Bruno Schulz: An Artist, A Murder, And The Hijacking Of History

Joshua Cohen at the NY Times:

Bruno Schulz was a gnomish, cockeyed Polonophone Jew whose writing gave sophisticated expression to the wondrous vagary and uncertainty and foreboding of childhood, without forcing it to — actually, without letting it — grow up. His two volumes of fiction — the sum total of his surviving work save a few scraps that, given Schulz’s focus on youth, one hesitates to call juvenilia — are rife with how small it can feel to be small; they are claustral with the creeping tensions and melancholy of adult domesticity, and slyly attentive to the vulnerability of boredom that can, suddenly, crashingly, turn one’s head to sex.

The family that recurs throughout his corpus, a family that resembles his own, dwells in a dim, dusty house of uncountable rooms, stuffed with tailors’ dummies, taxidermy and raggedy toys, frescoes, panoramas, postcards, stamp albums and theatrical props. This visual excess, which is matched and mismatched by Schulz’s bric-a-brac prose, enables one of the author’s signature techniques: the description of a thing through a description of an image of that thing.

more here.