Friday, October 25, 2013

The Street of Crocodiles

Bruno Schulz’s The Street of Crocodiles has become a retrospective Jewish classic. Part of the reason is Schulz’s biography. A Jew living in Poland and writing in Polish, he lived in an unfortunate nexus where Polish nationalist anti-Semitism and the Nazi invasion of Poland met. The result is a legend, a missing novel, promising artist cut down as his best work was underway.

The fiction is a mix of paranoid and morbid fantasies, strange and diverse excursions into incomplete, unsatisfying words. The stories are connected with a strong father fixation, and Schulz connects them by intertwining characters and stories to make a sort of novel in stories.

All in all, Schulz presents a strange world and strange reading. The excursions into the bizarre can become bizarre. This is not reading that is grounded on this earth at all.

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