The Blind Owl by Sadegh Hedayat


“The babbling of the water reached my ears like the staccato, unintelligible syllables murmured by a man who is dreaming.”

“Each and every one of them consisted only of a mouth and a wad of guts hanging from it, the whole terminating in a set of genitals.”

“It occurred to me that this was the hour of the day when the shadows of the castle upon the hill returned to life, and that this little girl was one of the old-time inhabitants of the ancient city of Rey. ”

“There are people whose death-agonies begin at the age of twenty, while others die only at the very end, calmly and peacefully, like a lamp in which all the oil has been consumed.”

“I had become like the flies which crowd indoors at the beginning of the autumn, thin, half-dead flies which are afraid at first of the buzzing of their own wings and cling to some one point of the wall until they realise that they are alive; then they fling themselves recklessly against door and walls until they fall dead around the floor. ”

“I felt that my lost memories and forgotten fears were all coming to life again: fear lest the feathers in my pillow should turn into dagger-blades or the buttons on my coat expand to the size of millstones; fear lest the breadcrumbs that fell to the floor should shatter into fragments like pieces of glass; apprehension lest the oil in the lamp should spill during my sleep and set fire to the whole city; anxiety lest the paws of the dog outside the butcher’s shop should ring like horses’ hoofs as they struck the ground; dread lest the old odds-and-ends man sitting behind his wares should burst into laughter and be unable to stop; fear lest the worms in the footbath by the tank in our court yard should turn into Indian serpents; fear lest my bedclothes should turn into a hinged gravestone above me and the marble teeth should lock, preventing me from ever escaping; panic fear lest I should suddenly lose the faculty of speech and, however much I might try to call out, nobody should ever come to my aid.”

footnote: “[A Persian superstition requires that, if anyone present should sneeze, any action which one may have been about to undertake be postponed.]”

“Death was murmuring his song in my ear like a stammering man who is obliged to repeat each word and who, when he has come to the end of a line, has to begin it afresh. His song penetrated my flesh like the whine of a saw. He would raise his voice and suddenly fall silent.”

some quotes I found alluring from The Blind Owl by Sadegh Hedayat

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