From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Bruno Schulz (July 12, 1892 – November 19, 1942) was a Polish novelist and painter, widely considered to be one of the greatest Polish prose stylists of the 20th century. Schulz was born in Drohobycz, at the time when it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in the province of Galicia (now Drohobych is in Ukraine) to assimiliated Jewish parents.
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)
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.