The paper analyzes the problems of interpersonal relationships such as matchmaking, the relations between men and women; in other words, the authors describe manifestations of the biological “axioms” in human behavior. Besides, domination can also be viewed as an expression of the biological in interpersonal relationships. The object of study of the present research includes the problems of matchmaking, gambling games, entertainment, and feasts.
As empirical material for the given description, the authors consider literary texts from the Armenian literature of the XIX-XX centuries (M. Nalbandyan, S. Shahazis, G. Sundukyan, A. Ayvazyan and others). The paper is an essential part of the “Tbilisi Text of Armenian Literature”, which adds something new to the “Tbilisi Text of the Georgian Literature”. Those two discourses, in their turn, show a certain commonality with the “Caucasian Text of the Russian Literature».
The authors apply a semiotic meta-language; implicitly, they use the theory of the French sociologist P. Bourdieu together with a typological approach, since the analysis is conducted on recurrent motifs, aiming at the identification of general semantic units.
The main thesis of the present paper is the “elevated” Armenian literature of Old Tiflis (XIX c.), which represents one of the central discourses for the critical presentation of the biological in the middle and the lower class of Old Tiflis. The biological and the principles of “wild capitalism” were destroying the families of small and medium tradesmen not only in the horizontal, class dimension (family, interpersonal), but also in the vertical dimension (inequality of social roles).
The analysis of the empirical material demonstrated that money-hunger guzzles spiritual and social values, such as national identity; the idea of statehood is lost, and the center of aspirations of city inhabitants becomes idle lifestyle: food, feasts, building houses, entertainment (home carnivals), matchmaking, etc. Of course, in the paper, the biological is contrasted to the cultural as well. The Armenian society of Old Tiflis had strategically thinking cultural figures, Armenian princely families, patrons, philanthropists (the Bebutovs, Tumanovs, Arguntinians, Alikhanovs, Yevangulyans, Mantashevs, Tamamshevs), who invested enormous financial means for the multiplication of national values (Nersisyan Seminary of Tiflis). Noteworthy is also the investment by great Armenian philanthropists (the Mantashevs) in the education of gifted Armenian minds abroad (Germany, Russia, etc.), who already in the 1920-ies formed the intellectual basis for the establishment of a national university in Yerevan (1919).