Edvard Jerbashian was one of the authoritative names of Soviet Armenian literary scholarship and criticism in the 1960s-1980s.
He was born on September 24, 1923, in Yerevan. He graduated from Shota Rustaveli high school in Yerevan in 1941. He was mobilized and, after completing studies at the officers’ school, he participated in World War II in 1943-1944, where he was wounded and lost a leg. After demobilization, he attended and graduated the section of Armenian language and literature of the Faculty of Philology of Yerevan State University (1945-1950).
He taught for the next half century at his alma mater, first at the chair of theory of Armenian literature (1950-1972) and then as head of the chair of literary theory and aesthetics, which he founded (1972-1985) and head of the chair of literary theory and foreign literature (1985-1999). He earned the title of professor in 1967.
In 1954, Jerbashian had defended his first doctoral dissertation about the genre of the poem in Soviet Armenian literature, followed in 1965 by a second doctoral dissertation on Hovhannes Toumanian’s poems. He headed the department of literary theory at the Manuk Abeghian Institute of Literature of the Academy of Sciences (1966-1970). He became corresponding member of the Academy (1974) and full member (1982). Between 1977 and 1999 he was the director of the Institute of Literature.
For brief periods he was deputy editor of Grakan Tert, the weekly of the Writers Union of Armenia (1953-1954), and Sovetakan Grakanutiun, its monthly (1961-1962). He was also founding editor of the humanities journal Banber Yerevani hamalsarani (1967-1977), published by Yerevan State Univeristy.
Edvard Jerbashian authored more than twenty monographies and hundreds of articles. He also undertook the edition of the works of many classics of Armenian literature. He earned the title of Emeritus Science Worker of Armenia in 1970.
He passed away in Yerevan on August 10, 1999.