The Story and Stories of Bruno Schulz
April 8, 2005 12:56 PM   Subscribe

"For ordinary books are like meteors. Each of them has only one moment, a moment when it soars screaming like the phoenix, all its pages aflame. For that single moment we love them ever after, although they soon turn to ashes. With bitter resignation we sometimes wander late at night through the extinct pages that tell their stone dead messages like wooden rosary beads."
posted by felix betachat (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The days hardened with cold and boredom like last year's loaves. One began to cut them with blunt knives without appetite, with a lazy indifference.

Fabulous post felix betachat. I've only read one of the New Yorker articles and I think I'm already inspired to find Schulz's books. Some w/end delving ahead. Cheers.
posted by peacay at 1:25 PM on April 8, 2005

Excellent post. The resignation link makes me feel really conflicted. I understand that the Holocaust gives his art special context, yet it doesn't seem right to seem to value a man for his death. I'm not sure I know, but the Yad Vashem certainly doesn't seem interested in what anyone else thinks, does it?
posted by underer at 1:43 PM on April 8, 2005

posted by underer at 2:01 PM on April 8, 2005

The Street of Crocodiles is more than worthwhile.
posted by scrim at 2:21 PM on April 8, 2005

felix betachat, astounding post. From the first page you linked, I found this article particularly good.

underer, to me it's less that Schulz's death lends special credence to his art, but rather that his particular artistic temperament and subject matter and historical moment are so poignantly mirrored. From his letter quoted in the New Yorker article:

The books we read in childhood don't exist anymore; they sailed off with the wind, leaving bare skeletons behind...

From his letter quoted in the article I linked:

Just as for some rajah of melancholy and insatiable disposition any woman brushed by a male glance is already tainted and thereby unfit for anything but the silken noose, so for me any piece of time someone has laid claim to, has even casually mentioned in passing, is already marred, spoiled, unfit for consumption. I can't stand people laying claim to my time. They make the scrap they touched nauseating to me.

His work itself, so dominated by the interior world of childhood, by intense loneliness, bears all that out. Knowing how his time was so cruelly stolen, his work vanished, and his life ended adds a dimension of grief to his stories that are already so drenched in grieving.

felix, again -- thanks.
posted by melissa may at 6:32 PM on April 8, 2005


Great post, thanks. I love Schulz.
posted by OmieWise at 10:12 AM on April 11, 2005

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