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The Literary Groong - 10/18/2003

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	By Ara Baliozian


	Ideas too have a body language - 
	the vocabulary they employ, 
	the choice of clichés or their avoidance, 
	their tempo and tonality...
	in short: to a skilled reader 
	an idea can be as transparent 
	as the confession of a guilty butler in an English mystery.



	A mean woman can teach a man 
	more about his vulnerabilities and limitations 
	than a thousand yataghan-wielding Turks. 
	If you survive such a specimen 
	you can survive anything!



	A problem is like an illness. 
	The first step is to diagnose it correctly. 
	But if you pretend it doesn't exist, 
	you guarantee its deterioration from a minor nuisance 
	to a terminal disease.



	When asked where he came from, 
	Socrates is said to have replied: 
	"Not from Athens but from the world." 
	And yet, when he was condemned to death by the Athenians 
	and given an opportunity to escape, 
	he said he'd rather die in Athens than live anywhere else.



	We all go through a period in our lives 
	when the sky is the limit. But sooner or later 
	the painful realization sinks in: 
	we can't even reach the ceiling of our solitary confinement.



	It makes no difference whether you are a failure or a success, 
	the number of critics will remain constant. 
	What may change is their caliber. 
	As a failure you will be trashed by trash. 
	As a success you will be trashed by a better class of trash.



	In one of his books Saroyan mentions 
	Norman Mailer ("Norman who?") 
	only to dismiss him as an upstart. 
	In his latest book, THE SPOOKY ART: 
	Mailer discusses many minor and major American writers 
	but doesn't even mention Saroyan. 
	But in an isolated paragraph and 
	in reference to no one in particular, he writes: 
	"It's the guys who pen wonderfully sweet books, 
	who are the real monsters. 
	You know - they kick the wife, 
	cuff the kids, and have the dog shrinking in horror. 
	Then their books come out: 
	`X once again delights the reader with his sense of joy.'"

Ara Baliozian was born in Athens, Greece and received his education
in Venice, Italy. He lives in Ontario, Canada and writes in
Armenian and English and has published over 20 books of his
works. He has translated works from Armenian writers, such as
Grigor Zohrab, Zabel Yessayan, and Kostan Zarian into English.

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