We and the portrait of Dorian Gray

am en ru

If you remember the first years after Armenia's were marked as a real boom in terms of the desire to clear our language of words of foreign origin. Everything was translated: from the terminology of car maintenance field to scientific terms. This process was often brought to the point of absurdity. Of course, these “pearls” have not found use in the spoken language of our people.

I am not speaking about this accidentally. There is one word that, although translated a long time ago, has never been used in everyday speech before, modestly yielding to its corresponding international (or Russian, I don’t know for sure) translation. Every time you hear this word there is a feeling of gnashing of a nail over the glass.

I will not abuse your patience. It is about the word “intellectual” (“մտավորական”). I do not like this translation, quite eloquent and relevant and, at the same time, so contradictory. And recently, when representatives of various camps of our highly politicized society periodically accuse each other of non-intellectuals, each, based on his ideas about this word, turned it into almost offensive.

This is the extent to which the importance of such an important notion for me as intelligence, essentially strictly conservative, but so strong, is diminished.

I discovered the meaning of the word “intellectual” in my youth, when I became acquainted with the works of such classics as Chekhov, Kuprin, Bunin, Dostoevsky, Shirvanzade, Levon Shant. Maybe that's why this word has a very high meaning for me. In my view, an intellectual is a person for who there is nothing beyond honor in this sinful world.

An intellectual never imposes his opinion on others, because he understands that everyone has the right to their own opinion. The intellectual will never be guided by the principle “even if I don’t have it, may my neighbor also does not have it", because he wants everyone to be good, the intellectual will never be able to “privatize” happiness for himself and his narrow circle, because he believes that God created everyone for happiness.

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about why we have been gradually killing an intellectual in ourselves for more than ten years, and did not find the answer. Instead, for some reason, I draw parallels with the portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde...

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