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The Blind Owl Paperback – Oct 12 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 146 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Pr (Oct. 12 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802144284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802144287
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.5 x 20.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #604,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


'The father of modern Persian short stories.' The Guardian --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Sadeq Hedayat was born in Tehran in 1903, of an aristocratic family, and spent most of his life there. In 1951, during a stay in Paris, Hedayat committed suicide. Recognized as the outstanding Persian writer of the 20th century, Hedayat is generally credited with having brought his country's language and literature into the mainstream of contemporary writing. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
THERE are sores which slowly erode the mind in solitude like a kind of canker. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'll tell you, first thing, without a word of a lie, I was looking forward to reading "The Blind Owl". I'd heard the right noises (odd coos of approval and comparisons with other writers I liked) in the right places (other cool novels, hip joints packed to the rafters with swinging cats, that kind of thing) and I approached it (reluctantly, the way you approach anything you want to savour) like a dish of my most-favourite food, prepared to bite a hunk off, roll it over my tongue and press it flat against the roof of my mouth. I wanted to be surprised. I wanted it to better expectation (I never expected this food to melt like snow, who could have predicted that aniseed-y fennel aftertaste, that kind of thing). Because you have hopes. You have hopes for any new book (the way you have hopes for anything you invest yourself in).
Here is a book written by a friend and contemporary of Jean-Paul Sartre. Here is a book written by an intense bird-faced man from Persia who later killed himself for one of the multitude of never-to-be-understood reasons men kill themselves. Here is a book that has been described as a narcotic suicide note.
Although there are five chapters, the book essentially divides pretty evenly into two halves: the first three chapters make up part one, the last two chapters part two.
When you start reading, you are not disappointed. The book is peculiar. Dated like Kafka or Canetti but contemporary, dark and dreamlike (think Ishiguro's "The Unconsoled"). The food-y metaphor I was kicking around earlier is sort of apposite: "The Blind Owl" reads like a bubbling cauldron of something indiscriminate (it's been bubbling so long you can no longer tell precisely what went in there to make up this stew).
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Format: Paperback
I can't relate at all to the reviewer who compared reading this book to pulling teeth. It is strange and slightly demented, but these qualities seem only to add to the overall quality. If one were to be in a peculiar state of mind and smoke opium, the result would be something like this. The protagonist is a sick, solitary misanthrope who suffers from what seem to be hallucinations of an old man with a turban with a horrifying laugh (this is repeated over and over again, like some kind of mantra) and a beautiful woman our anti-hero is fixated on. He persistently refers to his wife as "the bitch", but seems to love her dearly despite her infidelity and disdain of him. Hedayat's character is both self loathing and world loathing, preferring to his hypnagogic visions and sickly existence to 'real' life. He no longer makes distinctions between sanity and insanity. He finds a woman's body chopped up (it seems) and does not tell the police. By the end of this novel, really a series of incomprehensible happenings spliced with some bitter comments on humanity, we have come to understand him as a lucid but self divided man losing his mind. This is a must.
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Format: Paperback
An Persian friend reccommended this book to me, and managed to read it all in one sitting. It was such a quick, compelling read, with so much going on that you feel like you are running through a sandstorm. I have NEVER read a description of an insane mind as well written as this. Poe, Lovecraft, and Dostoeyevsky, I would say, have written excellent descriptions of insane minds, but this is by far the best. By the way, Lovecraft and Dostoyevsky are my two favorite authors.
The passage where the narrator describes his dream woman as an angel, and describes the beauty of her eyes is definatly the most beautiful passage I have ever read. Likewise, his descriptions of the more gruesome scenes are really quite disgusting.
Hedayat really wrote a masterpiece here. I would highly reccomend it to people who enjoy the authors I have previously mentioned. Its a great book, with so many layers, and so many different ways to interpret what's going on. In the end, even I was unable to figure out what the truth of the matter really was. Absolutely fascinating.
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By A Customer on April 9 2002
Format: Paperback
"There are sores which slowly erode the mind in solitude like a kind of canker"
That is how the translation of D.P. Costello starts.
This first line of the book is enough to grab your undivided attention. This opening draws you into a surreal dream world where fiction and fact flow into each other seamlessly, where symbolism and real life events coexist with the shadows of the dreamworld and people of flesh and blood.
If you like, this book can be compared to a fugue, a musical discipline where one theme is repeated and transposed/transformed in the other voices. Likewise, certain themes are repeated in a different context, much like a puzzle. If you are looking for something easy to read, skip this book. BUT, if you are looking for a little gem in literature, which will reveal itself to you only after giving it your undivided attention, much like a beautiful woman waiting to be conquered, then buy this book. You will read it, and read it again and again, and experience a secret joy over discovering something this precious, a precious little gem.
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Format: Paperback
Blind Owl is a masterpiece whose values are getting more clear as time goes by.This is the whole history of mankind no matter where one was born or raised.There are some similarities which are transcultural and this is the beauty of his work.One is born somewhere in this world with a Paradise in his/her heart.This is somehow reflected in one,s childhood and joyful experiences of youth.These are all symbolized in the dream-lady who is also symbolizing Mother-Persia:the writer,s sweet homeland.Then everything changes and the dream-lady of your sweet dreams becomes your very true wife who makes love to many different people.This is actually your mother-persia who is showing infidelity and surrenders to many diferrent nations and cultures and you have an ambivalent feeling toward her.You love her.How could one stop loving one,s mother? and you hate her.How can one love a disgusting mother who gives her heart to your enemies and to those who tried to eradicate your ancient religion and culture?This is the great tragedy of the writer of "Blind Owl". This ambivalence can not be tolerated in true life and the writer kills his unfaithful wife/mother in his novel and himself in reality.
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