THE BLIND OWL by Sadegh Hedayat


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The weird, feverishly introspective, obsessive, compulsive ravings and jottings of a madman are here offered as a novel by this Persian writer, disciple of Sartre. The mental images which haunt the madman, the narrator, are played with different variations- he is at one and at different times the several wispy figures he imagines. The setting is the spectral Near East. The narrator pictures a cypress tree shading a gnarled old man, facing, across a stream, an ethereal young woman in black. His mind plays back and forth among these images, reverting to childhood scenes. The ephemeral woman assumes many poses -- she is this sought for, longed for, other-worldly ideal, his whorish wife, finally his victim. He thinks in her mind, in the mind of the old man and in the minds of assorted conjured-up characters. All of these are the reflections of himself seen in his mirror. Legend and folklorish incidents included lend their own brand of frenzy to the nightmare. It is difficult to imagine, in spite of its strange compelling force, the audience to which this journal is directed.

Pub Date: April 5th, 1958
ISBN: 0802131808
Publisher: Grove