Mr. Hedayat’s Friend
Gaspar Hedayat is named after one of the traditional three wise men and Sadegh Hedayat. I read The Blind Owl in college and never forgot it. Sadegh Hedayat’s insane, despairing vision of humanity fits well with that of Gaspar Hedayat, who styles himself a wise, holy seer of the degradation that defines humanity.
His is an assumed identity; it's all his own doing. He hasn't been appointed by anybody. He doesn't act at the direction of voices in his head; he's not that kind of crazy. He has no recognizable creed or following. There's also Sadegh Hedayat's suicide. An oblique reference but appropriate, I think.
The books mostly emphasize Gaspar Hedayat’s interest in things philosophical or religious with leanings toward the east. Romance of the Three Kingdoms just because it's exotic and I like it. Omar Khayyam and Bunch; sensual, fully-orbed humanity vs. humanity reduced to the barest essentials and immortalized in nasty machine bodies.
Hedayat is drawn to the Rubaiyat but chooses the sterile nihilism and brutality of Moderan. His book is a bridge from the “illusion” of the Rubaiyat to the bleak mechanistic “reality” of soulless Moderan and the inevitable destruction of the Grandy Wump.
Copyright © 2016 by Harry Lang
by Bewildering Stories