Tuesday 2 February 2021

Book Review: The Blind Owl by Sadegh Hedayat (Modern Classic)

Title: The Blind Owl
Author: Sadegh Hedayat
Publisher: Grove Press
Publication Date: 2010 (1936)
Genre: Modern Classic
Source: Borrowed from Library

Considered one of the most important works of modern Iranian literature, The Blind Owl is a haunting tale of loss and spiritual degradation. Replete with potent symbolism and terrifying surrealistic imagery, Sadegh Hedayat's masterpice details a young man's despair after losing a mysterious lover. As the narrator gradually drifts into madness, the reader becomes caught in the sandstorm of Hedayat's bleak vision of the human condition.


The Blind Owl was a spellbinding read that held my attention from start to finish. The surreal imagery and frequent repetition helped to create a sense of claustrophobia within the text that added to the sense of the narrator's descent into madness. The translation flowed nicely and I closed the final page with many different thoughts and ideas running through my mind. I recently read another book that heavily referenced this work, and having now read the source material, I feel I have a better sense of that other story too, in retrospect. This was certainly an interesting tale and I am glad that other book prompted me to pick up a copy.

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