This Week in Armenian History

Birth of Aghasi Ayvazian (September 7, 1925)

Aghasi Ayvazian was one of the remarkable figures of Armenian literature in the late Soviet and early post-Soviet period. His narrative and theater dealt with moral and philosophical subjects, as well as themes of national concern.

Ayvazian was born on September 7, 1925, in the village of Abastuman (Georgia). He studied for more than ten years at the Academy of Art of Tbilisi (1942-1945), the Institute of Theater and Art of Yerevan (1945-1948), and the Institute of Physical Culture of Yerevan (1948-1953). He worked in different organizations of Tbilisi as cartoonist, constructor, and journalist. He moved to Yerevan in 1965, becoming head of the department of prose at the weekly Grakan Tert of the Writers Union of Armenia (1965-1973), editor-in-chief of the monthly Ecran (1973-1981), and the periodical Hayutiun (1992-1997).

He published his first collection of novellas, “Rain,” in 1959, followed by another collection of satirical short stories, “Travel around Him” (1963). He was a steady producer of short stories and novels, essays, articles, plays, scenarios, and novels, which have been collected in some 20 volumes. The Armenian individual and their relation with God and the Universe were the focus of his narrative, while many of his plays were also about human beings and their fate. Ayvazian often touched upon the traditional and now forgotten characters of old Tbilisi, especially artists and poets. Many of his works were translated into Russian, as well as other languages.

Henrik Malian directed the films “Triangle” (1967) and “Daddy” (1972) with scenarios written by Ayvazian. “Triangle” won the second prize in the all-Soviet cinema festival of Leningrad (1968) and its scenario earned Ayvazian the State Prize of Armenia in 1975. The writer worked as a film director in the Armenfilm studio in the 1980s and directed the movies “Lyrical March” and “Glowing Lamp,” based on his own scenarios. In 1982 he received the title of Artist Emeritus of Soviet Armenia. His scenario was yet again the basis for Vigen Chaldranian’s film “Voice Crying…” (1991).

Ayvazian passed away on November 21, 2007, in Yerevan.