FIXED MOVEMENTS by H. Jack Aslanian


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Aslanian's excruciatingly awful prose is the main point of interest in this otherwise immediately forgettable first novel about an Armenian searching for his roots. Toros Ghazarossian, a young American of Armenian descent, has arrived in Armenia from California, along with his sister Sylvia and an entire tour group seeking the history of their race in their homeland. While visiting memorials to the 1915 massacre, taking a peep at Mt. Ararat, and a gander at local monasteries, Toros ponders many things: ""Monasteries are diaspora away from the disseminule of the body of those men who live in common-law marriage with, and are bent on the compounding of, their choices of the tangibles of existence,"" and ""Ed and Laura were considered American-Armenian or Armenian-American--in contrast to recent ÉmigrÉs who eschewed their hyphen by not crossing generational-attitudinal boundaries."" He also thinks about his American girlfriend, Margaret: ""I once suggested that we travel to Armenia together. She did not desire to see Armenia. As I prepared for the trip, she decided to go to Hawaii for a week. . ."" This has upset Toros: ""The balance of my affection was still oscillating; though it was beginning to show an inclination."" But he soldiers on, and at the close has an epiphany of sorts: ""I was still here; and whatever else I was, I was also Armenian; and this was still Armenia."" New lows here are reached in pomposity, sociocultural jargon, and what Aslanian himself refers to (in another context) as ""unhewn English.

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1986
Publisher: Strawberry Hill