The Spectre of Alexander Wolf

The Spectre of Alexander Wolf

"Among all my recollections, among all the numberless sensations of life, the memory of the one murder that I had committed weighed heaviest on my mind ..."

On a searing hot day in 1919, a young Russian soldier shoots another in self-defence. As the other man lies dying, the young soldier takes his horse and rides away. Years later, as a grown man in Paris whose life is still haunted by the murder he committed all that time ago, he comes across a story by a writer calling himself "Alexander Wolf", which recounts in astonishing detail the events of that day in 1919 from the dying victim's point of view. As he attempts to find the elusive writer, the narrator becomes involved in a series of strange encounters that lead him to question life, death and his own identity.

Originally published in Russian in 1947-8 in the Russian-language New York periodical The New Review, and published now by Pushkin Press in its first new English translation since 1950, The Spectre of Alexander Wolf is an early postmodern classic that stands alongside the best work by Vladimir Nabokov and Paul Auster.

Title:The Spectre of Alexander Wolf
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781782270089
Format Type:

    The Spectre of Alexander Wolf Reviews

  • Karen

    First a bit of biography:Gaito Gazdanov was born Georgi Ivanovich Gazdanov in 1903 in St Petersburg, (unoriginal start) of Ossetian extraction. (is that relevant to anything?) (Ossetia is an ethnoling...

  • Vit Babenco

    Of all Gaito Gazdanov’s magnificent oeuvre The Spectre of Alexander Wolf was the novel that has surprised me most, I would even say that I was literally stricken by this unusual book fraught with so...

  • Daniela

    Gaito Gazdabov was a Russian writer born in Ossetia who enlisted in the White Army when he was just 16, and afterwards made it to Europe where he lived until his dead in 1971. For most of his life he ...

  • Susan

    Once again, Pushkin Press have rediscovered yet another fantastic novel for us to enjoy. This slim book was written by Russian emigre Gaito Gazdanov (Georgi Ivanovich Gazdanov, 1903-1971). Like the na...

  • Sophie

    Gazdanov's prose is definitely my cup of tea, I'm looking forward to reading more of his work.This novella is a mixture of detective novels, philosophical essays and romantic stories, that strongly re...

  • Vishy

    I discovered Gaito Gazdanov's 'The Spectre of Alexander Wolf' by a fortunate accident. I liked the storyline and got it and read it. The story told in the book goes like this. The narrator of the stor...

  • Bettie

    (view spoiler)[ Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)]...

  • Goatboy

    A beautiful lyrical novel. A meditation on life's random causal effects.Makes me feel grateful for having become aware of Gaito Gazdanov.What are those chance occurrences that mark your life like a th...

  • Liviu

    Technically a 2013 release (as a new translation in various languages - personally I read the Romanian language edition and browsed the Pushkin English language one) but actually originally published ...

  • Andy Weston

    The nameless narrator is haunted by the memory of a man he murdered in battle, as a 16 year old, a commonplace and senseless wartime killing, no one’s fault. For years after he is haunted by these i...