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Media’s Fast Pace Also Affects Literature

I write poems, taking into consideration this present, current moment, and not eternity (if it can be said like that). I’ve called the Armenian translation of a recent collection of my poems “My Name is Now”. Now is me, my thoughts, and my emotions, in which are both the past and the future.

With every book, it seems, I get a new body, or rather, I build a new body, the foundation of which is the word, literature. Generally, I think, words build the body and not the other way around. Perhaps remembering and reliving with the skin, the body, also means Now. 

My life is quite strange. Perhaps for the reason that my life is outside of Armenia, I always feel foreign. Yes, I am foreign everywhere, even in Buenos Aires, where I was born and where I live. And for that reason I’ve always searched for a space where I won’t be foreign. That space for me became literature, since in the world of words and imagination, everything is strange — even me, with my foreignness. 

Literature is my homeland, since my historic homeland is very distant from me, and Argentina hasn’t managed to become mine. 

I feel that the best tool maintaining the connection between people and their environment right now is the media, which allows one to know what’s happening in various corners of the world. The media allows me to know what books Armenians are reading, what music they’re listening to. I build my current image of Armenia, the sentiments of its people, and significant events in Armenia through photographs, news, and articles.

Of course, people now read books less and live in a faster pace. That fast rhythm is determined, in the first place, by the media. And often we see that ‘fast media’ has an impact also on literature, making literary texts more and more curt.

We can even say that poetry assumes the function of the media, especially as it’s shorter and disseminated faster than other lengthy literary genres, such as novels.

I can say that, it seems, the media creates two opposing layers: on one hand, it establishes communication, helping to neutralize the formidable physical distances and to be released from the drawback of not being at the scene.

We presented the anthology of 20 contemporary Armenian poets (original title: Un idioma también es un incendio. 20 poetas de Armenia1), quite successfully in various poetry forums — including online forums.

I’m so happy that we can present the book to the world. And in not only Argentina, but also Spain, Mexico, Paraguay, and the US (where, as you know, there are many Spanish speakers). 

But, on the other hand, the fact that online communication is fast and easy doesn’t allow us to relax and to completely comprehend and enjoy life — and in the first place, poetry. 

But what can we do? The Internet is our reality, and we have to make use of its advantages and not complain. 

Ana Arzoumanian
lawyer, professor of philosophy, poet
Buenos Aires

The anthology was compiled by Marine Petrossian, translated into Spanish by Alice Ter-Ghevondian, edited and arranged by me, and published by Antares Media Holding

The views expressed in the column are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Media.am.

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