The Blind Owl: A Masterpiece of Modern Iranian Literature

Redaksi PetiknetMonday, 31 July 2023 | 16:18 WIB

He also describes his relationship with the woman who resembles his cousin, whom he met at a wedding party and fell in love with.

He claims that she was his soulmate and that they shared a mystical bond. However, he also admits that he never saw her again after their first meeting, and that he only imagined her presence in his life.

The novel explores various themes such as alienation, madness, death, love, identity, memory, and symbolism. The narrator is an isolated and lonely individual who cannot connect with anyone or anything in his society.

He suffers from mental illness and addiction, which distort his perception of reality. He is obsessed with death and the afterlife, which he sees as preferable to the suffering and meaninglessness of life.

He is also torn between his love for the woman who represents his ideal self and his hatred for the woman who represents his actual self.

He uses symbols such as the owl, the pen case, the cellar, and the city to express his inner turmoil and confusion.

The Literary Style and Influence of The Blind Owl

The Blind Owl is considered a masterpiece of modernist Persian literature, as it breaks away from the traditional conventions and norms of Iranian .

Hedayat was influenced by European literature and ideas, especially by writers such as Edgar Allan Poe, Franz Kafka, Rainer Maria Rilke, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Sigmund Freud.

He experimented with different techniques such as stream of consciousness, unreliable narration, symbolism, surrealism, expressionism, and existentialism.

He also challenged the dominant social and political values of his time, such as nationalism, religion, patriarchy, and progress.

The novel has had a profound impact on many writers and artists both inside and outside Iran. Some of the notable figures who have acknowledged their admiration or inspiration from include:

  • Albert Camus,
  • Henry Miller,
  • Jorge Luis Borges,
  • Jean-Paul Sartre,
  • Salman Rushdie,
  • Orhan Pamuk,
  • Marjane Satrapi,
  • Abbas Kiarostami,
  • Mohsen Makhmalbaf,
  • Alan Wilson,
  • among others.


is a remarkable work of literature that deserves to be read by anyone who appreciates the power and beauty of language and imagination.