06 December 2011

I write only for my shadow which is cast on the wall in front of the light. I must introduce myself to it.

I've said this before but it''s strange how things can turn out. In 2004 I started being a regular at a left wing chat room on Yahoo called Further Left. There were a lot of wankers  there, not the least the sick old shit Pocho who ran the site, Nevertheless I am still in frequent contact with three of the regulars, one of these being Redwine. Her blog (long gone sadly) will be known by one or two of my oldest readers.

I clicked  with Red quickly and since then she has become a cultural mentor, introducing me to a lot of literature and films I would not have thought to try to me. In 2004 I knew virtually nothing about Iranian culture. I knew Iranian cinema was very strong but that was about it. It was Red who introduced me to the artist Elahe Heidari and the rest is history so to speak.

However it was not Elahe's work that was my first introduction to the rich world or Iranian arts. In June 2004, Red told me to read a book that was available in translation online. That book was Boof-e Koor, or the Blind Owl by Sadegh Hedayat. I cannot thank her enough for that

I am not going to give a critique of the book (I am an utterly crap reviewer anyway) except to say that if I were to create a top five books list of my favourite novels it would be one of them

If you live n Iran then you cannot buy the book. It was banned by the lunatics who run that benighted country in 2006. This is an act of sheer an utter bloody stupidity in my view.but then most everything the regime does is either stupid,mad or downright evil.

A detail from Hedayat's grave

Luckily if you live in the West it is freely available in a range of translations. Go to a bookshop and order it It's only £7.99. Go to Amazon and get it.

If you don't have the cash you don't have to shell out to read it. A perfectly good translation is available online here

Hedayat's grave in Pere Lachaise has become a place of pilgrimage for me in recent years. I have gone there on each of my last three visits to Paris. There lies one of the true greats of modern literature


Stan said...

Sounds like a great book, Jams. I will try to read it.

jams o donnell said...

Please do Stan.It's a short novel but well worth it!

CherryPie said...

If you keep an open mind when surrounded by people you don't agree with, you will find that gem :-)

I have found many a gem in places I have become uncomfortable with. But the gem has always born fruit. It gives me hope.

jams o donnell said...

Ah that is true. Much as I loathe the likes of Pocho going to FL did have its positive benefits

Sean Jeating said...

Well, I'd be a bloody liar would I call 'The Blind Owl' on of my top five; but yes: herewith I am the second to commend reading it. It is a good one. A very good one even.

jams o donnell said...

Even if it places differently on our charts we don't disagree!