Re-readings of the epic Sasna Tsrrer (Daredevils of Sassoun) in contemporary Armenian prose: from epic to novel

Hayk Hambardzumyan


One of the traits of contemporary Armenian prose is interest in myths and the epic. Armenian mythology and the epic poem Daredevils of Sassoun are present in fiction by contemporary authors. However they prefer contradictory characters to positive ones. Why do authors refer to the Armenian national epic? Why do they prefer negative characters? Can the epic become a novel? These difficult questions require analysis of a specific literary and social-political situation. While reflection on epic and myths is conditioned by the influence of the literature of “magic realism”, and manifested in the form of a narrative and methods of literary representation, on the other hand, harsh, unstable times compel writers to consider national roots established by century old traditions. Though partial reference to the epic is possible, a complete novel based on it is not.


Armenian epic; contemporary Armenian prose; <em>Daredevils of Sassoun </em>, Levon Khech’oyan; <em>The Book of Mher’s Door</em>

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