THE LAST WOLF / HERMAN • Laszlo KrasznahorkaiHardcover
New Directions / 2009
The Last Wolf (translated by George Szirtes) is Krasznahorkai in a maddening nutshell—it features a classic obsessed narrator, a man hired (by mistake) to write the true tale of the last wolf in Spain. This miserable experience (being mistaken for another person, dragged about a cold foreign place, and appalled by a species’s end) is narrated—all in a single sentence—as a sad looping tale, a howl more or less, in a dreary Berlin bar to a patently bored bartender.
Herman (translated by John Batki), “a peerless virtuoso of trapping who guards the splendid mysteries of an ancient craft gradually sinking into permanent oblivion,” is asked to clear a forest’s last “noxious beasts.” He begins with great zeal, although in time he “suspects that maybe he was ‘on the wrong scent.’” Herman switches sides, deciding to track entirely new game …
︎ Condition note: Very good