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Literary Production in Twentieth-Century Armenia: From Stifling State Control to the Uncertainties of Independence

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Chapter Summary

At the turn of the century, the spirit of the Russian Revolution brought new fervor to Armenian intellectual activity in the Caucasus, and the Armenians began to undergo a reawakening in terms of cultural and political thought. As a result of such developments throughout the empire, the tsarist government, in a feeble attempt to maintain its power, reversed some of the freedoms that the Russian Constitution of 1906 had granted. Literature flourished organically until the late 1920s. Authors had the freedom to experiment aesthetically, stylistically, and thematically. Some of the new literature offered socio-political critiques of the past and the present, while other works were solely concerned with aesthetic experimentation and abstract or transcendental concepts. In a word, Eastern Armenian literature produced in Armenia experienced a radical diversification in every sense in terms of its purpose, content, and form.

Keywords: aesthetic experimentation; Armenia; Caucasus; Russian Constitution; socio-political critiques

10.1163/9789004270961_021
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