This book by Charles Dowsett offeres his deep philological knowledge and insight into the legendary and almost mystical figure, Sayat Nova. It can be safely said that hardly anything was known to western world about this legendary Armenian troubadour Sayat Nova till this study was translated into French, and to English. His multilingual talent, that resembles the one of the subject matter, Sayat Nova allows him to look at the poems by Sayat Nova not only from mere literature point of view but also his multiculturality and internationality.
In the book, Dowsett reveals the mystified life of Sayat Nova; The author scrupulously points out Sayat Nova’s international identity by nature; born into moderate Armenian family in Georgia, who spoke multiple languages including, Georgian, Armenian, Azeri, Turkish, and Persian, in which he produced his work of poetry and music. (His most famous work move fluently between all four languages.) He was active as court troubadour in Georgia in his early life, but was expelled to Armenia where he joined the local church to continue his practice. It also points out his extraordinary religious perspective and his life as a priest, and, importantly, the ethnic tolerance; he uses Persian vocabrary in many of his poems and appealed to Muslim audiences as well. In some of his poem he displayed his sympathy for Islam. He asserted that he perceived himself as “ bridge between the various Caucasian Peoples. For my own sake of argument, this legendary figure Sayat Nova, and the life of the director Sergei Paradjanov have undeniably much in common starting from their multilingual ability and intercultural identity as well as their broad range of active field.