Aleksandr Čajanov–The Story of a Hairdresser’s Mannequin

One hundred steps into insanity

This is the story of a bored playboy architect, Vladimir, who, to escape a life in Moscow that he’s suddenly realized to be overwhelming and fake, decides to take a train to the meaningless province. There, he will find a new raison d’être, that is not a mere desire of oblivion – to forget his past, present, and all the women he cannot stop chasing – but a search from scratch, a formatting experience, and a new peculiar object of adoration: a wax dummy. Which of course represents a real person. Or rather two.
The narrative is punchy and adventurous: the architect is chasing two names across Europe, in circuses in which the two names perform, their places, their stories; to come to a Venetian meeting, revealing a chasm of passion; and a terrible tragedy, leading to madness and misery.
A beautiful short novel, written with clarity and coldness while narrating a devastating passion. The reader feels the anxiety of a constant search, and wants to know everything at once. The author pulls us closer, and accompanies us in rarefied, and perfectly human, follies. Memorable.

English version edited by Sara Di Girolamo