THE FOOL: RAFFI
“The unforgettable tale of a man, a woman, and a nation divided. Written by Raffi, one of Armenia’s most popular writers and translated by Mrs. Jane S. Wingate”. Although not a novel of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23 per se , Raffi’s masterpiece is as important to understanding the historical context of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in the late 19th century as any history textbook. It can be argued that if Raffi’s messages of Armenian self-sufficiency had been more widely heeded, the tragedies of the 1890s and 1915 might have turned out differently. It was originally published in 1881 and deals with the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 long before the large-scale massacres began. Raffi called for action, unity, and self-reliance. Many of his criticisms of the Armenian community of the time are equally as applicable today as they were nearly 125 years ago. He foresaw what was in store for the Armenians if they did not actively seek to change their fate. The Fool is the only one of Raffi’s novels that has ever been readily available in English.