The Street of Crocodiles (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin) [Bruno Schulz, Celina Wieniewska, Jerzy Ficowski] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying. The Street of Crocodiles and Other Stories (Penguin Classics) [Bruno Schulz, Celina Wieniewska, David Goldfarb, Jonathan Safran Foer] on Schulz, Bruno: The Street of Crocodiles revd by Cynthia Ozick; illus.
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Like many of them, he was Jewish, schupz like too many of them — that is, any of them — his career and life were cut short. The Atreet of Crocodilestr. I was right and wrong: Equally it is not quite a novel; it is more a story cycle, with recurring characters and themes, where the end and the beginning are arbitrary, and the potential seems infinite.
Discovering Schulz is like reading Kafka or Robert Walser for the first time: Here is a new way of looking at the world.
The writing brunno vivid and violent, the imagery brruno, the imagination unfettered. This is partly because the settings are notionally mundane: Typically for great writing, the subject is secondary to inseparable from the treatment. Sound and vision is turned up to maximum: His face seemed like the breath of a face — a smudge which an unknown passerby had left in the air.
Of all the family members Schulz details, his father holds his fascination the most; he is the central character of The Street of Crocodilesas far as it has one. We became used to his harmless presence, to his soft babbling, and that childlike self-absorbed twittering, which sounded as if they came from the margin of our own time.
He begins to disappear. All attempts at organizing matter are transient and temporary, easy to reverse and to crododiles. There is no evil in reducing life to other and newer forms. Homicide is not a sin. It is sometimes a necessary streey on resistant and ossified forms of existence which have ceased to be amusing. These passages convey the surprising, eccentric and sobering qualities of this extraordinary book.
Time itself does not behave: He took the grim reality of life in eastern Europe and exchanged it for the strangest fiction; he evaded his brutal death by escaping into literature.
Bruno Schulz: The Street of Crocodiles | Asylum
But when stood in the corner, between the door and the stove, that silent woman became mistress of the situation. They waited with attention, and patience on the silent idol, which was difficult to please.
That moloch was inexorable as only a female moloch can be, and sent them back to work again and again, and they, thin and spindly, like wooden spools from which thread is unwound and as mobile, manipulated with noisy scissors into its colourful mass, whirred the sewing machine, treading its pedal with one cheap patent-leathered foot, while around them grew a heap of cuttings, of motley rags and pieces, like husks and chaff spat out by two fussy and prodigal parrots.
The curved jaw of the scissors tapped open like the beaks of those exotic birds. Still, the comparisons you make support it. This goes straight on the TBR pile I think. Even more extraordinary, Max, is that the book is not published in the UK: Of course I think they distribute it here too, but for it not to have a UK home of its own seems bizarre. That Writers from the Other Europe series does sound marvellous. Well perhaps the Picador edition published in is the one Linda has?
The Street of Crocodiles and Other Stories Reader’s Guide
Thanks for the info, seventydys. Did anyone else see the wonderful Theatre de Complicite production based on this book? It was extraordinarily inventive, funny and tragic — a fitting tribute to the novel. I watched a Cambridge sixth form production of the Theatre de Complicite version of Street of Crocodiles. It was absolutely spellbinding. Others, on Twitter, also praised the Theatre de Complicite production. I hope I get to see it one day. Great review and sounds wonderful — the excerpts suggest great things.
Even having quiet background music on results in an excess of sense data: But then perhaps I am unused to this kind of writing, sat as it is at the far end of the see-saw from the minimalism you might associate with writing coming from the opposite direction, i. He wrote in English? Hi agt, indeed not: Certainly it will be interesting to see if what Foer has made from the book has any resonance with the original I hope so; Foer wrote the introduction to this edition.
What form did it take? It took the form of a series of sketches with the cast all playing a variety of roles apart from the actor who played the central character. It involved music, movement, posture, dance and dialogue and it also played around with perspective with sets that were reminiscent of German Expressionist art.
Impossible for me to describe effectively. At the end the central character was murdered offstage. He bruni reappeared and slowly stripped off his clothes and stood in his underwear. His family members were sitting in a row of chairs facing the audience I suppose this represented the Jewish tradition of buno with the stfeet. The young manthough he was tall and thin, crouched into a fetal position like a small child and was then passed from the lap of one family member to the other ending with his mother.
All this was done with extraordinary tenderness. This book is on my wish list.
Your review sums it up in exactly the way that I imagined it. You have inspired me anew to get my paws on a copy. Edgy, balletic and charged with a vertigo-inducing energy — it felt like being dropped into the world of the book. Both Poles and Israelis have claimed Bruno Schultz in the competition for national identity.
Needless to say, I believe that a writer belongs first of all to their language, and then to their strreet, but there are not many Polish speaking Jews left today, and not enough Polish readers of Schultz. Visiting Poland in search syreet its Jewish past is a dispiriting experience.
A few years ago I went to the town where my father was born. In it was 70 per cent Jewish, in50 per cent Jewish and by 0 per cent Jewish. The only sign that Jews ever lived there was a plaque marking the place where the ghetto was, used as an assembly point for Treblinka, one of the most awful of the death camps, and a Jewish cemetery defaced with swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti. The German slogan Jude Raus means Jews out. Schultz is very widely read in Poland.
I suspect being out of print in the UK is mostly due to the relative lack of interest in Central and Eastern European literature generally. On Poland, some years ago I worked on a Polish power plant financing. When I did Greek projects, the risk of archaeological discoveries and so having to stop or pause works was a major concern that needed careful consideration. In Poland the risk was of finding mass graves. The translation is the Wieniewska, and the 13 stories are interspersed with 30 drawings by Schulz.
The introduction is by John Updike. In the introduction, Updike inserts a quote about Schulz by I. Thanks for the comments everyone. Isabella, I stand corrected on the Ozick! I had read that the original title in English too had been Cinnamon Shops. Todd, thanks for the info. Someone else mentioned the Writers from the Other Europe series upthread — it looks like a fascinating list.
As an added incentive, I believe Chris Power is going to write it up on his occasional short story blog series at the Guardian. What a perfect response. I wish my own literature syllabus had had such energising stuff in it. Thank for the review.
I have to say that before I read this post, I was not familiar with Bruno Schulz, but I am definitely going to have to check out this book. And look into the other books that he has written. Thanks for the post!
Wow — I was just reading about The Tree of Codes and then came across your review of The Street of Crocodiles — which seems essential reading now and definitely to be read before tackling the Foer, which does intrigue strert enormously. Would have loved to see that theatre piece too. It can be obtained here quite cheaply… http: Thanks for the info, James sorry for the croodiles in your comment going up; the spam filter quarantined it because of the link.
For me, it seems as though a writer belongs first to him or herself and that writing is, in fact, a way of exploring questions of identity. I expect that this difference of opinion is, in part, responsible for the Structuralist notion that the author is dead! A delayed second comment: John, you might also enjoy it because the central character is a book reviewer accused of being too much interested in Central European fiction.
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Notify me of new posts via email. It sounds like the kind of book Pushkin Press would normally be all over. Nice quote from Linda too.