Armen Melikian: «Journey to Virginland – A Voyage of a Lifetime»
Posted by Fredsvenn den juni 24, 2012
A modern-day Diogenes, Dog, confronts God and, through a devilishly iconoclastic story line, and always unapologetically in your face, negotiates the perilous waters of the post-9/11 landscape, shedding fresh light on the deep-rooted interconnections of state propaganda, global capital, the impulse for empire, sexual politics, and religious zealotry. Journey to Virginland unravels the very fundamentals of religion and civilization. This work stands apart by its entrancing and transformative power.
At turns heartbreaking and diabolically funny, Journey to Virginland is a tour de force, delivered by a master storyteller.
The protagonist, a loutish and uber-cerebral antihero known simply as Dog, takes on the challenge to navigate the perilous paradigm shifts of our age, determined to find his proper place under the sun. Is he doomed to failure? Or will he pull it off by heeding his own irreducible voice, given the ebb of the old certainties?
Dog pursues the answer unrelentingly, through an impassioned quest for identity and meaning. He revisits his relationships with women, family, literature, and homeland, in the process illuminating his journey with commentaries on history, religion, politics, and culture that unravel our very fabric.
Marked by biting satire and tappings into lushest scholarship, Dog’s naked critique touches on some of the most pressing issues facing humanity: the arrogance of empire and organized religion; the persistence of bigotry, xenophobia, and social Darwinism; the double standards of sexual politics; the bankrupt rationale behind patriotism and state propaganda; and hypercapitalism and consumerism, among others.
An ocean of struggles and epiphanies takes Dog to a spiritual ground zero called Virginland, where the story unfolds. It is also in Virginland that Dog unearths an ancient calendar based on a cosmic worldview. His discovery reveals the mythological underpinnings of the Zodiac, subverting the current conventional wisdom about the subject.
What emerges from the protagonist’s odyssey is not only a cogent depiction of what makes us tick, but, as day follows night, a dazzling new vista for social and spiritual transformation.
With its vibrant style, thematic breadth, and, ultimately, unfettered sense of humanity, Journey to Virginland establishes itself as a groundbreaking literary enterprise and a true original.
To date, awards and honors earned by Melikian’s novel, Journey to Virginland, include the Written Art Award in General Fiction, the Reviewers’ Choice Award in Humor, and the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Best Fiction. The novel was also selected by the Next Generation Indie Book Awards as one of the year’s top five books in Humor/Comedy, and received the only Honorable Mention in the Literary Fiction category at ForeWord Reviews’ Book of the Year Awards. These awards were based on a limited prepublication copy of the book that was made available by the publisher before its release.
Given its prescient vision of the shape of things to come, Melikian’s novel has been compared by critics to some of the masterpieces of contemporary literature, among them the politically explosive works of George Orwell. It has also been compared to Gurdjieff’s Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson, and even to the book of Revelation.
«Dog vs. God. In an iconoclastic story, Dog demolishes the foundations of Western civilization.» –Publishers Weekly
«An engrossing, brilliantly crafted read. Melikian’s prodigious writing talent and ability to show the world’s history in a different, sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic air, creates an entertaining ride into warring religions, warring cultures, warring sexes, and the histories and raison d’être behind each.» –ForeWord Reviews
«This is the Book that America Needs in Order to Survive» —Paul McCarthy