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Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass…

Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass (edition 1997)

by Bruno Schulz, Celina Wieniewska (Translator)

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432924,401 (4.49)38
Title:Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass
Authors:Bruno Schulz
Other authors:Celina Wieniewska (Translator)
Info:Mariner Books (1997), Paperback, 200 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:poland, fiction, short stories, writers from the other europe, 2013 read, 2014 census

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Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass by Bruno Schulz



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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Not until I was more than halfway through the book did its power begin to exert itself, which might simply mean that the stories (and they are stories, which I hadn't realized at first, since the old edition I was reading seemed to present it as a novel with titled chapters) are arranged best last, or that one needs to adjust to the apparently dilatory and whimsical nature of the writing. The story "Loneliness," which is translated also as "Solitude" -- not at all the same thing! -- deserves five stars, as may the last story, though that one is perhaps too evidently influenced by Kafka, whom Schulz admired immensely.

So taken with the stories, eventually, was I that I now have them in another translation along with the Street of Crocodiles story collection and other writings in a single volume, at GoodReads here:
All of this seems to have been put on this site:
by a different translator, though the actual book is nice and the translator for all is listed as Celina Wieniewska, whose translation I found invisible yet attractive.

In summary, Bruno Schulz bears persisting and taking your time. ( )
  V.V.Harding | Apr 21, 2015 |
As a whole, I did not find this to be quite as strong as Schulz's first collection, The Street of Crocodiles. The main issue holding back that half star in my rating was the longest story, "Spring," which did not resonate with me. Though it had its moments, overall the premise was too fanciful in a way that kept losing my interest (sorry I can't be more specific than that). However, the remainder of the collection was more in line with what I love about Schulz: dreamy prose highly tuned into nature and the passage of time, peppered with quirky humor and an exquisite pathos. Loosely arranged as a movement through the seasons, both literally and metaphorically, the collection pairs well with Street of Crocodiles, and in fact the two were combined with a few of his uncollected stories into a later Penguin edition, which also includes Schulz's original drawings, providing a wondrous enhancement of his fictional universe. Highly recommended. ( )
1 vote S.D. | Jun 16, 2014 |
I read this book, which I've owned since the 70s, for the Reading Globally group read on Poland. It's difficult for me to know what to say about Schulz. His writing is often surreal and fantastical, and at the same time he very deeply observes the natural biological and meteorological world around him, and invests these elements with such power that the natural world almost is more of a character than the people. His writing is also very dense, almost claustrophobic in places, and he has a desolate view of the world. Nonetheless, I found some of the stories quite remarkable, including the title story, "Spring," "A Second Fall," and "Dead Season." My edition is also enlivened with sketches by the author to accompany some of the stories
  rebeccanyc | Apr 21, 2010 |
I found two stories in this set to be pretty good: the title one, and "The Old-Age Pensioner". I don't care for the writing even in those, but they make for good stories. The rest I found to be a waste of my time. ( )
  owen1218 | Apr 25, 2009 |
It might be fair to say that this is the weaker of Schulz' two collections; that is, it is not 100% consistently mind-blowing. Perhaps only 90-98%. Schuz' prose has the quality of being downright intoxicating. His tales all deal with his family and life in his hometown, but the incandescent profusion of language and imagery reveals the transcendent behind the ordinary.

The first three stories feature an obsession with texts, starting with The Book of the story by that name, in which the Authentic is regenerated, and finishing with the strange season of "Spring," in which a stamp album holds the secrets to the Hapsburg dynasty and a youthful love triangle.

In the title story, the narrator visits his father at a convalescent home, where death is kept at bay through entrechment in the past. As the not-days progress, he soon learns that he is living in recycled time.

"The Old Age Pensioner" and "Father's Last Escape" are haunting portrayals of the metamorphosis of old age and its approach to the final transmutation of death.

Schulz wrote like no one else, and his fantasies of the everyday are worth getting lost in. ( )
2 vote CarlosMcRey | Jan 29, 2009 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bruno Schulzprimary authorall editionscalculated
Updike, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wieniewska, CelinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I am simply calling it The Book without any epithets or qualifications, and in this sobriety there is a shade of helplessness, a silent capitulation before the vastness of the transcendental, for no word, no allusion, can adequately suggest the shiver of fear, the presentiment of a thing without name that exceeds all our capacity for wonder.
For, under the imaginary table that separates me from my readers, don't we secretly clasp each other's hands?
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Translation of: Sanatorium pod klepsydra
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140052720, Paperback)

This is the second and final work of Bruno Schulz, the acclaimed Polish writer killed by the Nazis during World War II. In the words of Isaac Bashevis Singer, "What he did in his short life was enough to make him one of the most remarkable writers who ever lived." Weaving myth, fantasy, and reality, Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass, is, to quote Schulz, "an attempt at eliciting the history of a certain family . . . by a search for the mythical sense, the essential core of that history."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:04 -0400)

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