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The Blind Owl


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My copy :  Authorized by the Sadegh Hedayat Foundation - First Translation Into English Based on the Bombay Edition by Sadegh Hedayat (Author), Naveed Noori (Translator)


Stream of consciousness by an unnamed narrator contemplating his whole life through the lens of death.

Short story this really at 78 pages, my copy. Well written and contemplative it's not that difficult to follow and is compelling.



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  • 5 months later...

I know a lot of people rave about this book so my expectations were high. But I found it utterly mundane and devoid of emotion. In theory, it ought to appeal to me; an opium fueled fever dream of repetition and prose, a swirling descent into madness and surrealism. And as much I loved the idea of his perspective being lost in a haze of vague interpretation and illusion, the murder of his wife, his whore, set to a backdrop of obscured memory, unreliable narration, and confusion, the fact remains... I was so thoroughly bored by its sheer banality.

There's something interesting here to be sure, something unique and worth exploring, but it simply drags on in a monotonous tone of drab half-formed stream of consciousness. If you're going to do that then the writing needs to be significantly better than this (I will assume the translation was an additional hurdle).

Even the fact that it's short doesn't help. It only adds to the sense that something meaningful needs to arrive sooner rather than later. But it never does. The whole book felt like a slog to me, only a brief moment towards the end possessing a lyrical fluidity which is lacking everywhere else. But even that doesn't last. As much as I like the themes of the book (as well as the subverted narrative style), the fact remains I need to be engaged and I just wasn't. I might go back to it in the future (an alternative translation perhaps) but it's not a priority.



Edited by hux
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