Monday, February 18 2019 10:51
Alexandr Avanesov

 "The Other Side of the Country" became the main motive for action" -  Nikol Pashinyan attends discussion on his book

 "The Other Side of the Country" became the main motive for action" -  Nikol Pashinyan attends discussion on his book

ArmInfo. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan participated in a discussion of his book, entitled "The Other Side of the Country," which was held at the Loft self-  development center in Yerevan. The discussion was initiated by  Antares publishing house and Loft self-development center, the press  service of the Armenian Prime Minister informs. 

The keynote speakers - literary critics Alvard Semirjyan-Bekmezyan  and Hayk Hambardzumyan, journalist and poet Mher Arshakyan and prose  writer Grig, as well as literary critic, editor of Antares publishing  house Arkmenik Nikoghosyan came up with their comments on the book,  its structure and impact, as well as its fiction and the literary and  political significance.  Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan thanked the  speakers for their comments. He qualified them as complementary and  introduced the book's background history and its motives.

"Today I have decided to open the entire context of the book's  conception and its future destiny.  When I was in hiding, I found  myself in a place where I could be in close touch with the outside  world. Hakob Simidian used to call on me every day and brief me on  what was going on and what people talked about. I heard people say  that I had found refuge at one of foreign embassies, but I was mostly  said to be in Dubai, Athens, and so on.

At that time, there were publications in the press to the effect that  the National Security Service was instructed not to arrest me, but to  physically destroy me for showing armed resistance. This was a  situation that made me think of the following: If I happened to be  killed by security services, what people would think of it; they  might wonder what I had in my mind and why I had entered the  politics, just because the political texts and speeches were not  profound enough as they had to do with the current situation, and  secondly, I realized that if the law enforcement authorities were  convinced that I was in Armenia or in Yerevan, they would definitely  find me.  Then I had the idea of writing a series of articles, which  would distract them from the right path.  These were the two motives  behind my initiative.

Why on the opposite side? The whole meaning of the scripture is that  if you have noticed, I am walking to Liberty Square from Myasnikyan  statue. The whole idea is to move from Myasnikyan's statue to Liberty  Square so that you do not go back the way you go, that is, always go  forward so that there is nothing in your steps to remind of going  back.

Secondly, by leaving you take on the stance of a wanted person who  quits his homeland, who escapes himself, that is to say I had to make  believe that I had left Armenia, but did not do so as a matter of  fact. How could I say that I had left Armenia but did not flee my  homeland? The only option was to say that I was going back to  Armenia.  The idea of the novel is that there is a string that I go  to from the Myasnikyan statue to the Liberty Square and just go from  the opposite side of the country. There is a line which states that  "there is another way - a shorter way - but who said that the  shortest way is always the right way." The longer way may sometimes  turn out to be the right path, and that is why the country should go  the other way, from the opposite side.  The next most important point  was to make believe that you were traveling around the world while  you were locked up in Aresh. Writing a book - literature - was the  only option. In essence, the whole journey is a series of readings,  and a dialogue with literary heroes. For example, all those episodes  related to Georgia were drawn up from Nodar Dumbadze's literature  that I had read during that time.

From Georgia to Greece are the parables of Aesop, and the dialogues  on the ship are entirely the fables of Aesop. The wise old man in  Armenia was Toumanyan and Toumanyan accompanied the hero from Greece  to Macedonia with the help of Marco. Marko is the hero of the Serbian  epic, which Toumanyan translated and presented in Armenian. Later  comes Kafka's "Trial" because my situation was very similar to that  described in the novel and so on, including Ernest Hemingway, Erich  Maria Remark's "Time to Live, Time to Die," Walter Scott's "Quentin  Dorvard," etc.

The whole way obviously has to do with literature: Japanese  literature, the Cuban part reflects my impressions from a book about  Che Guevara, France - Charles de Gaulle and Francois Sagan's "Hello  Sadness," Shuckshin and Gogol's "Dead Souls," because there was the  logic of electoral fraud, and so on, that is, every segment is  related to a particular literary work. These passages are  interconnected with those sections representing my sovereign thoughts  and my own texts that have been conceived in that very logic.

An ethical question may arise here: Is anybody entitled to edit texts  based on inspiration drawn up from foreign literature? In fact, I  knew the answer to that question because there was an impressive  literary work: I just was fond of Jorge Luis Borges's "Pierre Menard  - the author of Don Quixote," where the hero re-wrote "Don Quixote"  as he was convinced that his "Don Quixote" had nothing in common with  Cervantes's Don Quixote.

I felt myself in the position of Pierre Menard, who was going to  become the author of the Trial, the author of Dumbadze's novels and  Aesop's fables, and eventually the author of all other literary  works.

As soon as I left the underground, and subsequently - from prison, I  was eager to have a book published and, finally, in 2011 when I came  out of jail, the first thing I did was to think about what the cover  of the book should be like. This photo I did in 2011, just a few  months after leaving prison. When I decided that the book had to be  published, it made me feel that this was just a series of articles,  and it was not worth being published as a book, it was not so good  and so on.  In 2018, when I was the leader of Yelk faction, Hayk  Kostanyan asked me for a meeting as stated on the back of the book.  We met, he told me to let him publish the book. I am sorry, but at  the moment I did not trust him as a publisher in any way.  On the  other hand, I wondered whether it was worth being published. I said  that before answering that question that I needed to read the book in  order to understand what it was about.  And when I read the book, I  had the impression of having written a letter to myself 10 years ago,  that is, it seemed to be a monologue and not a story. My reading  resulted in 'The Fairy Tale of Evil House," which depicted a  situation when the building of the National Assembly, the office of  the head of Yelk faction had ripped all the values described there,  that is they had swept away my memory in the sense that I could not  remember my own mission and the task that was to be addressed?

The reading of this book revived the idea of action in my mind. And,  of course, the book became the main motive for action. The idea that  all the problems in the book are practically solved is somewhat true,  with a difference. It is very likely that what is written here is  likely to be continued; like the rotation of the globe, it has a  permanent orbit, and it turns into an orbit.  Why do I say this?  Because in this book there is a chapter entitled "What does this  jailer do?" The chapter states the fact that I continued to be jailed  in the office of editor-in-chief, there are some visible and  invisible guards, and I drag along with me the prison cell all the  way traveling around the globe, and as a matter of fact, I am in  prison again.  To be honest, a few days ago I was thinking that I was  in prison again. Why now more than ever before: just because now I am  in a single place, working in a workroom where even a window cannot  be opened in order to let me breathe fresh air. I am sorry to mention  it, but wherever I go, I am accompanied by armed men from the State  Guard Service.

Here, the picture will be more memorable if I tell you that when I  was in prison, one of my friends worked at the Yerevan Penitentiary.  He used to open the door every day, see me to my exam at the  university. Now he is part of my bodyguard and continues to keep me  on track and watch over my safety.

As far as the book cover is concerned, I even came to believe that it  was not accidental that I chose this option. Of course, the  motivation was that I had the whole journey in my head, but maybe  those associations are coming back again. As described in the book,  everything was improvised from the offset, that is, I once became an  improvised fugitive, and now I am an improvised prime minister. The  "Forgive me my son" passage stems from the logic that emerged after  my becoming Prime Minister. The question is whether I am now in  hiding or not!

Now, in fact, I am in hiding because I live in a place that is a kind  of underground, where you cannot communicate with people: I live in a  government mansion that is like the underground. I am currently  communicating with people in the same way as when being in hiding;  again, I am writing texts and speeches.  And finally, the armored car  in which I travel about: is it the underground or not? And what is  the Prime Minister's residence, where even a window cannot be opened  in order to breathe fresh air? That is, it is all over again, and  this is a circle, and I do not know how long it will take. Thank  you." Then Nikol Pashinyan answered the questions of the participants  in the discussion. In particular, the chapter of Nikol Pashinyan's  book "The Other Side of the Country" about Che Guevara, which says  that the real revolutionary is a destructive force, after which new  structures should appear, and the real revolutionary never comes to  power. To the question about his current feelings and thinking in  this context, the Prime Minister replied: "This is one of the most  important questions as it is just what I meant in writing the book. I  finished reading the text in February 2018.  Naturally, my impression  was still fresh 2 months later, and when April came, and it became  clear that Serzh Sargsyan had resigned, and when there was the slogan  "Nikol - Prime Ministers," the text kept sounding in my mind. I was  thinking about the formula of the revolution that was written, and  what exactly I should do in this situation. Of course, I thought that  in this situation, when the first stage was over, I had to take my  backpack and go home since my revolutionary mission was over.  But  when I realized what will happen next: Karen Karapetyan or someone  else will become the Prime Minister of Armenia, and I cannot convince  anyone and prove that this revolution was not really an intrigue  within the authorities. I thought that people would just feel that  they had been used to achieve some other goals. The backpack with  which I will return to my home is still on my shoulders, and the only  reason why this scenario does not work is the following: I realized  that people will have much more frustration and even anger, they will  have the image of a corrupt oppositionist, who was a tool of domestic  political intrigue, served his time and went home. Here is the answer  to this question. I have thought about it for a long time, and until  I was convinced that this answer was 100% correct, I did not agree  with myself that I should become a candidate for prime minister."

According to Nikol Pashinyan, the main message of The Other Side of  the Country is that an individual effort and the action of just one  person may have a global impact on everything: "The most important  leitmotif of this book is the following: to show the global impact of  the path covered by a man. It is obvious to me that if the book had  not been written at the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018, maybe  I would not have behaved in the same way. On my Facebook page I  proclaimed 2016 the year of Armenian literature readings, because I  felt that the commonly circulated information flows did not give  answers to the reality.

And since I do believe that literature gives answers to all  questions, I began to read our modern authors in order to find  answers to these questions. Of course, I did not have time to read  everything, I would like to read all the authors, but in my opinion,  this was also a very important factor in the context of further  developments, when I felt a crisis, a crisis in my political  activities, I realized that we need to turn to literature in order to  get out of crisis. At that time I did not think that this book, this  text could play such a role. But it turned out that literature and  literary texts are the key to finding solutions."

The Prime Minister expressed confidence that solutions to today's  problems can be found in the texts of modern writers, and urged  others to read more contemporary Armenian writers. "Those books by  modern writers that I have read make me realize that we have a  wonderful generation of talented writers, and that literature in  Armenia has seen a great revival over the past 10 years, which we are  not yet aware of," Nikol Pashinyan concluded. The Prime Minister also  said that he is currently working on his prison diary, and devotes  10-20 minutes a day to it. 

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Bolton warned Armenia against possible military involvement in the  Syrian crisisBolton warned Armenia against possible military involvement in the  Syrian crisis
Investigation Committee of Armenia identifies woman found today  under the bridge in DavidashenInvestigation Committee of Armenia identifies woman found today  under the bridge in Davidashen
Baku calls on Armenian authorities to take real steps for the  settlement of Karabakh conflict Baku calls on Armenian authorities to take real steps for the  settlement of Karabakh conflict 
Bolton: Trump may use its powers to repeal 907th Amendment Bolton: Trump may use its powers to repeal 907th Amendment 
Amnesty bill promulgated: ``Sasna Tsrer`` group members will be  amnestied if victims do not objectAmnesty bill promulgated: ``Sasna Tsrer`` group members will be  amnestied if victims do not object
Vahe Grigoryan: Armen Sarkissian is illegitimate presidentVahe Grigoryan: Armen Sarkissian is illegitimate president
Pashinyan to representatives of the Armenian community of Lebanon: I  can hardly present a solution without clarifying the status of  Artsakh Pashinyan to representatives of the Armenian community of Lebanon: I  can hardly present a solution without clarifying the status of  Artsakh 
RPA refutes rumors about deciding on participation in December  elections and preparing a proportional list for themRPA refutes rumors about deciding on participation in December  elections and preparing a proportional list for them
Czech Ambassador: The issue of the return of the territories around  Nagorno-Karabakh is on the agenda of the Madrid PrinciplesCzech Ambassador: The issue of the return of the territories around  Nagorno-Karabakh is on the agenda of the Madrid Principles
Karen Nersisyan was appointed new artistic director of the Yerevan  Russian Drama Theater named after StanislavskyKaren Nersisyan was appointed new artistic director of the Yerevan  Russian Drama Theater named after Stanislavsky
Mills: Democracy has a bright future for ArmeniaMills: Democracy has a bright future for Armenia
Macron: Aznavour was an Armenian, who fully acknowledged the great  crime, the Genocide, a victim of which he himself wasMacron: Aznavour was an Armenian, who fully acknowledged the great  crime, the Genocide, a victim of which he himself was
Hayk Marutyan: After the end of the pre-election campaign, all  political forces represented in municipality became one teamHayk Marutyan: After the end of the pre-election campaign, all  political forces represented in municipality became one team
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