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Comment: Ex-library book, usual markings. Hardback rebound by library with green cloth. Clean copy, sound binding, intentional flecking on page edges. Quick dispatch from UK seller.
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The spectre of Alexander Wolf Hardcover – 1 Jan 1950

4.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 189 pages
  • Publisher: Cape; First edition edition (1950)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0000CHR9L
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,835,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


We decadent Westerners, who are finally allowed to read Gazdanov ... love his contemporary narratory style because it's now action, now reflection, and at the end there is always a perfect, but uncontrived, solution as in an HBO-series. ... Gazdanov teaches us with each line of his beautiful, sad, ambivalent prose that always drifts into the essayistic to love our beautiful, broken, neurotic lives.--Maxim Biller, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung

How each of us forms his memories is the theme of this novel. Rarely has one read about it as elegantly, as deeply and despite everything so comfortingly as here.--Tilman Spreckelsen, Frankfurter Allgemeine

A stroke of luck for the reader ... a novel which, on few pages, in scenes which one cannot quickly forget, deals with forlornness, enjoyment, distraction, with love, death and coincidence all that, which makes the human life beautiful and unbearable ... Already it's a favourite book.--Jens Bisky, Süddeutsche Zeitung

Fantastic, clever, precise and so thrilling, and at the same time modern in a cool way ... The Spectre of Alexander Wolf is a novel which can change your life. If you're prepared for the trip.--Georg Diez, Kultur SPIEGEL

One hasn't read such a humanely fine and moving novel about the great twentieth-century Ice Age of the Soul in a long time.--Iris Radisch, Zeit

The Spectre of Alexander Wolf becomes a study of the soul in the zone of death, written with a fine criminological sense, churning us up, gripping, exciting. --Andreas Puff-Trojan, Die Welt

Of course, you sense yourself that you are very talented. And I want to add that you are talented in your own, very special way. I can say this with some justification, because I have read not only An Evening with Claire, but also some of your short stories. --Maxim Gorki, letter to Gazdanov, February 1930

What saved Gazdanov as a person was Gazdanov the writer, who in his art transformed the unbearable reality of his life, his time and the society in which he lived not into a falsified, tacky image or into a philistine dream of a wonderful life, but into a metaphysical scream, which, because of its intensity and its sincerity, sounds into the deepest reaches of the human soul and moves and satisfies us through the power of its expression. In this sense Gazdanov s artistic style grants the wonderful life the shape of reality, of life, as it should be and as it only exists in art. --Laszlo Dienes, University of Massachusetts Amherst

"A lost classic" Sunday Telegraph

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Gaito Gazdanov (Georgi Ivanovich Gazdanov, 1903-1971) was the son of a forester. Born in St Petersburg and brought up in Siberia and Ukraine, he joined Baron Wrangel's White Army in 1919 aged just sixteen, and fought in the Russian Civil War until the Army's evacuation from the Krimea in 1920. After a brief sojourn in Gallipoli and Contantinople (where he completed secondary school), he moved to Paris, where he spent eight years variously working as a docker, washing locomotives, and in the Citroën factory. During periods of unemployment, he slept on park benches or in the Métro. In 1928, he became a taxi driver, working nights, which enabled him to write and to attend lectures at the Sorbonne during the day. His first stories began appearing in 1926, in Russian émigré periodicals, and he soon became part of the literary scene. In 1929 he published An Evening with Claire, which was acclaimed by, among others, Maxim Gorki and the great critic Vladislav Khodasevich. He died in Munich in 1971, and is buried in the Russian cemetery of Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois near Paris. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 October 2014
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