronavirus is not a gift. When you are constantly working hard, you dream that you will be given a chance to rest. But this holiday is not worth it.

That is, a person cannot enjoy this rest because there is a sense of alarm in this opportunity.

During vacations, no one thinks they may be infected with coronavirus, cancer or any other complex condition. And now people are on vacation, but they are on vacation with fear.

And no one can relax and enjoy the vacation.

The chances of making a mistake increase. Including for reporters.

To be honest, I think a real journalist always knows what to do. And the coronavirus does not confuse the journalist. It can confuse everyone, but not journalists.

Now more and more people want to read what will bring them closer to the end of the quarantine.

In other words, everyone wants to know that there are more people being treated than those who are infected, there are no deaths, and as they say, the situation is under control.

The coronavirus has made everyone a consumer of one disease.

Many people also have a desire to constantly write, discuss and express themselves on social networks. Has the talkativeness increased?

I have that talkativeness, I am writing more. I am writing essays or poems almost every day, which is unheard of for me. And I don’t even welcome that. But the fact is, we write a lot.

If the desire to write comes, it must be written. Essays are born from a straightforward process of walking down the street or drinking tea. They come unexpectedly.

For example, I’m writing an essay now called “To Return or Go Back?” And it turns out that they are completely different things. The prodigal son can return, for example, and as for coming back … each and every one of us can.

There seems to be no content in going back, and there is content in returning.

We’ve all become a bit of a philosopher. We want to make sense of things and express ourselves.

Yes, because for the first time, people were shown the place of death, so to speak. And when death strikes, people approach life philosophically.

Now that there is no monopoly on writing, and everyone is a writer, do the influencers change?

Even though now the influencers in the world are doctors, but for me the influencers are poets.

I never write journalistic materials with great pleasure. And poetry is always written with a different kind of pleasure, as the saying goes, it’s as if you have entered holy water on all fours.

I’ve noticed that many people are now trying to read texts in a completed format. They know that the signals from poetry are unknown and thus more desirable than the news.

It seems that people have been given time to think. And what should they be thinking about? Should you keep reading the news about the death of this or that person or the price of oil?

The news is alarming, and people want to get distracted from the panic.

You can’t get away from self-isolation by constantly watching TV or looking at a relative’s face. Of course, you can, say, try to read professional literature, but it can’t last long.

And poetry gives freedom. In other words, you want to communicate freely with letters that contain free content.

It’s the kind of reading in which you don’t look for information. You are looking for something from which you can look away, deviate, return.

We usually don’t want to be distracted, realizing that we will miss out on information if we do. But poetry is something else.

A trap?

Most likely it’s not a trap, but an opportunity for simplicity.

Do the classic media feel that there is a need for another kind of speech? The impression is that the audience is a few steps ahead of the news structures offered to it.

I don’t think they feel it. Probably a factor as to why they’re doing so poorly. Maybe in bigger countries, it is expressed differently, and we seem to think that we are too few to think about big things.

Rather, we think about how these few are to live and survive. And poetry is not the most direct or perfect signal of self-preservation.

This coronavirus has given us a few new things: self-esteem, a desire to think for yourself. It added a little something to us.

It added more than it took away.

The question “what will you do after the coronavirus?” is very fashionable. In other words, there is still a desire to plan and think about the future.

To be honest, I’m not one of those people who is looking forward to the end of the quarantine. And I haven’t thought about that. I will probably walk a little longer.

Interview by Nune Hakhverdyan

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