The Blind Owl

The Blind Owl

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by Sadegh Hedayat
     
 

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Widely regarded as Sadegh Hedayat's masterpiece, the Blind Owl is the most important work of literature to come out of Iran in the past century. On the surface this work seems to be a tale of doomed love, but with the turning of each page basic facts become obscure and the reader soon realizes this book is much more than a love story. Although the Blind Owl has been…  See more details below

Overview

Widely regarded as Sadegh Hedayat's masterpiece, the Blind Owl is the most important work of literature to come out of Iran in the past century. On the surface this work seems to be a tale of doomed love, but with the turning of each page basic facts become obscure and the reader soon realizes this book is much more than a love story. Although the Blind Owl has been compared to the works of the Kafka, Rilke and Poe, this work defies categorization. Lescot's French translation made the Blind Owl world-famous, while D.P. Costello's English translation made it largely accessible. Sadly, this work has yet to find its way into the English pantheon of Classics. This 75th anniversary edition, translated by award-winning writer Naveed Noori and published in conjunction with the Hedayat Foundation, aims to change this and is notable for a number of firsts: *The only translation endorsed by the Sadegh Hedayat Foundation *The first translation to use the definitive Bombay edition (Hedayat's handwritten text) *The only available English translation by a native Persian and English speaker *The preface includes a detailed textual analysis of the Blind Owl Finally, by largely preserving the spirit as well as the structure of Hedayat's writing, this edition brings the English reader into the world of the Hedayat's Blind Owl as never before. Extensive footnotes (explaining Persian words, phrases, and customs ignored in previous translations) provide deeper understanding of this work for both the causal reader and the serious student of literature.

“….There are indeed marked differences between Costello’s and Noori’s translations. As Noori indicates, his attempt to preserve the overabundance of dashes gives the reader a more immediate sense of the narrator’s agitation...The first sentence flows on in Noori’s translation, piling sensation upon sensation never allowing us to pause and catch our breath or separate out the images from the sensations. In his discussion of the relationship between his translation and Costello’s, Noori also draws on translation theory and sees Costello’s focus on the fluidity of the text in English as a “domestication” of Hedayat’s original. Noori’s new English translation and his preface are a welcome addition and will no doubt draw the attention of scholars interested in Hedayat’s works. The close textual and comparative analysis of the type Noori offers marks a new and long-overdue critical approach to the translation of the most celebrated work of modern Persian prose.” -Professor Nasrin Rahimieh in Middle Eastern Literatures

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802144287
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
10/12/2010
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
1,115,971
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

Sadegh Hedayat was born on 17 February 1903 in Tehran, at his father's house. His father was Hedayat Gholi Khan-e Hedayat (E'tezad-Ol-Molk),son of Jafar GholiKhan-e Hedayat,his mother was ,Ozra-Zivar-Ol-Moluk Hedayat,daughter of Hossein GholiKhan-e Mokhber-ol-Dole the second. His parent was from the line of Reza GholiKhan; who was one of the famous Iranian writers, poets and historians in 13th century; that was Kamal Khojandi descents. He went to Elmieh Primary school, Tehran in 1909, and after completing his basic education and then started his high school at Darolfonun in 1914. Because of eye trouble, there was a break in his education in 1914, but he continued his education in Saint Louis School at Tehran, where he got familiar with French language and literature in 1917. He completed his secondary education and was sent with the other Iranian students to Belgium for higher education in 1925. At first, he studied in "Gand" Port University, but he declared his dissatisfaction, because of bad weather and his education situation, so he was transferred to Paris to continue his studies. In1928, Sadegh Hedayat, attempted to his first suicide by throwing himself into Marne River in Samoi, but he was rescued by the people in a boat. Finally, in 1930, he returned back to Tehran and in that year he was hired in Bank Melli Iran. In those days "Rabe Group" was formed including Bozorg Alavi, Massud Farzad, Mojtaba Minavi and Sadegh Hedayat.In 1932, he traveled to Isfahan and also started his work at General Department of Commerce. In 1933, he traveled to Shiraz and stayed in his uncle's house (Dr.Kraim Hedayat) for awhile. In 1934, he resigned from General Department of Commerce and commenced his work at Ministry Of Foreign Affairs; he resigned from Ministry Of Foreign Affairs in 1935, and in that year he was summoned by Police Investigation Department and interrogated for the context of the book "Mister Bow Wow". In 1936,he commenced working at General Department of Construction and traveled to India ,he started learning "Pahlavi Language" with an Indian researcher and professor; Bahram Goor Anklesaria. In 1937, he returned back to Tehran, started working in Bank Melli Iran again, he resigned from there again in 1938, and started working at State Music Department and also cooperating with "Music Magazine". In 1940 he commenced his work at Fine Art Faculty of Tehran University as translator, and cooperating with "Sokhan Magazine" in 1943.He went to Tashkent by the invitation of The State University of Middle Asia in Uzbekistan in 1945, and also cooperated with "Payam e Now Magazine". In that year a ceremony for honoring Sadegh Hedayat was held in Iran and Soviet Union Cultural Society, in 1949.He was invited to participate in The World Congress of Peace but he could not attend because of his administrative problems. In 1950, he went to Paris and on April 8 1951, in that city, he committed suicide by gaz.He was 48 years old when got himself free from life pains, his grave was in Pere-la Chaise Cemetery in Paris. He spent all his life in his father's house.
Naveed Noori is the pseudonym for an Iranian writer whose first novel, Dakhmeh, was selected by Barnes and Nobles as part of their “Great New Writers Series” in 2003. In 2012 his translation of Sadegh Hedayat’s The Blind Owl was published under the auspices of the Sadegh Hedayat Foundation and the L’Aleph. He has translated several works for the Iranian writer Moniro Ravanipur, one of which has appeared in Paul Revere’s Horse in 2011. Naveed Noori is also the author of several short stories. His short story entitled “The Fortune Seller” was published in Hayden’s Ferry Review and nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2009. He is currently working on his second novel based on the aforementioned short story.

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The Blind Owl 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
The_hibernators More than 1 year ago
Dark and powerful In this surreal novella, an unnamed protagonist unburdens the deadly weight on his chest by confessing to his own grotesquely owl-shaped shadow on the wall. "in order to explain my life to my stooping shadow, I am obliged to tell a story. Ugh! How many stories about love, copulation, marriage and death already exist, not one of which tells the truth! How sick I am of well-constructed plots and brilliant writing!" In his mind-spinning narration, it is difficult to tell when the events described are cloaked with opium, veiled with madness, or are simple truth. This novel is deeply disturbing in many ways. It narrates horrific events, certainly, but it is the manner that they are conveyed that is frightening. His imagery is surreal. His repetition is hypnotic. His words are oppressive. "Only death does not lie. The presence of death annihilates all superstitions. We are the children of death and it is death that rescues us from the deceptions of life." The imagery and symbolism used by Hedayat portrays his personal marriage between Western and Eastern culture. Although this book is considered the essence of Persian literature, there are signs of Poe and Kafka. The Blind Owl bled, vomited, and wept Freudian symbolism. This was an amazing book, and highly recommended to people interested in Persian fiction or in modernist fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book from a college book store from a class i wasnt taking. It's beautifully depressing, in a way that makes.u sympathize. Its short sweet but deeply moving. I would recommend and read again.
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