Bibliothèque de l'Eglise apostolique arménienne - Paris - GARSOIAN , Nina G.     Retour à l'Index des auteurs en anglais    Accueil des catalogues en ligne

Bibliothèque de l'Église apostolique arménienne - Paris
15, rue Jean-Goujon - 75008 Paris || Père Jirayr Tashjian, Directeur
Téléphone : 01 43 59 67 03
Consultation sur place du mardi au jeudi, de 14 heures à 17 heures

( 1923 - 2022 )

Ses ouvrages en anglaisSes ouvrages en français


Nina G. GARSOIAN --- Cliquer pour agrandir
Naissance 11 avril 1923 à Paris (France), décès le 14 aout 2022 à New York (États-Unis d'Amérique)

Professeur émérite de la Columbia University à New York, directeur du département des Études arméniennes, où l’actuel archevêque Khajag Barsamian, Primat du diocèse d’Amérique du Nord fut son élève dans les années 1980.

Spécialiste de l’histoire ancienne de l’Arménie. Professeur au Smith College, Doyen à l’Université de Princeton, puis directeur du département des Études arméniennes de la Columbia University, en plus de ses activités de membre du Conseil d’administration de la Fondation Ford et d’autres institutions engagées dans l’enseignement et la culture, elle a joué un rôle éminent dans l’éducation supérieure aux États-Unis et particulièrement au service de la communauté arménienne.

Nina G. GARSOIAN --- Cliquer pour agrandir

Rangement général
Cliquer pour agrandir

 De vita sua
Titre : De vita sua / auteur(s) : Nina G. GARSOIAN -
Editeur : Mazada Publishers, Costa Mesa, California
Année : 2011
Imprimeur/Fabricant : 
Description : 15,5 x 23,5 cm, 238 pages, jaquette illustrée en couleurs
Collection :
Notes :
Autres auteurs :
Sujets :
ISBN : 9781568592886
Lecture On-line : non disponible

Commentaire :

Dr. Nina Garsoïan’s memoirs reach beyond the revelation of a multifaceted life beginning with memories of the Paris emigre world with its memories of the vanished society of Imperial Russia into which she was born and moving to the United States to which she was transported as a child and came to participate in the exciting cultural life of wartime New York with its vivid personalities of European refugees. It is also a story of transition and evolution in the academic world to which she turned after an accident made all thoughts of her first intended musical career impossible. As the creator of the first Chair in pre-modern Armenian History at Columbia University, the first female Dean of the Graduate School at Princeton, and through her familiarity with Europe, the Soviet Union and the Orient gained from continuous travels as a scholar and trustee of the Ford Foundation, she witnessed both the changing position of university women and the transformation of Armenian studies away from a purely Eurocentric approach. In so doing she spearheaded a more balanced interpretation of the ancient confrontation between the largely incompatible eastern and western societies which interestingly foreshadowed modern developments.
For anyone interested in the effect on people's lives of the events of the 20th century, and the recent history of Armenian Studies, this autobiography is essential reading.


Born into a milieu of emigres, bilingual from infancy, and transported before my teens lo the New World, I have never managed to achieve a single-minded or whole-hearted patriotism. I have been happy in and loved, especially Paris and Venice, but also Tiflis, the Armenian and French countrysides, Nantucket, coastal New England and New York, but none of them has been my exclusive home. Comfortably integrated into whatever society I have found myself, I remain, nevertheless, a basically displaced person seeking her ultimate persona, though never a conscious role model.

Insofar as limited information and the abomination of Nazi insanities on racial purity permit, I presume that I am ethnically as completely Armenian as is possible. There is no record or memory anywhere of trans-ethnic marriages among my known direct ancestors. The Russian imperial laws mandating that, if either parent were Orthodox, all the children without exception must be christened according to that rite, prove without a doubt that we can have had no legitimate admixture of Russian blood. The narrow-minded intolerance of my maternal grandmother's family, which forever rejected her sister Sonia after her marriage to a Russian nobleman and refused ever to see any of her children, bitterly demonstrates that such divisions were not to be taken lightly. And yet, my earliest cultural awareness was Russian. In my Paris babyhood my grandmother enchanted me with Pushkin's tales of Tsar Saltan or Ruslan and Ludmilla, not with those of the Armenian epic hero Sasunc'i Dawii'. Thereafter, my first history was learned From Alexandre Dumas and my geography from Jules Verne. Emotionally and irrationally, for me the "Tricolore" can be only the French flag, innumerable other examples to the contrary notwithstanding. Nevertheless, I have lived most of my life in the United States and their political structure and daily life are the ones most familiar to me. Like any good Russian schoolchild, my memory preserves pell-mell Slovo o polka Igorove, passages from Boris Godunov and Evgeni Onegin, but also "Les neiges d'antan" and “l’horreur d'une profonde nuit", side by side with less reputable patriotic poetry indelibly imprinted on my memory in childhood and later matched by The Gettysburg Address, most of Hamlet or the ballad of "Sir Patrick Spens". I respond with the same spontaneous and profound emotion to the beauty of the north Armenian monasteries of Odzun or Hagharc, and of the Russian ones of Vladimir and Novgorod, to the churches of Torcello and the severe Romanesque ones of Auvergne and Saintonge, to the cliffs of Mount Desert and the Quaker streets of Nantucket; possibly because all share a similar aura of austerity. My friend Norma, who knows me best, maintains that I shall die with my bags packed. I dream interchangeably in Russian, French and Italian, but curiously not in Armenian or English. I have long since accepted and learned to live at ease within this conglomerate etat de choses. I admit and even guard, preserve, and enjoy this multifaceted ambiguity. As a result, I am profoundly uncomfortable here in having to choose a language in which this is to be written. A combination of at least the main three voices in my life would have a far truer ring.

Brought up as an enfant sage, firmly indoctrinated by my governess never to play "avec les enfants que vous ne connaissez pas"; in white gloves, socks and sandalettes in summer; in straw hats adorned with bunches of cherries or roses and long black velvet streamers, and in white batiste underwear edged in lace, despite the considerable poverty of our early refugee existence; curtsying to all my elders until I left for college at seventeen, and was allowed on the street alone for the first time. I have always felt that the nineteenth century ended during my lifetime. Even well into my thirties, if I did not rise immediately upon the entrance of my formidable maternal grandmother Elizaveta lakovlevna Kayalova, or crossed my legs in her presence I would provoke the acid enquiry; "and where did you learn these fine American manners?" As long as she lived, winter and summer, we dutifully came to breakfast fully dressed; my uncle Jacques, her only son who all his life was intimidated by his mother, with his tie tightened and his jacket on. This seemed to us entirely reasonable and normal. Out of respect for her sense of propriety we wore mourning for a full year after her death. Grandmother never raised her voice but, as a born autocrat, she could easily have ruled the entire Mongol horde. No one, no one at all beginning with my grandfather, ever talked back to my grandmother. She had the gift inherited by my mother, but alas not by me, of raising one eyebrow, and every millimetre it rose, the temperature dropped ten degrees. Mother and I long giggled sub rosa when proper Bostonian ladies, beguiled by her manners "from the Chinese court", later gushed that she was "so sweet". A great lady with a sharp tongue and firm principles, she was neither reactionary nor rigid. At the end of her life, she would not frequent the white Russian emigree community—who continued to look forward to Hitler's restoration of the tsar (whoever he was by that time) and to calculate the indemnities it expected for lost titles and estates—on the ground that they were incurably obtuse and insufferable. She was intelligent, generous, broad-minded and witty, and we loved her dearly. I miss her bitterly.

    Retour à l'Index des auteurs en anglais    Accueil des catalogues en ligne