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Ṣādiq Hidāyat (1903–1951)

Author of Blind Owl

56+ Works 1,553 Members 46 Reviews 13 Favorited

About the Author

Critics regard Sadiq Hidayat as one of the outstanding writers of the twentieth century. Known primarily for his short stories, he was influenced by Poe and Kafka. His stories plumb the depth of human motivation and seek out the meaning of life. Many critics regard his novel The Blind Owl (1937) as show more the masterpiece of all Persian fiction. His work evidences a deep pessimism, which eventually led him to suicide. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
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Works by Ṣādiq Hidāyat

Blind Owl (1937) 1,167 copies
Three Drops of Blood (2008) 109 copies
Zende Begoor (1986) 27 copies
Sag-i Vilgard (2000) 22 copies
The Patient Stone (1987) 12 copies
Hayyam'in Teraneleri (2012) 11 copies
Favayed-e Giyahkhari (2004) 10 copies
Vagh Vagh Sahab (2003) 7 copies
Madame Alavieh (1997) 5 copies
Zeven korte verhalen (2000) 5 copies
Blind Owl; Buried Alive (1391) 4 copies
Hidayetname (2005) 3 copies
O Mocho Cego 3 copies
ZAND VA HOUMAN YASEN (2004) 2 copies
MAZIYAR 2 copies
داش آکل 2 copies
L'eau de jouvence (2015) 1 copy
محلل 1 copy

Associated Works

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (1120) — Editor, some editions — 5,211 copies
Nouvelles persanes (1980) — Author, some editions — 1 copy


11th century (32) 12th century (27) 19th century (24) 20th century (36) art (38) classic (88) classics (128) Easton Press (27) fiction (284) Folio Society (76) hardcover (28) illustrated (92) Iran (114) Iranian (34) Iranian literature (50) Islam (27) literature (221) Middle East (76) Middle Eastern (20) non-fiction (30) novel (34) Omar Khayyam (36) own (21) Persia (123) Persian (118) Persian literature (132) Persian poetry (38) philosophy (67) poems (25) poetry (1,423) read (60) religion (45) Rubaiyat (60) short stories (22) Sufism (35) surrealism (20) to-read (246) translated (24) translation (83) unread (30)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Hidāyat, Ṣādiq
Legal name
صادق هدایت
Other names
صادق هدایت
Hedayat, Sadegh
Date of death
Burial location
Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, Paris, France
Country (for map)
Tehran, Iran
Place of death
Paris, France
Cause of death
Places of residence
Tehran, Iran (birth)
Paris, France
Dar ol-Fonoon
Short biography
Hedayat subsequently devoted his whole life to studying Western literature and to learning and investigating Iranian history and folklore. The works of Guy de Maupassant, Anton Chekhov, Rainer Maria Rilke, Edgar Allan Poe and Franz Kafka intrigued him the most. During his short literary life span, Hedayat published a substantial number of short stories and novelettes, two historical dramas, a play, a travelogue, and a collection of satirical parodies and sketches. His writings also include numerous literary criticisms, studies in Persian folklore, and many translations from Middle Persian and French. He is credited with having brought Persian language and literature into the mainstream of international contemporary writing. There is no doubt that Hedayat was the most modern of all modern writers in Iran. Yet, for Hedayat, modernity was not just a question of scientific rationality or a pure imitation of European values.In his later years, feeling the socio-political problems of the time, Hedayat started attacking the two major causes of Iran’s decimation, the monarchy and the clergy, and through his stories he tried to impute the deafness and blindness of the nation to the abuses of these two major powers. Feeling alienated by everyone around him, especially by his peers, Hedayat’s last published work, The Message of Kafka, bespeaks melancholy, desperation and a sense of doom experienced only by those subjected to discrimination and repression.

Hedayat's most enduring work is the short novel The Blind Owl of 1937. It has been called "one of the most important literary works in the Persian language"
He ended his life by gassing himself and is buried in the Père Lachaise.



The Blind Owl in The Chapel of the Abyss (July 2018)


Interesting. A bloody, opium fever dream of a book about a man that murders his wife whom he only calls “the bitch.” Pretty unpleasant stuff. Not my cup of tea.
BookyMaven | 39 other reviews | Feb 8, 2024 |
This is a fever-dream of a dark, compelling novel, and a reading experience that sucks one in until each moment is its own small psychological impact. A novel that was banned in Hedayat's home country of Iran, the work mounts gorgeous prose, a poetic sensibility, and a sometimes-style of repetition that makes one feel as if they're being sucked into a whirlpool of a story. It's a novel to be sucked into and experience...and perhaps to be read more than once if the darkness isn't too much.

Recommended.… (more)
whitewavedarling | 39 other reviews | Jan 21, 2024 |
I feel bad for rating this book only 3 stars. I feel it's because I'm too stupid for it or maybe just that I'm in the wrong sort of mood to enjoy it. The first half-ish of the book was good but when it changes perspective and you have to read the guy calling his wife "the bitch" over and over it gets really grating. Like I found the constant stuff about him being literally dead and everyone else being terrible rabble very repetitive, overwrought and not even vaguely interesting. At the same time I really liked the repetitive symbols like the geometric houses and stub end of cucumber taste because they enhanced the dream-like sense which the best parts of the novel contain, the sense of endless repetition and falling, an eternal hell. It's hard to fit the two parts of the novel together and see the connections while the repetitive symbols are pretty intriguing and create interesting ideas and impressions in my head. The best part is the part around the halfwayish point where he goes and buries the cut up body in the strange place. I just felt it went on too long without really saying much more. I liked the open endedness and suggestions of something more but without ever explaining it. I feel it'd be super interesting to interpret if I put the effort in to like take notes, cross reference etc which would also cut out the stuff I don't like so much heh. I don't know I realise I probably missed a lot and wasn't reading it well enough or whatever… (more)
tombomp | 39 other reviews | Oct 31, 2023 |
You won't find a darker novel than this, and scarcely one better written. It's strange and fascinating to realize that this work boasts best modern classic status in Iranian literature, despite having initially been suppressed there as a potential suicide threat to teenagers. It's encouraging to me that a modern culture exists in which such a gruesomely powerful brief for Death could finally be not only legitimized, but uniquely celebrated, for its literary merit.
1 vote
Cr00 | 39 other reviews | Apr 1, 2023 |



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