“The bitter wine of my life:” Bitterness and tragicality in "The Blind Owl"

  • Mehrdad Bidgoli Malayer University


Sadegh Hedayat’s masterpiece The Blind Owl (1936) is repeatedly called the greatest Iranian modern novel and one of the best literary productions of the Twentieth century. Its contemporary modernist movements such as surrealism, symbolism and expressionism are the ones Hedayat had been familiar with and they become the medium via which his anonymous narrator communicates his story. Drawing upon Zhao Feng’s recent essay on surrealism and soteriological desire, this intervention suggests that surrealism for Hedayat in The Blind Owl does not play a soteriological role as it does for many surrealists, Andre Breton chief among them. Hedayat’s version seems much more extreme, cynical and tragic, delicately flavored with a persistent existential sense of bitterness which pervades the text.


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Author Biography

Mehrdad Bidgoli, Malayer University

Mehrdad Bidgoli received his PhD in English literature from the University of Isfahan. His fields of interest are philosophy and literature, Persian literature (with a focus on Hedayat) and renaissance literature (with a focus on Shakespeare and early modern and modern continental philosophy). He is currently an assistant professor of English at Malayer University.

Mehrdad can be contacted at: mehrdadbidgoli94@gmail.com