Between Wolf & Dog
by Sasha Sokolov
Translated and annotated by Alexander Boguslawski
Sasha Sokolov is one of few writers to have been praised by Vladimir Nabokov, who called his first novel, A School for Fools, "an enchanting, tragic, and touching book." Sokolov's second novel, Between Dog and Wolf, written in 1980, has long intimidated translators because of its complex puns, rhymes, and neologisms. Language rather than plot motivates the story—the novel is often compared to James Joyce's Finnegans Wake—and time, characters, and death all prove unstable. The one constant is the Russian landscape, where the Volga is a more-crossable River Styx, especially when it freezes in winter. Sokolov's fiction has hugely influenced contemporary Russian writers. Now, thanks to Alexander Boguslawski's bold and superb translation, English readers can access what many consider to be his best work.
About the Author
Sasha Sokolov is the author of the novels A School for Fools (1976), Between Dog and Wolf (1980), and Astrophobia (1985) and the essay collection In the House of the Hanged (2011).
Alexander Boguslawski is professor of Russian at Rollins College and the translator of Sasha Sokolov's A School for Fools (2015) and In the House of the Hanged (2011).
Sasha Sokolov's Between Dog and Wolf, delivered in Alexander Boguslawski's masterful translation, comprises a daring act of immersion into the depths of language that results in semantic spasms of the great Russian literary body. The highly experimental novel, which unquestionably belongs to the highest literary ranks, announces the twilight of the novelistic tradition, but already eagerly awaits its imminent dawn.
Sokolov is one of those rare novelists whose primary concern is the praise and exploration of a language rather than the development of a position. In this, he is in the line of Gogol, Lermontov, Nabokov.
One feels the caliber and creativity of the original. This is a riot of language, invaluable for scholars and fascinating to the curious.