Decay is the Way Dead Things Live

JACOB MIKANOWSKI

on Bruno Schulz, Jindřich Štyrský,
and other modernist masters of matter.


The fiction of Bruno Schulz is alive with dead things. His stories all take place in the narrow landscape of his childhood: the small, provincial town of Drohobycz in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire and is now western Ukraine, a few years after the start of the twentieth century. At the same time, they seem to occupy a separate cosmos, one whose physics, biology and even meteorology are distinct from our own. Schulz’s Drohobycz is a city of abnormal winds, intercalated seasons and illusory geography, in which time is entirely plastic, stretching out and contracting according to its own desires.

Here, the boundaries between people and things aren’t fixed. Human beings are susceptible to sudden, inexplicable transformations. They turn into animals — cockroaches, flies, crustaceans — and objects — a pile of ash, a primitive telegraph, a heap of rubbish, the rubber tube of an enema. A flock of multicolored birds flies from the family house in winter; in the fall, it returns blind and misshapen, the birds’ anatomy a nonsense of cardboard and carrion. The substance of reality seems paper-thin and prone to tearing. In attics, darkness degenerates and ferments. Unmade beds rise like dough. Colorless poppies sprout out of the weightless fabric of nightmares and hashish.

Read More

(Source: lareviewofbooks)


♥   71 notes

2 years ago

  1. majortomstincan reblogged this from kalliope-amorphous
  2. kalliope-amorphous reblogged this from lareviewofbooks
  3. center-for-chthonic-studies reblogged this from lareviewofbooks and added:
    The Schulzian Principle: if one writes about Schulz, then one writes like Schulz.
  4. cocophony reblogged this from lareviewofbooks
  5. 0nlybyth3n1ght reblogged this from lareviewofbooks and added:
    JACOB MIKANOWSKI on Bruno Schulz, Jindřich Štyrský, and other modernist masters of matter. Dream of Butterflies,...
  6. nsahota01 reblogged this from lareviewofbooks
  7. pelicanese reblogged this from lareviewofbooks
  8. dumbassfils reblogged this from lareviewofbooks
  9. missescargotpudding reblogged this from lareviewofbooks
  10. steinfreedom reblogged this from lareviewofbooks
  11. simpleessentialelements reblogged this from lareviewofbooks
  12. candioso reblogged this from lareviewofbooks
  13. rockhyrax reblogged this from twistedspoonpress and added:
    Amazing article about Bruno Schulz, Jindrich Styrsky, and the origins of organic life in Victorian pseudoscience. (Via...
  14. twistedspoonpress reblogged this from lareviewofbooks
  15. athousandtinylives reblogged this from lareviewofbooks