Featuring contributions from leading scholars of Iranian studies and / or comparative literature, this edited comprehensive and critical edited collection provides detailed scholarly analysis of Hedayat's life and work using a variety of methodological and conceptual approaches. Hedayat is the author of The Blind Owl, the most famous Persian novel both in Iran and in Europe and America. Many of his short stories are in a critical realist style and are regarded as among some of the best written in twentieth century Iran. But his most original contribution was the use of modernist, more often surrealist, techniques in Persian fiction. Thus, he was not only a great writer, but also the founder of modernism in Persian fiction. Yet both Hedayat's life and his death came to symbolize much more than leading writers would normally claim. He still towers over modern Persian fiction and will remain a highly controversial figure so long as the clash of the modern and the traditional, the Persian and the European, and the religious and the secular, has not led to a synthesis and a consensus.
Homa Katouzian is a social scientist, historian, literary critic and poet. He is The Iran Heritage Foundation Research Fellow, St. Antony's College and Member, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford, and editor of Iranian Studies, Journal of the International Society for Iranian Studies.
1. Introduction: The Wondrous World of Sadeq Hedayat Homa Katouzian 2. Sadeq Hedayat's Centenary: Report of Events in Tehran, and Personal Recollections Jahangir Hedayat 3. Sadeq Hedayat and the Classics: The Case of the Blind Owl Marta Simidchieva 4. The Blind Owl: Present in the Past or the Story of a Dream Houra Yavari 5. Influence as Debt: The Blind Owl in the Literary Marketplace Michael Beard 6. The Blind Owl and the Sound and the Fury Bharam Meghdadi 7. Women in Hedayat's Fiction Homa Katouzian 8. Satire in Hajji Aqa Firouzeh Khazrai 9. Narrative Identity in the Works of Hedayat and his Contemporaries Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi 10. Hedayat's Translations of Kafka and the Logic of Iranian Modernity Nasrin Rahimieh 11. Hedayat and the Experience of Modernity Ramin Jahanbegloo 12. Hedayat, Vegetarianism and Modernity Hushang Philsooph 13. Man and Animal in Hedayat's Stray Dog Homa Katouzian