He was small, unattractive and sickly, with a thin angular body and brown, deep-set eyes in a pale triangular face.
Thus begins the translator’s preface to this collection of Schulz’s fiction. The stories spill over with blinding white sunlight, dust rising from the roads, the odour of ripe apricots, nooks, broken furniture, and all manner of kitchen utensils. Be warned: This is not a spare, understated style of writing. This is a hothouse of impressions.
Schulz came from a city you have never heard of, and few knew him as anything other than a schoolteacher in the local liceum on the day he was casually shot by a Gestapo officer.
His work has often been compared with Kafka’s. (Schulz was the first to translate Kafka into Polish, but this was after Schulz’s main works were completed.) Both created private works of the imagination which only indirectly reflect on the age in which they lived.
Read him and enjoy the cumulative sentences, the rich descriptions, and the odour of concealed corruption that permeates the street of crocodiles.