Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Schulz was born in Austrian Galicia , Drohobycz (now Drohobych), (Galicja) and studied architecture at Lwow University and Fine Arts in Vienna. At a very early age he developed an interest in painting, and taught drawing in his home town, where his father, Jacob Schulz , was a paper-merchant.
He became a writer by chance: some letters that he wrote to a friend, in which he gave highly original accounts of his solitary life and the details of the lives of his fellow-citizens, eventually came to the attention of the novelist Zofia Nałkowska, who encouraged him to have them published as short fiction. In 1934, The Cinnamon Shops (Sklepy cynamonowe) was published; it is often known by its English title, Street of Crocodiles . It was followed three years later by Le Sanatorium au Croque-mort (Sanatorium Pod Klepsydrą). It is important to note that his original publications were fully illustrated by Schulz himself, in later editions of his work these illustrations are often left our or are poorly reproduced. While Schulz knew the German and Yiddish languages, he wrote his works in Polish. He also translated Franz Kafka's Der Prozess into Polish in 1936. In 1938, he was awarded the Golden Laurel of the Polish Academy of Literature .
He continued to live in Drohobycz, where the outbreak of World War II found him, which became Soviet-occupied territory. There are reports that he worked on a novel called The Messiah, but no trace of it survived his death. Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union, as a Jew he was forced to live in the ghetto of Drohobycz, but some accounts state he was “protected” by a Gestapo officer who admired his drawings. During the last weeks of his life, Schulz painted a mural in his home in Drohobycz, in the style with which he is identified. Shortly after completing the work, he was shot dead by a German officer, a rival of his protector, and his mural was hidden.
Schulz's writings have been the basis of two movies: Sanatorium pod klepsydrą (1973, released in the U.S. as The Sandglass ), a Polish adaptation of his stories that emphasizes the unforgettably dreamlike quality of his stories; and Street of Crocodiles (Ulica Krokodyli) (1986) by Stephen and Timothy Quay.
In 2001, representatives of Yad Vashem in Israel were allowed to come to Drohobycz to examine his final mural. Controversy ensued when the course of the next three days, they removed five sections of the mural and transported them to Jerusalem, lacking either authority or export licenses from Ukraine to do so.
- The Street of Crocodiles. New York: Walker and Company, 1963. (A translation by Celina Wieniewska of 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 0140052720
- The Complete Fiction of Bruno Schulz. New York: Walker and Company, 1989. (Combination of the prior two collections.) ISBN 0802710913
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