The Blind Owl: A Masterpiece of Modern Iranian Literature

Redaksi PetiknetMonday, 31 July 2023 | 16:18 WIB
The Blind Owl
The Blind Owl

PETIK.NET - is a novel by , one of the most influential and celebrated Iranian writers of the 20th century. It is widely regarded as his magnum opus and a landmark of modernist Persian .

The novel is a dark and surreal exploration of the human condition, as the narrator, an unnamed pen case painter, confesses his murderous deeds and his tormented love for a mysterious woman to a shadow on his wall that resembles an owl.

The novel was first published in 1937 in Bombay, India, where Hedayat lived for two years. It was banned in Iran during the reign of Reza Shah, who suppressed any form of dissent or criticism against his rule.

The novel was also considered too pessimistic and depressing for the Iranian public, and some even blamed it for inspiring suicides among its readers.

However, after Reza Shah's abdication in 1941, the novel was serialized in the daily newspaper Iran and gained widespread acclaim and popularity.

It has since been translated into many languages and has influenced many writers and artists around the world.

The Plot and Themes of The Blind Owl

The novel consists of two parts, each with a different tone and style.

The first part is a nightmarish and hallucinatory account of the narrator's life, as he recalls his encounters with a woman who resembles his dead cousin, a cackling old man who sells him opium, and a mysterious ethereal city that he visits in his dreams.

The narrator reveals that he has killed the woman and buried her in a cellar, but he is haunted by her image and voice. He also suffers from a split personality, as he sometimes identifies himself as the old man or the woman.

He believes that he is living in a state of death, and that his only salvation is to escape from the cycle of life and reincarnation.

The second part is a more realistic and coherent narrative, but it also contains contradictions and inconsistencies with the first part.

The narrator tells the story of his childhood, his marriage to an unfaithful wife, his obsession with pen case painting, and his eventual murder of his wife after discovering her affair with a butcher.