A review of
The Street of Crocodiles
by Bruno Schulz
Bruno Schulz has sustained a premier yet often unrecognized position in the mythology of twentieth-century literature, famously inspiring authors and artists from Philip Roth to the Brothers Quay despite the fact that, since his mainstream English introduction in 1977, only his first publication has been consistently available. Thirty years later, Penguin Classics has released a new edition titled The Street of Crocodiles and Other Stories, which includes the title book, three literary sketches, and Schulz’s second collection, Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass, with his original drawings.
In Schulz’s dreamlike stories, the provincial—that which is banal, in-between, unnoticed—becomes the universe itself. Schulz takes images or scenes ignored by many but primary to him, and purposefully confounds them with pleonastic descriptions, complicated explanations, and philosophized word-dances.
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