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The Street of Crocodiles

por Bruno Schulz

Outros autores: Celina Weinewska (Tradutor)

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,3844213,429 (4.13)128
In The Cinnamon Shops and Other Stories, Bruno Schulz describes in fantastical, mythologised terms the cloth merchant's shop where he grew up and the bizarre antics of his father, such as turning the attic into an aviary and expounding strange theories on mannequins. Two sides of the Galician town of Drohobycz are seen: the old town full of ancient mystery is contrasted with newer districts that have sprung up in response to oil mining in the area. The language is poetic, heady and oneiric, employing a rich system of imagery incorporating books and labyrinths.… (mais)
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Inglês (37)  Francês (1)  Dinamarquês (1)  Holandês (1)  Alemão (1)  Italiano (1)  Todas as línguas (42)
Mostrando 1-5 de 42 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Genuinely weird and wild, this book felt like a series of impeccably rendered and intense childhood dreams. ( )
  localgayangel | Mar 5, 2024 |
Personal 3 stars only because it's such a strongly visual book and I struggle with appreciating written imagery a lot of the time. The book is very dream-like: most stories are a journey from one extremely detailed surreal image of a scene to another, following a dream logic where the ending bears little relation to the start and there's very limited plot. Some of the scenes were very effective for me and stuck in my mind and the overall evocation of a particular city in a particular time is really powerful and realistic even as it's done through fantasy imagery. It's definitely an experience.

In the last story, The Comet, there was a particularly effective short scene where a relative submits to being turned into... a doorbell(?). I'll leave a little quote which struck me.

Uncle functioned excellently. There was no instance of his refusal to obey. Having discarded his complicated personality, in which at one time he had lost himself, he found at last the purity of a uniform and straightforward guiding principle to which he was subjected from now on. At the cost of his complexity, which he could manage only with difficulty, he had now achieved a simple problem-free immortality. Was he happy? One would ask that question in vain. A question like this makes sense only when applied to creatures who are rich in alternative possibilities, so that the actual truth can be contrasted with partly real probabilities and reflect itself in them. But Uncle Edward had no alternatives; the dichotomy "happy/unhappy" did not exist for him because he had been completely integrated. One had to admit to a grudging approval when one saw how punctually, how accurately he was functioning. Even his wife, Aunt Teresa, who followed him to our city, could not stop herself from pressing the button quite often, in order to hear that loud and sonorous sound in which she recognized the former timbre of her husband's voice in moments of irritation.
( )
  tombomp | Oct 31, 2023 |
Bruno Schulz's prose is rich with poetic imagery. His dreamlike surreal pace of this fictional autobiography could be considered an extended prose poem as well as a collection of short stories. Moving at a languid pace with dreamlike logic, it will unexpectedly turn into a frenzy of absurd brilliance, and along the way the author drops hints that all this is not as it seems.

For example, in the story “Cockroaches,” the protagonist confronts his mother about his eccentric deceased father’s remains. It starts with a description of stuffed condor that’s a bit worse for wear. His mother is reclining, suffering from a migraine, nevertheless he confronts her with the frank question: “I’ve been wanting to ask you for a long time: it is he isn’t it?” indicating the stuffed bird.

She accuses him of spreading stories and lies. Then she goes on to remind him of his father’s obsession with cockroaches that drove him into such a state that he became one and then flew apart into a swarm of them and scuttled off into the woodwork. He does remember all this.
“And yet, I say disconcerted, “I am sure that this condor is he.”

My mother looked at me from under her eyelashes.

“Don’t torture me darling; I have told you already that Father is away, traveling all over the country: he now has a job as a commercial traveler. You know that he sometimes come home at night and goes away again before dawn.”

In the following stories, his father, very much alive, is still with them, conducting experiments with electricity that apparently turns his brother-in-law into an electric bell that disintegrates just as the comet that about to destroy the world approaches Earth. ( )
  MaowangVater | May 31, 2023 |
I had high hopes for this book since it was mentioned in another Boxall's List book. I was very disappointed. While the metaphors are amazing, that is all that this book consists of. It's like reading a chronicle of nightmares. Not for me. ( )
  Kimberlyhi | Apr 15, 2023 |
This book was first published, in Polish, in 1934. It began as a series of letters from the reclusive Schulz to a friend, Deborah Vogel. Only two books by Schultz were published before he was murdered by the Gestapo in 1942. His novel, The Messiah, and his unpublished writings were lost.

Schulz's descriptions are like paintings, but more, because the objects are active and sounds, movement and colours all play a part.

"The dark second-floor apartment of the house in Market Square was shot through each day by the naked heat of summer: the silence of the shimmering streaks of air, the squares of brightness dreaming their intense dreams on the floor; the sound of a barrel organ rising from the deepest golden vein of a day; two or three bars of a chorus, played on a distant piano over and over again, melting in the sun on the white pavement, lost in the fire of high noon."

It's impossible to classify this book. It is a comic memoir with Schulz as the young narrator and his eccentric father as the main character. It is a fantasy of the end of the world, an elegy to the death of a Galician town and its way of life. In parts it makes no sense, but if you let the words wash over you, there is meaning all the same.

I really enjoyed this book, though it is not at all the sort of thing I usually read. I got lost, and had to re-read many paragraphs and pages, but because the book is so short there is no rush to reach the end. ( )
  pamelad | May 13, 2021 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (30 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Schulz, Brunoautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Weinewska, CelinaTradutorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Davis, John CurranTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ficowski, JerzyIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Gombrowicz, WitoldContribuidorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Hahn, JosefTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kandel, MichaelPrefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Rasch, GerardTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Wirth, AndrzejPosfácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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In July my father went to take the waters and left me, with my mother and elder brother, a prey to the blinding white heat of the summer days.
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The Street of Crocodiles (0140186255 etc.) is a collection of short stories but contains different stories that The Street of Crocodiles and Other Stories (0143105140 etc.), most notably the latter includes Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass. Please do not combine.
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In The Cinnamon Shops and Other Stories, Bruno Schulz describes in fantastical, mythologised terms the cloth merchant's shop where he grew up and the bizarre antics of his father, such as turning the attic into an aviary and expounding strange theories on mannequins. Two sides of the Galician town of Drohobycz are seen: the old town full of ancient mystery is contrasted with newer districts that have sprung up in response to oil mining in the area. The language is poetic, heady and oneiric, employing a rich system of imagery incorporating books and labyrinths.

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