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Armen Melikian
A very short description of an intricate, post-modern plotless plot: the protagonist Brathki is in search of an ever-elusive ideal land named Urmashu which in the final analysis prove to exist solely in the protagonist's mind, in the process unraveling the very fabric of our civilization. Referred to as “cobra poison” and “the work of the Antichrist” by international religious figures and as “anti-literature” by the author, Expraedium is an incendiary and energetic tour-de-force that mercilessly skewers religion, national identity, economics, gender, social mores and, above all, the very structure of language itself. Equal parts satire and philosophy, polemic and prophecy, Expraedium explores the narrator Brathki’s journeys through dysfunctional social, national, and cultural strata, igniting his voice—a voice at once acerbic and oracular. Dispossessed and polarized, Brathki’s pithy observations have been called “heartbreaking and diabolical” as well as “brutally raw, painfully honest,” earning the author praise and death threats, interrogations, censorship and suppression even before the work’s initial release. Expraedium is an explosive condemnation of the very canon of Western civilization. Rejecting the protocols of the conventional novel in favor of experimentation and epistolary fervor, Melikian has crafted one of the most unique, ambitious, and unforgettable voices in modern literature. A voice that has much deeper ramifications for civilization as a whole. A voice that is as inspiring as it is infuriating, as damning as it is uproariously funny and as fragmented as it is astute; a voice that reminds us of the very limits of our humanity.