(Un)masking Bruno Schulz

New Combinations, Further Fragmentations, Ultimate Reintegrations


Whatever critical scalpel one selects for dissecting the literary works of Bruno Schulz (1892-1942), there will always be a certain degree of textual resistance which cannot be broken. Or in other words, taking off one of Schulz’s many masks, one will probably never avoid the impression that a new mask has emerged. This book contributes to the three most typical critical strategies of reading Schulz’s works (combinations, fragmentations, reintegrations) – being fully aware, of course, of the relativity of each particular approach. In addition, the book sets out to explore all of Schulz’s creative output (i.e. his stories as well as his graphic, epistolary and even literary critical works), as one of Schulz’s main goals was exactly to cross artificially set up boundaries between, among other things, different artistic media of expression. The book for the first time brings together leading Schulzologists (Jarzębski, Robertson, Sproede) and their prospective successors (Augsburger, Gorin, Kato, Suchańska-Drażyńska, Underhill, Wojda), established Polish academics (Dąbrowski, Markowski, Skwara, Weretiuk) and their foreign counterparts (De Bruyn, Gall, Meyer-Fraatz, Schulte, Zieliński), scholars primarily working on other authors (Anessi, Śliwa, Żurek) and those focusing on other art forms (Sánchez-Pardo, Watt). The editors’ introduction offers an overview of seven decades of Schulzology. The book is of interest for both readers with a general interest in (world) literature and/or a particular interest in Polish and Jewish studies.

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Review Quotes

"These essays shed additional light on Schulz’s body of work, provide a productive means of expanding on older themes, and open up a breadth of new questions and possible roads of academic inquiry. In sum, this volume forms a Schulzology compendium that sets a new standard in any language for the study of this enigmatic author." – Ewa Wampuszyc, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in: Slavic and East European Journal 57/2 (2013), pp. 324-6
"[…] there is an unusually high percentage of quality essays with innovative approaches […]. We should expect that the collected essays in this volume will set the standard for Schulz studies in English. We can also hope that it will have an impact on the Polish-language sphere." – Jessie Labov, The Ohio State University, in: The Russian Review 71/3 (June 2012), pp. 509-10

Table of contents

Dieter De Bruyn & Kris Van Heuckelom: Introduction: Seven Decades of Schulzology
New Combinations: Literature
Karen Underhill: Ecstasy and Heresy: Martin Buber, Bruno Schulz, and Jewish Modernity
Andrea Meyer-Fraatz: Exposing and Concealing Jewish Origin: Bruno Schulz and Bolesław Leśmian
Sławomir Jacek Żurek: As One Kabbalist to Another… On Arnold Słucki’s Mystical Visions of the World in the Poem ‘Bruno Schulz’
Dieter De Bruyn: “The Lie Always Rises to the Surface like Oil”. Toward a Metafictional Reading of Karol Irzykowski’s Pałuba and Bruno Schulz’s Fiction
Anna Śliwa: “I Drew a Plan of an Imaginary City”. The Phenomenon of the City in Bruno Schulz and Miron Białoszewski
Alfred Gall: Mythopoetic Traditions and Inserted Treatises: Bruno Schulz and Danilo Kiš
Dorota Wojda: Bruno Schulz and the Magical Realism of Gabriel García Márquez in One Hundred Years of Solitude
New Combinations: Art
Marta Skwara: “A (Wo)man on a Sofa” in Bruno Schulz’s Art and Writings. Schulz as a “Painterly” and “Writerly” Artist
Ariko Kato: The Early Graphic Works of Bruno Schulz and Sacher-Masoch’s Venus in Furs: Schulz as a Modernist
Jan Zieliński: Zuloaga (Rilke?) Schulz
Esther Sánchez-Pardo: Bruno Schulz and Djuna Barnes: Border-crossing and Artistic Practice
Daniel Watt: Bruno Schulz’s Incomparable Realities: From Literature to Theatricality
Further Fragmentations
Mieczysław Dąbrowski: Aesthetics of Melancholy in Bruno Schulz’s Writings
Jerzy Jarzębski: Bruno Schulz and Seductive Discourse
Shlomit Gorin: Thinking About Absurdity with Bruno Schulz: Paradox and Potential
Marta Suchańska-Drażyńska: Jewish Mysticism – A Source of Similarities Between Bruno Schulz’s Writings and Psychoanalysis
Jörg Schulte: The Clepsydra of Empedocles and the Phenomena of Breath and Wind in Bruno Schulz’s Fiction
Thomas Anessi: The Great Heresy of the Varsovian Center
Oksana Weretiuk: The Ukrainian Reception of Bruno Schulz’s Writings: Paradox or Norm?
Ultimate Reintegrations
Michał Paweł Markowski: Text and Theater. The Ironic Imagination of Bruno Schulz
Theodosia Robertson: Bruno Schulz’s Intimate Communication: From the “True Viewer” of Xięga bałwochwalcza to the “True Reader” of ‘Księga’
Alfred Sproede: Bruno Schulz: Between Avant-Garde and Hasidic Redemption
Janis Augsburger: Poetical Fluidization and Intellectual Eclecticism in Bruno Schulz’s Writings

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