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The Blind Owl - Sadegh Hedayat

 
 
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2009 04:49 pm
I'm very pleased to see there is a dedicated section for books. Definitely going to be adding to my reading list for the summer.

I figured I'd contribute with a book (actually a novella) that I've read recently, and is a little obscure.

The Blind Owl by Sadegh Hedayat.

Overview: An insidious piece of literature that explores themes of insanity and conflict between those that are poisoned and those that are "The Rabble". Characters, time, and space are all in a demented territory where linear progression is completely forgotten. Actions in the beginning aren't explained until the middle, and there's no way to accurately count the number of characters introduced. There could be a dozen, or perhaps only two. There is a macabre theme that hangs over the entire work, and Hedayat has been compared to Edgar Allan Poe in terms of style. But, where Poe is more of a blunt instrument, Hedayat is surgically precise. You won't know to stop reading until it's too late.

Warning! The Blind Owl has a history of suicide. The author and some readers committed suicide. I feel obligated to mention this so that you are fully aware of what you are getting into if you decide to read the novella. Most people who have read The Blind Owl don't commit suicide though. Me for one... but best to keep away from the clinically depressed.

Pros:
  • While considered a piece of Iranian literature, it doesn't require knowledge about Iranian culture at all to enjoy.
  • Well crafted recursive narrative that departs from traditional linear thought.
  • Not long, but not too short. About 130 pages.

Cons:
  • May not be for everyone.
  • Definitely not for kids.
  • Can be very confusing for the first read... possibly for the first three reads.
  • Did I mention that the book has a history of suicide?

Rating: 9/10
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Kaynafshar
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 May, 2009 08:37 pm
@The Shadow,
wow this sounds really really interesting. im definatly going to look into this. thanks for the reccomendation/review.

and btw. do you happen to know the nationality of the author? it sounds turkish or iranian to me, you wouldnt happen to know would you?
ivona poyntz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Apr, 2012 08:32 am
@The Shadow,
Lovely book, I'd class it as magical realism
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Apr, 2012 08:44 am
@Kaynafshar,
Persian . . . The Blind Owl was written in 1937--this information courtesy of Wikipedia.
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