The surreal novella by celebrated contemporary writer Sadegh Hedayat “The Blind Owl” has been translated into the Kazakh language. Ainash Qasym, translator and university professor of Persian Literature in Almaty, has translated the book, ISNA quoted the author’s nephew Jahangir Hedayat as saying. The Kafkaesque story of an unnamed painter, who confesses (murdering his wife) to a shadow on the wall which resembles an owl, is considered as a modern masterpiece in Iran’s 20th century literature. The book was praised by many literary figures including Henry Miller and André Breton. Qasym has translated “The Stray Dog” another short story by Hedayat and “Iran’s Contemporary Literature” by Ahmad Khatami, head of literature department in Kazakh language, Shahid Beheshti University. ‘’Kazakhs are familiar with Persian literature from Soviet times when they got to know it through Russian translations.
Now the people of Kazakhstan read Iranian literature directly in their own language,” she wrote in her Instagram account. The book was originally published in a limited edition in Bombay (now Mumbai), India, during Hedayat’s residence there in 1937. It was first translated into French by Roger Lescot during World War II and later into English by D.P. Costello in 1957, and more than 10 languages including German, Polish, Romanian, Turkish, Mandarin, Armenian and Dutch. Three film adaptations have been made based on the novel. It was made into a film in 1974 by Kiumars Derambakhsh, then in 1987 by Chilean filmmaker Raúl Ruiz and by Iranian-Canadian director Mazdak Taebi earlier this year. Sadegh Hedayat (1903-1951) is known for his fictions and short stories. He was influenced by American writer Edgar Allan Poe and Czech writer Franz Kafka. His other well known books include “Buried Alive,” and “Three Drops of Blood”.