Roslin Press, a recently formed New-York based publishing house, is proud to announce its flagship offering: the first-ever Western Armenian translation of C.S. Lewis’ “The Chronicles of Narnia.”
Since its publication in 1950, generations of children have and continue to grow up with the Narnia books and films. However, Armenian youth have yet to experience this wonderful land of fantasy and magic in their mother tongue. Roslin Press has taken on the daunting task of bringing this classic work of children’s fiction to young Armenian readers worldwide.
The first of the seven volumes were translated by Christian Patikian while the remaining six by Nanor Mikayelian. The volumes have been edited by Dr. Vartan Matiossian.
“Nowadays, there is an ever-greater desire to read the complex fairy tale: a fairy tale where dragons not only exist as fierce fire breathers, but are themselves deep characters, where they laugh and cry and even feel remorse. Cue C.S., Lewis’ ‘The Chronicles of Narnia,’ the classic high fantasy series written for readers young and old alike,” Mikayelian said.
Mikayelian found immense pleasure immersing herself into the fairytale world during translation.
“It’s been a full year of daydreaming in Narnia — a land of untold beauty and fantastical creatures: a winged horse, playful nymphs, and stoic trolls,” she said. “Narnia, a land where kings rule justly, where the simple family life is upheld, and all are treated with kindness and respect. Narnia, a land where unimaginably beautiful castles pepper the countryside, golden apple trees line the rolling hills, and friends will selflessly defend their comrades when under attack, armed with patience, dedication, and most importantly faith.”
Translators use a simple and accessible language, paying close attention to capture the playful rhetoric used by children today. Nevertheless, special care is taken to introduce and reinforce new vocabulary to ensure that the reader not only has fun reading but gains a stronger command of Western Armenian.
Mikayelian highlighted the strong role that books have played in her life.
“Unfortunately, for many, reading has become nothing more than a dreaded chore,” she said. “But, I beg to argue that there is no better way of transporting yourself to another world than through the printed word — the feel of paper on your fingertips, the unbridled freedom given to you, the reader, to create the look and feel of the new world. We can climb the highest of mountains and taste the sweetest of fruit. Reading to me has always been the ultimate getaway. The book has been both my closest friend and my most cherished teacher. Put simply, the printed word can capture the very essence of life itself.”
“The Chronicles of Narnia” present readers with themes of morality, resilience, and adventure.
“Through C.S. Lewis’ fantasy world, we see that both good and evil are all around us, and even to be found within ourselves. Between these two extremes lies a very thin line: on one side, light, the other, darkness and despair,” Mikayelian said. “It’s quite a journey, but our young (and unlikely) heroes are able to overcome the forces that seek to destroy Narnia and ultimately find eternal happiness in the bountiful world before them.”