Bibliothèque de l'Eglise apostolique arménienne - Paris - GROSECLOSE , Elgin     Retour à l'Index des auteurs en anglais    Accueil des catalogues en ligne

Bibliothèque de l'Église apostolique arménienne - Paris
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Titre : Ararat / auteur(s) : Elgin GROSECLOSE -
Editeur : Pocket books, New York
Année : 1974
Imprimeur/Fabricant : USA
Description : 10,5 x 17,5 cm, 450 pages, couverture illustrée en couleurs
Collection :
Notes :
Autres auteurs :
Sujets : Historical novel
Lecture On-line : non disponible

Commentaire :

In this world are the forces of creativeness and growth; of decay and destruction. These forces are not naturally and mutually opposed, as Asgard and Utgard, or locked in eternal conflict like Ormuz and Ahriman. We know that sometimes they are complementary, that out of the decay of tlie old comes the birth of the new, that destruction is a process of creation. Yet, if life is tp persist, if the earth is to bring forth her bud, and the garden to cause the things that are sown in it to spring forth, the forces of germination and growth must be ascendant. The seed must continue to push the clod aside; life must continue to issue from the grave, and the spirit to cast aside the shackles of the body.
There are times when disintegration and death appear regnant, when the heart is all but stilled, and the plowed ground is washed of its seed. In these times the battle metaplwr does not apply. What occurs is not a struggle of opposing forces, but a convulsion, a seeming turning of all forces upon themselves. Life devours that which it creates, like a wolf its cubs. Where shall we turn? Disaster mounts like a flood; we know not where to stand. The strongest foundations are overwhelmed; the water rises, as it did in the days of Noah, and chaos and desolation cover the deep. We have no power to struggle. In a moment, the world turns black and yawning . . .
These times occur in the life of nations, of communities, and of individuals. On certain occasions in history the tides of adversity rise so high as to threaten the existence, not only of individuals, but of whole peoples . . .
Such an occasion was that of the threatened extinction of the Armenian peoples of the Ottoman Empire during the reign of Abdul Hamid. This is only one occasion in history: in the records of nations many have been written, and are being written.
The Armenian race survived, as it has survived many times before; for the Armenian is an ancient race and it has seen nations come and go, kings arise and fall, and the plow follow the sword.
How did it survive? How, for that matter, has the Jew survived, and the Parsi, the Nestorian, the Ainu?
And since races are composed of communities, and communities are made up of individuals, let us ask that question nearer the heart—how do individuals survive?
Can it be said that such survivals are the result of chance, the working of the magical law of averages? The domain of this law extends from the number of peas in a pod to the movements of the farthest star. By it, biologists may predict the characteristics of offspring from the mating of diverse varieties; mathematicians may foretell how often the number seven will appear in casting the dice; and the science of physics is being written in accordance with its principles. May it not be said, then, that races and individuals survive in accordance with some mathematical mean or ratio? If so, then art and literature and culture should be as subject to this law as the individuals by whose genius they are produced, and we may calculate the number of contemporary Homers whose songs will go winging down the ages, how many Venuses some future age may rank with that of Melos, and the number of prayers, of those offered on a million altars, that will reach the throne of God.
Or is survival the fortunate lot of the fittest, as is the explanation offered by some for the persistence of certain varieties and individuals in the stern, eternal warfare of the biological orders? So beautiful in theory, so complete and contained and irrefutable, until in perplexity one asks, "Who is he that is fittest?" and echo answers, "He that survives." Is strength the measure of fitness? The dinosaur was strong, yet all we know of that great creature are his bones left in the silt of time. And if strength, then whence this strength? Who gave it? Is it a gift to some and not to others? Then it is not strength but chance that is the secret.
Adaptability? Yet what is adaptability, but the power to change? And if a thing changes, then it is not itself, but another. That creature which was posed for survival does not survive, but another creature. What then does survive? The species! But who cares about a speciesl What is a race? Little comfort to be told that though I perish, my race, my culture, my gifts survive. What is that to me? O heartless logic, that gives me a stone when I ask for bread. Do I survive? Does one whom I love survive? Does that which is I bear within it one little speck of eternity, of salvation from these engulfing torrents?
Shall we turn to God and ask the question: upon what does survival depend? Upon the will of God? Can we say that God, for some purpose inscrutable to man, has willed the preservation of certain ones, certain communities, certain cultures, while permitting others to perish? For we are told that some have not survived, but have been forever lost. Yet Scripture answers that it is not His will that one should perish and that He is the Good Shepherd who leaves the flock and seeks out the lost lamb.
Dare we turn to man for the answer to the riddle? Dare we ask of those who have survived, their secret, and may we listen to their tales, and seek to read their thoughts— those who have been through the flood, those who have descended the mountain after the receding waters?
And if we pay heed, shall we find the secret, the answer which humanity seeks?
If we do not, is it not then because we are blind, and cannot read that which is written plainly on the face of nature, in the history of events, and in the character of personages?

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