BUCHAREST, Romania—Integral Publishers, a publishing house based in Romania, announced the release of “Astrologul din Karabagh” (“Astrologer of Karabakh”) in partnership with the Arlington, Mass.-based Armenian Cultural Foundation.
Written in 1834 by Platon P. Zubov (1796-1857), the early 19th-century Russian novelist, “The Astrologer of Karabakh” is a fascinating historical novel. Shrouded in a passionate love story, it is based on developments in 18th-century Karabakh, which at the time was engulfed in tumult and transformation.
This is the third edition of Zubov’s novel. The first translation in Armenian in 1882 is by the prominent 19th-century novelist Raffi (1835-1888). The second English edition was published by the Armenian Cultural Foundation in 2012.
Platon P. Zubov was born to a prominent family in Russia. His literary career, which began in 1834, spans more than two decades and includes 21 major pieces. The author of numerous works, including poetry, songs, quatrains, novels, as well as anthologies, his rich literary legacy includes important source materials, statistical data, charts and tables, biographies of famous military generals, geographical descriptions, anthropological sketches, and observations on the lifestyle and culture of the people of the Caucasus.
“The Astrologer of Karabakh” is perhaps one of his best and yet least known works. The historical novel portrays the historic life-experience of a people. These words by Raffi most accurately speak to the significance and role of historical facts in nurturing the mind and enriching the imagination of a novelist: “It recounts within its limits how a people have lived and toiled. It highlights its customs, traditions, and manners; its intellectual and moral characteristics. In other words, it personifies the man of times past in its original and primordial shape, which has evolved over time and become unrecognizable for the present generation…“
The Astrologer of Karabakh, though a work of fiction, reflects the realities of a stormy period in the Caucasus, where new values and loyalties replaced the old ones and transformed the region forever.
This is the fourth book in the “Armenia Integral” series published by Integral Publishers of Romania in partnership with Antares Publishers of Erevan. It is also supported by Armenoa’she Ministry of Culture of Armenia. The Series is dedicated to the Armenian history, culture, and civilization. Five more titles in the Series are forthcoming in 2022.
All books published in the “Armenia Integral” series are translated from Armenian and/or English by Serge Selian, journalist, author, and former editor of the Armenian paper Nor Kyank (New Life) of Bucharest, presently of Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of numerous articles, 12 monographs, and has translated more than 30 pieces from Armenian to Romanian, among them V. Grigorian’s “Râul timpului” (Time River), Akram Aylisli’s “Vise de piatră” (Stone Dreams), and Domnitorul armean Hovhannes” (Hovhaness the Armenian Prince).
This project, bringing together people and organizations from Romania, Armenia, the United States, and Australia, is a perfect example of a successful cultural collaboration, developed around the passion for Armenian history and culture.
Copies of Astrologul din Karabakh can be purchased online.