The Daredevils of Sassoun: The Deep Structure of the Plot

Suren Zolyan

Abstract


The plot can be considered as the content, as well as the pattern of semantic organization of the text. In this regard we suggest making a distinction between deep and surface levels of the plot. In respect to the Armenian epic The Daredevils of Sassoun this distinction provides real opportunity to reveal the integrity and coherence of the epic viewed as a unified set of all of its various branches, versions, episodes and even variants, – despite that, on the surface level, the cohesion between and within the various branches of the epic is rather weak. The underlying semantic structure is based on two associated axes (patrilineage – matrilineage; patrilocality – matrilocality) and two fundamental oppositions (masculine – feminine; own – alien). The deep plot of the epic can be understood as a representation of the transition from the matrilineal (matrilocal) system in its radical form (denying men’s role in childbirth) to the opposing radical patrilineal system denying women’s role in its absolute and, therefore, tragic form (denying continuation of life). The well-known Lévi-Straussian quasi-algebraic formula of the semantics of myth can be used as an instrument for examining a formal representation of this plot.

Keywords


Armenian epic; Daredevils of Sassoun; epic as multisemantic and multidimensional set of semantic varieties; deep and surfaces structures of the plot; Lévi-Straussian formula and its application for epic

Full Text:

PDF

References


Bardakjian, Kevork B. 2011. Daredevils of Sasun: Poetics of an Epic, by Azat Yeghiazaryan, trans. S Peter Cowe. In: Middle Eastern Literatures 14, 3, 324–327. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1475262X.2011.616735

Eghiazaryan, Azat 2008. Daredevils of Sasun: Poetics of an Epic, trans. S. Peter Cowe. Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers.

Harut’yunyan, Sargis 1977. Hay zhoghovrdakan vepy [Սարգիս Հարությունյան։ Հայ ժողովրդական վեպը]. In: Sasna TSRRER [Սասնա ԾՌԵՐ]. Yerevan: Sovetakan grogh, 619–642.

Kripke, Saul 1963. Semantical Analysis of Modal Logic I. Normal Modal Propositional Calculi. In: Zeitschrift für Mathematische Logik und Grundlagen der Mathematik 9, 67–96. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/malq.19630090502

Lévi-Strauss, Claude 1955. The Structural Study of Myth. In: The Journal of American Folklore 68, 270, 428–444. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/536768

Lint, van Theo M. 2010. Review: Daredevils of Sasun: Poetics of an Epic, by Azat Yeghiazaryan, trans. S Peter Cowe. In: Comparative Literature Studies 47, 4, 558–561.

Nekljudov, Sergej 2003. Tipologija i istorija v pamjatnikakh geroicheskogo eposa. In: The Armenian Epic “Daredevils of Sassoun” and the World Epic Heritage. 4-6 November, 2004 [=2003] Tsakhkadzor. Yerevan: National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, 17–24.

Propp, Vladimir 1928. Transformacii volshebnykh skazok. In: Poetika IV. Leningrad: Academia, 70–89.

Propp, Vladimir 1928. Morfologija skazki. Leningrad: Academia.

Propp, Vladimir 1958. Russkij geroicheskij epos. Мoskva: GIHL.

Russell, James 2007. The shrine beneath the waves. In: RES, Antropology and Aesthetics 51. Cambridge, MA, 136–156.

Russell, James (forthcoming). Mithra in the epic of Sasun: Armenian Apocalypse. In: Proceedings of the conference on Armenian Apocalyptic. Jerusalem: Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Tolstoj, Lev 1984. Pis’mo L. N. Tolstogo k N. N. Strakhovu (Jasnaja Poljana, 1876, aprel’, 23 i 26). In: Tolstoj, Lev. Sobranie sochinenij v 22 t., t. 18. Moskva: Hudozhestvennaja literatura, 784–785.

Zolyan, Suren 1991. Semantika i struktura poeticheskogo teksta. Erevan: Izdatel’stvo Erevanskogo universiteta.

Zolyan, Suren 2012. Text as a multisemantic entity – a prolegomenon to formalization. In: International Congress Cultural Polyglotism the anniversary of Juri Lotman’ s 90-th birthday Tartu, February 28 – March 2, 2012. Abstracts. Tartu: University Press, 57–62.

Zolyan, Suren 2013. Tekst kak mul’tisemanticheskij ob’ekt. In: Čuždoezikovo obučenie XL, 2 (Foreign Language Teaching 40, 2), 145–172.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.12697/smp.2013.1.1.04

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.





ISSN 2346-6901 (print)
ISSN 2346-691X (online)