"The Armenian and the Armenian" is best known for its last two paragraphs, in which William Saroyan "unleashes emotional energy and praises the Armenians' ability to survive as a nation". The original text reads as follows:
|“||I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose history is ended, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, whose literature is unread, whose music is unheard, whose prayers are no longer uttered.|
Go ahead, destroy this race. Let us say that it is again 1915. There is war in the world. Destroy Armenia. See if you can do it. Send them from their homes into the desert. Let them have neither bread nor water. Burn their houses and their churches. See if they will not live again. See if they will not laugh again. See if the race will not live again when two of them meet in a beer parlor, twenty years later, and laugh, and speak in their tongue. Go ahead, see if you can do anything about it. See if you can stop them from mocking the big ideas of the world, you sons of bitches, a couple of Armenians talking in the world, go ahead and try to destroy them.
The quote is often (sanitized and) modified; commonly, the phrase "see if they will not create a New Armenia" is added at the end. It remains unclear under what circumstances it was added."
My thanks to James Russell for calling this to our attention at a NAASR panel presentation at Harvard University on March 31st.
And Marash GIrl's thanks to Newton Kupelian for the above.