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Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass (edition 1997)

by Bruno Schulz, Celina Wieniewska (Translator)

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360None30,138 (4.51)31
Member:plaugher
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
Rating:****
Tags:literature, poland, fiction, short stories, 2013 read

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Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass by Bruno Schulz

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» See also 31 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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 |
yes!!! ( )
  experimentalis | Jan 2, 2008 |
"Now at last one can understand the great and sad machinery of spring. Ah, how it thrives on stories, on events, on chronicles, on destinies! Everything we have ever read, all the stories we have heard and those we have never heard before but have been dreaming since childhood — here and nowhere else is their home and their motherland. Where would writers find their ideas, how would they muster the courage for invention, had they not been aware of these reserves, this frozen capital, these funds salted away in the underworld?"

It looks like Schulz thought of 'The Well of Lost Plots' before Fforde. This is a collection of short stories by the author of The Street of Crocodiles and was written in the Thirties. Patchier than Crocodiles, but it has some good stories featuring the father. In various stories he : goes mad, turns into an invertebrate, turns into a door lintel, and joins the Fire Brigade. Schulz weaves fantastical stories from the mundane and ordinary. Events, people, buildings, even the seasons become living things; nights are alive, and the line between existence and non-existence can be crossed and re-crossed. Schulz was a one-off. ( )
2 vote Greatrakes | Sep 4, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bruno Schulzprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Updike, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wieniewska, CelinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:48 -0400)

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