Gareth Lewis's Reviews > The Street of Crocodiles

The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz
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's review
Dec 22, 2011

really liked it

Irritatingly marvelous descriptions of absolutely everything, and some of the most surreal domestic parables you'll ever encounter. He was a complete one-off, and this book is pretty much all there is to his name (a lost masterpiece is rumoured to be...well...lost). I'd take Schultz over Borges any day.

“Figures in a waxwork museum,” he began, “even fairground parodies of dummies, must not be treated lightly. Matter never makes jokes: it is always full of the tragically serious. Who dares to think that you can play with matter, that you can shape it for a joke, that the joke will not be built in, will not eat into it like fate, like destiny? Can you imagine the pain, the dull imprisoned suffering, hewn into the matter of that dummy which does not know why it must be what it is, why it must remain in that forcibly imposed form which is no more than a parody? Do you understand the power of form, of expression, or pretense, the arbitrary tyranny imposed on a helpless block, and ruling it like its own, tyrannical, despotic, soul? You give it a head of canvas and oakum an expression of anger and leave it with it, with the convulsion, the tension enclosed once and for all, with a blind fury for which there is no outlet. The crowd laughs at the parody. Weep, ladies, over your own fate, when you see the misery of imprisoned matter, of tortured matter which does not know what it is and why it is, nor where the gesture may lead that has been imposed on it forever.”

From ‘Tailors’ Dummies’ by Bruno Schultz.

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