Adapted from the novel The Book of Adam by the prolific Hakob Karapents, Yes, Adam Noorian is a modern day adaptation of one immigrant’s crisis of identity between his past life and present alienation.
Ararat Homenetman, named after the Ararat organization in Tehran, Iran, co-founded by Karapents himself over 70 years ago, is pleased to present this work by UCLA film grad and Kiarostami workshop Selectee, Armen Sarvar. Yes, Adam Noorian will be his stage-directing debut after several award-winning short films in the past few years.
Set in the present day Los Angeles, Yes, Adam Noorian is the story of a man overwhelmed by the recent divorce from his wife, Melineh, while hesitating to commit to Zelda, his very “American” girlfriend. Struck with crippling writer’s block and torn by love, Adam must overcome his midlife-crisis between the seduction of his memories and the estrangement of present-day life.
The themes of Yes, Adam Noorian focus on the modern pursuit to form meaningful relationships amid self-imposed isolation. This is further complicated by the nature of duality in the immigrant artist fighting between his creative process and artistic diaspora.
Yes, Adam Noorian incorporates the works from a team of creative designers to layer elements of Live Theater, New Media, and Projection Mapping. These elements explore the Post-Modern obsession with technology and social isolation, as experienced online by Adam Noorian.
Born in 1925 in Tabriz, Iran, Karapents entered the Armenian American literary and journalistic scene in 1947. Over the next 40 years until his death in 1994, he contributed extensively to major Armenian American and diaspora newspapers, magazines, and periodicals, among them the Hairenik Amsagir (Hairenik Monthly), Bagin (Altar), Alik (Wave), Asbarez (Arena), Horizoni Grakan Haueluats (Horizon Literary Supplement), and 80-akan (80’s).
Karapents contributed articles and reports to the Hairenik Oratert
1960’s were especially fruitful. The first volume of the writer’s short stories, titled Antsanot Hoginer (Strange Souls), was released in 1970 when he was already a well-known writer. This work was followed by his second in 1972, a novel titled Kartageni dustre (The Daughter of Carthage), which received the Haykashen-Uzunian award (Beirut, 1972). In 1975, with Suren Gracian, Karapents participated and edited the Armenian portion of the text titled Khosaktsakan arewelahayeren (Spoken East Armenian) in the bilingual (Armenian-English) textbook with the same title, under the auspices and published by the American Council for Learned Societies. Karapents’ third volume, Nor ashkharhi hin sermnatsannere (The Old Sowers of the New World), was published in 1975. This and the above-mentioned two volumes were published in 1995 in Armenia in the first volume of a two-volume set of the works of Karapents.
The following six years were even more productive. The fourth volume of the works of Karapents, Mijnarar (Interlude), was published in New York in 1981. This work too was the recipient of the above-mentioned Haykashen-Uzunian literary award. The writer’s fifth volume, Adami girk’e (The Book of Adam), was a contemporary novel published in 1983 in New York. Hailed by many as perhaps the crown of Karapents’ works, this work won two awards simultaneously: the Armenian General Benevolent Union’s Alex Manoogian Literary Award and the Eliz Kavookjian-Ayvazian Award given by the French-Armenian Writers Society. Two more volumes by Karapents, Amerikian shurjpar (American Rondo) and Ankatar (Incomplete) were published in 1986 and 1987, respectively, bringing the number of his volumes to seven.
In 1989, after establishing residence in Watertown, Karapents, along with his literary works, brought his participation to the cultural life of the local community. In the following five years of his life, Karapents published two more volumes in Armenian: Erku ashkharh—grakan pordzagrutiwnner (Two Worlds: Literary Essays), Boston, 1992, and Mi mard u mi erkir ew ayl patmuatskner (A Man and A Country and Other Stories), in 1994. During the last two years of his life (1992-94), Karapents regularly contributed to the Armenian press, the Hairenik Weekly and Nor Keank (New Life) in particular. His weekly columns, covering a vast span of topics and issues (cultural, national, political, social, and artistic), appeared under the subheadings “Lusantski vray” (On the Margin) and Getap’in (By the River). A comprehensive bibliography of Karapents’ works, Karapents Matenagitutiwn (Karapents Bibliography) prepared by Dr. Ara Ghazarians, curator of the ACF, was published by Blue Crane Books in 1999.
With the exception of a few poems, short stories, and numerous articles which were published in the Armenian Review quarterly in the 1950’s and Litchfield County Times daily during the 1980’s, Karapents avoided writing in English. “It seems to me that I could have done the same work in American literature, and I actually had started to prepare myself and move in that direction in the last years by contributing to American dailies and periodicals. However, one bright day, I came to the conclusion that American literature does not need me at all, and neither do I need it… I will remain an Armenian writer, loyal to my language, its elements, and the national complexes.”
However, it was not fair for the English-speaking public, in general, and linguistically assimilated Armenian American generations, in particular, to remain deprived of Karapents’ literary wealth and rich legacy. Perhaps realizing the significance of this issue, and to introduce his work to American readers, Karapents planned his first English volume titled Return & Tiger and Other Short Stories which he closely supervised, like all his other previous volumes, in all details. Unfortunately, however, he did not live to see his tenth volume. It was released one month after his death in November 1994. A second volume in English of six short stories by the young Karapents, titled The Widening Circle and Other Early Short Stories (2008), was followed by Mtorumner (Ruminations) (2009), a collection of over 60 articles and essays were released posthumously by the ACF.
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