The Real War Is Within Us

The third article of the PEN Charter mentions peace, good understanding between nations, and respect. How realistic is this after the war?

The reality in which we find ourselves because of the war and its consequences makes the establishment of relations unrealistic, at least in the near future. The wound is still quite fresh, and our eyes are still stinging because of the smoke from the houses burned down by their owners with their own hands. In formal terms, the authorities can cut themselves off from reality and take steps to bring the two states closer. But, in informal terms, there will not be any reconciliation for a long time, a very long time. What would they say to someone who lost their child or their parent in this war… to the thousands of such people? To those who have been laid to rest at Yerablur?

Do you consider the First Artsakh War, which ended with the victory of the Armenian side, to be sufficiently reflected in our literature? 

No, I don’t think so. Levon Khechoyan, Mher Israelyan and others have written about the war, yes. But not about the victories, in my opinion. We don’t have any major pieces about this. Even the movies that we have about that period are weak pieces of poor quality. Perhaps this is because they had a small budget, but it is what it is.

Your generation bore witness to a war, victory, then another war, and defeat. How will all this be reflected in our literature, in your opinion, so that they can present the complete picture of these times in which we are living?

I can only speak for myself. I have written the following pieces, in chronological order – 

August 2014 – Blood

April 2016 – Football

October 2020 – The One-Eyed Angel

I’m now working on another story, which has the working title of ZIPlocked.

I don’t know the extent to which these stories reflect objective reality, but they are based on my own emotions and feelings as well as the experience in the army and during the war of my son, his friends and many others, which are all real events, none of them imagined.

P.S. The real war is within us. If we emerge victorious over ourselves, the war will end. But, I am personally nowhere near being the victor. The pain is too much, and there is nothing to soothe it.