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Revisiting Sadeq Hedayat's Blind Owl: Writings on a Modern Persian Novel

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Item Code: HAN969
Author: Edited By Syed Akhtar Husain, Md. Arshadul Quadri
Publisher: Primus Books, Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2023
ISBN: 9789356877672
Pages: 256
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.5x6.5 INCH
Weight 480 gm
Book Description
About the Book

Revisiting Sadeq Hedayat's Blind Ovel: Writings on a Modern Persian Novel is a commemorative volume of thirteen scholarly articles on the Persian novel Buf-e-Kur (Blind Owl) by Sadeq Hedayat (1903-51). Scholars of Persian studies have long endeavoured to bring this complex novel, written in a unique form and structure, into a simple narrative for afficionados of modern Persian fiction. Thus, the present volume is a literary manifesto', presenting perspectives on the novel and the writer from historical, cultural, psychoanalytical, cinematic, artistic, translational, and poetic viewpoints.
Drawing upon continued Indo-Iranian relations when Burzoe translated the Panchatantra into Pahlavi in 570 AD to when Hedayat wrote his masterpiece during his India sojourn in 1987, the chapters presented here explore a number of topics: from critiques of translations of the novel into three Indian languages (Bengali, Hindi, and Malayalam) to discussions regarding the compatibility of the novel with cinema and the interface of the novel with Hedayat's sketches and paintings. The volume also offers an analogical study of the thought processes of Ghalib and Hedayat, demonstrating the resonance between great minds.

About the Author

Syed Akhtar Husain is Professor at the Centre of Persian and Central Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and President of the Institute of Indo- Persian Studies. He has published articles in leading journals of Persian studies in India and abroad and has two books to his credit. Recently, he co-edited a volume titled Essays on the Arabian Nights.
Md. Arshadul Quadri is Assistant Professor at the Department of Persian, University of Lucknow. He is also currently Vice-President of the Institute of Indo-Persian Studies. His areas of interest include Indo- Persian literature, modern Persian literature and translations from Persian into English and vice versa. He is the author of Spectrum of Persian Literature: A Collection of Articles on Persian and Indo Persian Literature.


SADEQ HEDAYAT'S Blind Owl (Buf-e-Kur in Persian) was first published in 1937. To celebrate the eightieth anniversary of the publication of this book, the India International Centre (IIC) and the Institute of Indo-Persian Studies (IIPS) collaborated to host an international conference in the winter of 2016. This conference materialized because of the strong personal interest of the late Dr Kapila Vatsyayan, then Chairperson of the International Research Division of IIC. This volume, arising from the conference, contains thirteen chapters which were originally presented at the conference by eminent participants from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Canada and the USA.
Ever since its inception IIC has been organizing activities to promote academic and cultural exchanges between scholars from India and abroad. These endeavours have contributed towards broadening and strengthening India's cultural bonds with many countries across the globe.
For centuries, India has enjoyed relations with Iran. It's first literary contact with Iran is reported to have taken place as far back as AD 570, when Burzoe, the Sasanian physician, rendered the Sanskrit Panchtantra into Pahlavi.
The author of Blind Owl, Hedayat, first came to Bombay in 1936. During the course of his stay in India, he was invited by Sir Mirza Ismail to attend the birth ceremony of Krishnaraja Wadiyar of Mysore, where Persian was one of the court languages.


THE MYSTERY and enigma associated with Sadeq Hedayat's Blind Owl (Buf-e-Kur) induce readers to try and unravel the hidden secrets in the book. However, the more one delves into the book, the more one is lost in a pool of enquiries, Given the novel's complex plot, scholars and commentators of Blind Owl have given different interpretations. Various new theories regarding the symbolism, internal structure and contextual framework of the novel are emerging to add to the popularity of this masterpiece. Not far are the days when the true worth of this book would be recognized and place it alongside the classics of millennia-old Persian literature.
Buf-e-Kur has a neatly devised plot. The novel represents the bitter reflections of a painter and a writer on life and death, which stem from the behavioural patterns of people and society. There are four characters in the narrative of Part One, and over eleven characters in Part Two, all of whom revolve around the protagonists to inflict pain and suffering on them. He calls the 'Others' rajjaleha, or the debauchees who have robbed the protagonists of the happiness of life. The alterity of human types is well reflected in the novel.

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