Neorealism and Symbolism in the Armenian literature, the movement of the beginning of the XX century, rather than in the previous period, was closely connected with the social-political movements of the time. Literature is distinguished by its extraordinary variety and complexity of artistic methods and currents, styles, genres, and forms, with their inner aesthetic richness. Former literary currents gained new quality and new ways of manifestation.
There were created currents, styles, and genres in Armenian literature which were unfamiliar before. However, the predominant tendencies of literary development remained largely related to realism.The development of realism in Western Armenian literature was followed in difficult ways.
At the beginning of the XX century Tumanyan’s genius was revealed in full depth, his place was established in Armenian literature as a great national poet, as a character of his native people, ideals and fine arts, the best holder and embodiment of traditions.
At the beginning of the century, other realist writers came, D. Demirchyan (1877-1956), S. Zoryan (1889–1967), as well as naturalists Chifte-Saraf (1874–1932),H. Alpiar (1864-1919) M.Manvelian (1877-1944). The work of Aharonyan (1866-1948) consisted of elements of naturalism, as well as romantic and sentimental style and symbolism.
The Romantic currents of the era were combined with the traditional features of a number of modern literary currents, especially the fitures of symbolism. The works of a number of Armenian writers relate to Neo-Romanticism in different and many ways.
Romantic mood and the principle of poetry also appeared in different shades in the branch of Western Armenian literature at the beginning of the century, the works of V.Orberyan (1874-1931); V.Tekeyan (1878-1945);R. Sevak (1885-1915) and especially the workS of D. Varuzhan (1884-1915).
In the early 1910’s,in Western Armenian literature there was created the so-called “pagan movement”, which was not means of returning to the past or of escaping the present, but of answering the vital questions of the time.The influence of symbolism was closely related to Romanticism, which had some definite influences in early Armenian literature. They did not turn into a complete symbolism current. Symbolism appeared in the works of Armenian writers at a time when this movement was already in crisis in Western European and Russian art.
One of the highest and perfect phenomena of Armenian Literature in the beginning of the century was Teryan’s poetry (1885-1920). He emerged as a true innovator of poetic form and content, revealing a rich inner world of thoughts, feelings, and dreams. Along the way, he gauned a great deal from the culture of symbolist poetry, from which he learned the ways of achieving the inner richness of poetry, the subtlety and clearity of language,the high musicality and the ways of reaching the flawless perfection of poetry. However,the religious motives, selfishness, poetry as a magical ritual, the tendency to consciously obscure its meaning were always alien to V.Teryan.
Since the 1910s the development of Armenian poetry was largely influenced by V. Teryan.
Within the poetry, despite the presence of some magnificent samples of epic forms, the lyrical poetry was clearly dominated. The strengthening of the lyrical elements was related to the poetic expression of the calling and rights of the individual, the need to penetrate the most subtle creases of the soul, which was strongly put forward at the beginning of the century. One of the important novelties of the poetry`s genre developement became the widespread distribution of poetic series. The formation of the Armenian ballad genre was completed.
Instead of the compositions based on certain plot and character, prose writers often preferred the form of free contemplation and lyrical revelations, sometimes taking advantage of the possibilities of rhythmic prose. Alarmed by the foresights of the total destruction of the Western Armenian village, which were the result of the massacres and deportation, Western Armenian writers wanted to poetize that world through lyrical inspiration,spreading feelings of love and devotion around it.
At the beginning of the century the Armenian dramaturgy uniquely combined the realistic traditions of the past and the new artistic tendencies. Although D. Sundukyan’s literary work was still going on at the beginning of the new century, the most influential positions in theater were those of Shirvanzadeh and L. Shant. The principles of realistic dramaturgy were also embodied in the works of V. Papazian, L. Manvelyan (1864-1919), D. Demirchyan, and others, through various artistic forms.
At the beginning of the century there were hardly any new comedies, and it also had its social basis; the general tragic situation of Armenian life could not be a source of funny writings.
At the final stage of the history of the new Armenian literature, international connections of it greatly expanded, the Armenian translations of various national literary works multiplied, their attempts to interpret and evaluate them by the Armenian critics. The Armenian-Russian literary relations became especially widespread. The international recognition and prestige of Armenian literature also grew significantly, due to the translations in foreign languages.