The Writings of Bruno Schultz

Robert Looby at the Dublin Review of Books:

Lovers of a spare prose style, not to mention tight plotting, may be disappointed by Bruno Schulz:

The world lay mute, unfolding and rising somewhere above, somewhere behind and deep inside – blissfully powerless – and floated on. At times it slowed and vaguely resembled something, it branched out in trees, grafted onto the gray day a thick, glistening net of bird twittering that had been thrown over it, and moved deep into the subterranean snakelike tangle of roots, into the blind pulsing of worms and caterpillars, the muffled darkness of chernozem and clay.

Born in 1892 in a part of Poland that now lies in Ukraine, Schulz’s “biography was monotonous and largely unvaried – as grey as the life of a provincial drawing teacher can be”, writes Jerzy Jarzębski in Poland’s National Library edition of Schulz’s works. Jerzy Ficowski, dedicated student and biographer of the writer, calls Schulz’s three-week trip to Paris his only international excursion, although in an earlier book he writes that Schulz spent several months studying in Vienna. Schulz also visited Stockholm, in 1936, and corresponded with the likes of Julian Tuwim, Witkacy (Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz) and Witold Gombrowicz, leading lights of 1930s Polish literature, among whose ranks he has long been counted.

more here.