Summary Ghost of Alexander Wolf

Summary Ghost of Alexander Wolf

GI Gazdanov
The Phantom of Alexander Wolf
The most vivid and most painful recollection of the hero of the novel (in the future we will call him – the hero, because the narrator of the young journalist, the Russian emigrant in Paris, has no name, the novel is written in the first person) – a remembrance of what was committed in the years of the Civil War murder. Once in the summer, in the south of Russia, after the end of the battle, the hero rides a black mare on a desert road, and most of all he wants to sleep. On one of the turns of the road the horse is heavy and instantly falls on full gallop. Rising to his feet, the hero sees the approaching rider on a huge white horse. The rider tosses the rifle to his shoulder. The hero does not have a rifle for a long time,

but there is a revolver, which he hardly pulls out of a new and tight holster, and shoots. The rider falls. The hero comes to him with difficulty. This man is a blond, twenty-two or twenty-three years old – clearly dying, blood bubbles on his lips. He opens his clouded eyes, does not say a word and closes them again. A gust of wind brings to the hero the tramping of several horses. Sensing danger, he quickly leaves on the stallion of the killed. A few days before leaving Russia, the hero sells the stallion, throws the revolver into the sea, and from the whole episode he has only a painful memory. A few years later, when he has long been living in Paris, he comes across a collection of short stories by an English author whose name – Alexander Wolf – was completely unfamiliar. The story “Adventure in the steppe” strikes the hero. He begins with praise to the white stallion (“He was so good that I would like to compare him with one of those horses mentioned in the Apocalypse”). Then follows the description of the scene experienced by the hero: an unbearably hot day, a winding road, a horseman on a black mare, who fell with her. The white stallion continued to go to the place where, as the author wrote, with an incomprehensible stillness stood a man with a revolver. Then the author delayed the swift
move of the horse and put the rifle to his shoulder, but suddenly felt a deadly pain in the body and hot darkness in his eyes. In the dying delirium, he felt that someone was standing over him, he opened his eyes to see his death. To his surprise, a boy of about fifteen, with a pale, tired face and distant, probably sleepy eyes, bent over him. Then the boy moved away, and the author again lost his senses and came to himself only many days later in the hospital. “The fact that he got into me,” Alexander Wolff wrote, “was, most likely, accidental, but, of course,
The hero understands that the author of the book, Alexander Volf, is the person in whom he shot. It is incomprehensible only how he could turn out to be an English writer. The hero wants to see Wolff. Once in London, he comes to the director of the publisher who released the book, but it turns out that Wolf does not exist in England.
In Paris, the hero must make a report about the finals of the world championship in boxing. An unfamiliar young woman asks to hold her to the match, moreover, the hero notes, such an address to a stranger is not characteristic of her. A woman turns out to be a compatriot of the hero. Their acquaintance continues. Elena Nikolaevna – that’s the name of a woman – was recently widowed, her husband was an American, she herself lived for some time in London.
They become lovers, the feeling for Elena transforms the world for the hero – “everything seemed to me changed and different, like a forest after the rain.” But something in Elena remains closed to the hero, and he is convinced that for a certain period of her life “some kind of shadow” lay down. ” One day she tells him how, in London, visiting friends she met a man who soon became her lover. This man was clever, educated, he opened to her a whole world, which she did not know, and “there was a raid of cold and calm despair on all this”, to which she did not cease to resist internally. “The best, most beautiful things lost their charm, as soon as it touched them.” But his attraction was irresistible. On a long journey towards death, he was supported by the use of morphine. He tried to accustom him to morphia and Elena Nikolaevna, but he did not succeed. The influence of this man on her was enormous: what seemed important and essential to her, irresistible and, as it seemed to her, irretrievably lost its value. With the last effort of will she collected her things and left for Paris. But before that Elena did everything she could to bring him back to normal life. In the last conversation with her, he said that she would never be the same as before, because this is unlikely, and because he will not allow it. Leaving him, Elena was convinced that in many respects he was right. She was poisoned by his intimacy and only now begins to feel that, maybe, it is not irrevocable. irrevocably lost its value. With the last effort of will she collected her things and left for Paris. But before that Elena did everything she could to bring him back to normal life. In the last conversation with her, he said that she would never be the same as before, because this is unlikely, and because he will not allow it. Leaving him, Elena was convinced that in many respects he was right. She was poisoned by his intimacy and only now begins to feel that, maybe, it is not irrevocable. irrevocably lost its value. With the last effort of will she collected her things and left for Paris. But before that Elena did everything she could to bring him back to normal life. In the last conversation with her, he said that she would never be the same as before, because this is unlikely, and because he will not allow it. Leaving him, Elena was convinced that in many respects he was right. She was poisoned by his intimacy and only now begins to feel that, maybe, it is not irrevocable.
In the Russian restaurant, the hero finds his acquaintance, Vladimir Petrovich Voznesensky, who previously told him about Alexander Volf (in particular, that his mistress, Gypsy Marina, had gone to Wolf). Voznesenskii introduces the hero to the person sitting next to him; it turns out that this is Alexander Wolf. The hero, seeing Wolff the next day, tells his part of the story described in the story. The conversation interrupts Voznesensky’s coming, and Wolf and the hero meet again. Wolf mentions the purpose of his visit to Paris – this is “the solution of one complex psychological problem.” Analyzing his impressions after the meetings with Wolff, the hero realizes that Wolf carries death with him or meets her, personifying a blind movement.
The hero, writing an article about the sudden dramatic death of a Parisian robber, “curly Pierrot”, with whom he was familiar, feels sad and depressed. The only person he wants to see is Elena. And, without waiting four hours, when she promised to come to him, he goes to her, opens the door with his key and hears from her room high voices. Then Elena’s terrible cry is heard: “Never, you hear, never!” – and there is a ringing of broken glass and a shot. Snatching the revolver, the hero rushes into the room, sees Elena and a man with a weapon aimed at her and shoots at him, not aiming. She sees blood on Elena’s white dress – she is wounded in the left shoulder. Then he bends down over the fallen man and – “time has sunk and disappeared” – sees before him the dead eyes of Alexander Wolf.


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Summary Ghost of Alexander Wolf