Bruno Schulz  

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"While Sacher-Masoch was immortalized when a term derived from his name was added to the lexicon of sexual aberrations, Schulz also gained a certain notoriety because of his addiction to masochism. This abnormality is especially conspicuous in his sketches, notably in his Book of Idolatry, a small edition of which was distributed to a few connoisseurs."--Canadian Slavonic Papers 1986

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Bruno Schulz (July 12, 1892 – November 19, 1942) was a Polish writer, fine artist, literary critic and art teacher. He is regarded as one of the great Polish-language prose stylists of the 20th century. In 1938, he was awarded the Polish Academy of Literature's prestigious Golden Laurel award. Several of Schulz's works were lost in the Holocaust, including short stories from the early 1940s and his final, unfinished novel The Messiah. Schulz was shot and killed by a German Nazi, a Gestapo officer, in 1942 while walking back home toward Drohobycz Ghetto with a loaf of bread.


Schulz's body of written work is rather small: The Street of Crocodiles, Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass and a few other compositions that the author did not add to the first edition of his short story collection. A collection of Schulz's letters were published in Polish in 1975, entitled The Book of Letters, and a number of critical essays Schulz wrote for various newspapers are also available. Several of Schulz's works have been lost, including some short stories from the early 1940s that the author had sent to be published in magazines, and his final unfinished novel The Messiah.

A new edition of Schulz's stories was published in 1957, leading to French, German, and later English translations. Cynthia Ozick's 1987 novel, The Messiah of Stockholm, contributed to popularizing Schulz's work. Her text concerns a Swiss man convinced that he is the son of Schulz, who comes into possession of what he believes to be a manuscript of Schulz's final project, The Messiah.

  • The Street of Crocodiles. New York: Walker and Company, 1963. (A translation by Celina Wieniewska of Sklepy Cynamonowe (Cinnamon Shops).)
  • Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass New York: Penguin, 1988. (A translation by Celina Wieniewska of Sanatorium Pod Klepsydrą, with an introduction by John Updike.) ISBN 0-14-005272-0
  • The Complete Fiction of Bruno Schulz. New York: Walker and Company, 1989. (Combination of the prior two collections.) ISBN 0-8027-1091-3
  • "Muse & Messiah: The Life, Imagination & Legacy of Bruno Schulz" by Brian R.Banks (Inkermen Press UK 2006)

Film Adaptations

Schulz's work has provided the basis for two films: Wojciech Has's The Hour-Glass Sanatorium (1973), drawing from a dozen of his stories and emphasizing the unforgettably dreamlike quality of his writings; and a short stop-motion animated film called Street of Crocodiles (1986) by Stephen and Timothy Quay.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Bruno Schulz" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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