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The Blind Owl (Authorized by The Sadegh Hedayat Foundation - First Translation into English Based on the Bombay Edition) Paperback – November 1, 2011
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What he offers in The Blind Owl can be characterized at first sight as a cyclical narrative, both in terms of its recurring images and symbols, and in its plot. However, this circular aspect has more to it than mere repetition; Hedayet uses the same symbols and images to endow them with different meanings and significances each time, blurring the distinction between the frame and core narratives. This effect also has implications for the distinction between reality and fiction, life and art. As a result the book has an ephemeral, dreamlike, yet rich quality that contrasts the economy of language and image the author employs.
The treatment of time is another aspect that brings Hedayet closer to high modernists. Every event (if they can be called events) is presented within a fluid sense of time without much regard for conventional perceptions of time and space. The disturbed psyche of the narrator is the medium through which the reader experiences these dimensions, and the alienated nature of his contemplations on his transcendental experiences, the value of art, literature, writing, and human solitude provides the audience not only with an authentic example of modernist subjectivity, but also with the struggles of an individual in a hostile and indifferent universe. Herein lies the family resemblance that Hedayet shares with Existentialists. Whom is art for? Can it alleviate the pain of solitude, the predicament of existing in an alien and alienating world? Can it help us explore ourselves and our motives? Can we use it to make sense of the world, or to recreate it in accordance with our personal needs? Is genuine communication and understanding possible between human beings? All of these questions Hedayet embeds in his metafictional novel.
This will not disappoint any fan of Persian literature or Hedayat.