The Blind Owl

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Author: Sadegh Hedayat
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 9780802196422
Size: 17.16 MB
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The Blind Owl by Sadegh Hedayat


Original Title: The Blind Owl

Recognized as the outstanding Iranian writer of the twentieth century, Sadegh Hedayat is credited with having brought his country's language and literature into the mainstream of contemporary writing. The Blind Owl, long considered a classic and often compared to the works of Poe, chillingly recreates the labyrinthine movements of a deranged mind. The young woman who haunts the narrator is first introduced as a stranger with jet-black hair and wide, haunting eyes. She creeps into the narrator's room but he realizes, upon touching her, that she is lifeless and cold. The narrator, a painter and opium addict, packs the woman's corpse into a suitcase and takes her to an remote spot along the banks of a river, where he buries her. Along the way he meets an old man with a spine-chilling laugh who becomes the first in a stream of recurring mental images: four cadaverous black horses with rasping coughs, a hidden urn of poisoned wine, a sheep butcher, and a small painting of a woman on the back of a pen-case soon follow. Through a series of intricately woven events that revolve around these images, the narrator is compelled to record his obsession with the woman even as it drives him further into madness. That the narrator is recording his confession for the sake of his shadow, which he thinks perfectly resembles an owl, only heightens the sense of terror: "My shadow on the wall had become exactly like an owl and, leaning forward, read intently every word I wrote." The eerie images, and their repetition, obscure reality and twist and turn into themselves, disorienting the reader and mimicing the distress of the opium-addled narrator. The woman, at first a stranger, becomes the narrator's mother, and finally his wife. As the book winds to a close, the narrator is trapped in his room, so dissociated from reality that his shadow appears more real to him than he himself does. The narrator finally takes up his bone-handled butcher's knife (the same instrument he has seen the butcher wiping on the legs of sheep carcasses), and proceeds to the beautiful young woman's room. After she welcomes him in, he falls into -- or springs upon -- her, consumed by lust and hatred ("[they] were twins. Her fresh, moonlight-pale body . . . opened and closed me within itself like a cobra coiling around its prey"). In the confused, impassioned struggle that follows, the man sinks his knife into the young woman's side, killing her. Emitting a hollow, grating laugh, he staggers to a mirror -- only to find that his reflection is that of the old bearded man who has so long been haunting him. The book ends with the man looking out of his room to see the crouching figure of the old man disappearing into the mist, and looking down at his own chest to see maggots writing in the folds of his coat, and to feel the weight of the dead woman upon his chest.

The Blind Owl And Other Stories

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Author: Sadegh Hedayat
Publisher: Calder Publications Limited
ISBN: 9780714544588
Size: 79.63 MB
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The Blind Owl And Other Stories by Sadegh Hedayat


Original Title: The Blind Owl And Other Stories

Following a disjointed, vision-like structure, The Blind Owl is the nightmarish exploration of the psyche of a madman. The narrator is an ailing, solitary misanthrope who suffers from hallucinations, and his dreamlike tale is layered, circular, driven by its own demented logic, and punctuated with macabre and surreal episodes such as the discovery of a mutilated corpse, and a bizarre competition in which two men are locked in a dungeon-like room with a cobra. Initially banned in the author's native Iran, the novel first appeared in Tehran in 1941 and became a bestseller. Full of powerful symbolism and terrifying imagery, this dark novella is Hedayat's masterpiece.

Blind Owl Authorized By The Sadegh Hedayat Foundation First Translation Into English Based On The Bombay Edition

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Author: Sadegh Hedayat
Publisher: Iran Open Publishing Group
ISBN: 9789176375037
Size: 10.10 MB
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Blind Owl Authorized By The Sadegh Hedayat Foundation First Translation Into English Based On The Bombay Edition by Sadegh Hedayat


Original Title: Blind Owl Authorized By The Sadegh Hedayat Foundation First Translation Into English Based On The Bombay Edition

Widely regarded as Sadegh Hedayat's masterpiece, the Blind Owl is the most important work of literature to come out of Iran in the past century. On the surface this work seems to be a tale of doomed love, but with the turning of each page basic facts become obscure and the reader soon realizes this book is much more than a love story. Although the Blind Owl has been compared to the works of the Kafka, Rilke and Poe, this work defies categorization. Lescot's French translation made the Blind Owl world-famous, while D.P. Costello's English translation made it largely accessible. Sadly, this work has yet to find its way into the English pantheon of Classics. This 75th anniversary edition, translated by award-winning writer Naveed Noori and published in conjunction with the Hedayat Foundation, aims to change this and is notable for a number of firsts: *The only translation endorsed by the Sadegh Hedayat Foundation *The first translation to use the definitive Bombay edition (Hedayat's handwritten text) *The only available English translation by a native Persian and English speaker *The preface includes a detailed textual analysis of the Blind Owl Finally, by largely preserving the spirit as well as the structure of Hedayat's writing, this edition brings the English reader into the world of the Hedayat's Blind Owl as never before. Extensive footnotes (explaining Persian words, phrases, and customs ignored in previous translations) provide deeper understanding of this work for both the causal reader and the serious student of literature. ...."There are indeed marked differences between Costello's and Noori's translations. As Noori indicates, his attempt to preserve the overabundance of dashes gives the reader a more immediate sense of the narrator's agitation...The first sentence flows on in Noori's translation, piling sensation upon sensation never allowing us to pause and catch our breath or separate out the images from the sensations. In his discussion of the relationship between his translation and Costello's, Noori also draws on translation theory and sees Costello's focus on the fluidity of the text in English as a "domestication" of Hedayat's original. Noori's new English translation and his preface are a welcome addition and will no doubt draw the attention of scholars interested in Hedayat's works. The close textual and comparative analysis of the type Noori offers marks a new and long-overdue critical approach to the translation of the most celebrated work of modern Persian prose." -Professor Nasrin Rahimieh in Middle Eastern Literatures

Hedayat S Blind Owl As A Western Novel

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Author: Michael Beard
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400861322
Size: 19.12 MB
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Hedayat S Blind Owl As A Western Novel by Michael Beard


Original Title: Hedayat S Blind Owl As A Western Novel

The Iranian writer Sadeq Hedayat is the most influential figure in twentieth-century Persian fiction--and the object of a kind of cult after his suicide in 1951. His masterpiece The Blind Owl is the most important novel of modern Iran. Its abrupt, tortured opening sentence, "There are sores which slowly erode the mind in solitude like a kind of canker," is one of the best known and most frequently recited passages of modern Persian. But underneath the book's uncanniness and its narrative eccentricities, Michael Beard traces an elegant pastiche of familiar Western traditions. A work of advocacy for a disturbing and powerful piece of fiction, his comprehensive analysis reveals the significance of The Blind Owl as a milestone not only for Persian writing but also for world literature. The international, decentered nature of modernist writing outside the West, typified by Hedayat's European education and wide reading in the Western canon, suggested to Beard the strategy of assessing The Blind Owl as if it were a Western novel. Viewed in this context, Hedayat's intricate chronicle challenges the very notion of a national literature, rethinking and reshaping our traditions until we are compelled, "through its eyes," to see them in a new way. Originally published in 1990. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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