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The Cinnamon Shops
Bruno Schulz
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The Cinnamon Shops

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  7,088 ratings  ·  604 reviews
Sklepy cynamonowe to zbiór opowiadań, których akcja usytuowana jest w niewielkim galicyjskim miasteczku, przypominającym do złudzenia rodzinny Drohobycz Bruno Schulza. Najważniejszą postacią książki jest Ojciec, nie tylko jako głowa rodu, kupiec prowadzący poważny interes w rynku, ale też szalony eksperymentator, wręcz demiurg. Ale równie ważny jest narrator, młody chłopie ...more
Published (first published 1933)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
”They maintain that every woman in that district is a tart. In fact, it is enough to stare at any of them, and at once you meet an insistent clinging look which freezes you with the certainty of fulfillment. Even the schoolgirls wear their hair ribbons in a characteristic way and walk on their slim legs with a peculiar step, an impure expression in their eyes that foreshadows their future corruption.”

 photo Schulz sketch_zpslxmhu8eq.jpg
Schulz sketch

There is a sexual madness bubbling in the corners of every scene in this collec
Bill Kerwin
Sep 16, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: weird-fiction

A strange, uneven book of fiction, but one that is oddly compelling. It is somewhat like magic realism, but more primeval and mythic than the dark fairy tales of Marquez. It is a little like Kafka too, but much more energetic, teeming with life.

If Egon Schiele wrote fiction, it might be something like this.
Jim Fonseca
Imaginative Borges-like fantasy and wildly descriptive writing in this collection of connected short stories that are semi-autobiographical. Who else can write fascinating paragraphs about bedclothes like this, from the story “Uncle Charles”?


“Since his wife’s departure, the house had not been cleaned, the bed not made. Charles returned home late at night, battered and bruised by the nightly revels to which he succumbed under the pressure of the hot empty days. The crushed, cool, disordered bedc
Vit Babenco
Jan 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every unique author is unique in his own way… And Bruno Schulz is one of the inarguable proofs.
The Demiurge has had no monopoly of creation, for creation is the privilege of all spirits. Matter has been given infinite fertility, inexhaustible vitality, and, at the same time, a seductive power of temptation which invites us to create as well. In the depth of matter, indistinct smiles are shaped, tensions build up, attempts at form appear. The whole of matter pulsates with infinite possibilities t
Before Bruno Schulz was shot in the street in one of the many actions of Nazi Terror in 1942, he was a unique human being with a beautiful sense of humour and a lightness that makes one feel sad.

Before Bruno Schulz fell victim to the absurdity of fascist hatred, he was a writer of seemingly endless imagination, who could find magic in the smallest of circumstances and even let a Tailor's Dummy have its rights.

Before Bruno Schulz lost his life and most of his writing to the worst criminal reign
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: slavic, jewish, favourites
There Is No Dead Matter

No one knows how to distinguish living from non-living matter. At the boundary between them the A-level “7 Characteristics of Life” break down. Viruses, some organic chemical compounds, prions, perhaps some bacteria, among other things don’t fit neatly into the biological vs. merely material categorisation. We are accustomed to thinking in Darwinian terms: Mind, we presume, emerges in an evolutionary process from matter.

But the 19th century American philosopher C. S. Peir

Bruno Schulz, loner from Drogobych as he was named, in this collection of short stories, impressions actually, evokes that distant land called childhood.

At the centre of that created world is, quite patriarchal, figure of the father - unstuck from reality , absorbed in thoughts and deep in his eccentricities. Birds, mannequins and cockroaches gradually are occupying his mind. One by one , he shook off the bonds off association with human society.

In the background are the other people around the
Susan Budd
Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bruno Schulz had an imagination like no one else. His metaphors, similes, and personifications whirl the reader through a cosmos as vivid and surreal as Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” His characters prophesy like the enigmatic beings that inhabit the pages of William Blake. At once fiction and nonfiction, prose and poetry, memory and dream, The Street of Crocodiles defies categorization.

Schulz is sometimes compared to Kafka, but he should not be. He is not Kafkaesque. The world of Kafka is a nightm
Ian "Marvin" Graye

This volume contains two collections of short stories and three additional stories that were originally published with Schulz's letters, drawings and miscellaneous prose.

I'll review each of the collections separately under their GR titles.

After only two or three stories, I started having really vivid responses, which I turned into a story. I normally place any creative responses to a book at the end of my more analytical review. However, this time, I'll reverse the order, so that the revi
Apr 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: holocaust
My father survived World War II hiding in a bunker under the town of Drohobych, so I feel eerily connected to this man and his work.

It would be fair to call Bruno Schulz Poland's greatest twentieth century writer. This collection of stories changes the very definition of what a short story should be. There is a beginning, a middle, and an end, yes, but the writing is best described as delirious, hypnotic, dreamlike. You don't read Schulz for the plot; you read for the prose, the intensely sensu
Nora Dillonovich
Dec 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: tout le monde
In the spirit of my rambling memoir/ book reviews I will begin with a childhood anecdote that somehow connects or correlates or resonates or slaps a high five with this book.

I was raised by a sugar-free bran loving mother. No soda ("You're better off drinking pool water Nora! Here, Christ, take a straw; go out and drink pool water if you're so intent on poisoning yourself.") No white bread (again, a reference to cholorine or bleach- some sort of chemical that would rot and/ or sicken my small i
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading Schulz's work is like discovering my newest, best literary friend. Bruno, I wish you had lived longer, though your tragic end might have been merciful, given the later alternatives. It was a strange end to an author of strange work.

The Street of Crocodiles is a fever dream. It is the exposure of the bizarre from behind the curtain of what is "proper". The setting here is every bit as much of a character as the humans, dogs, and birds we come to know:

After we passed a few more houses, the
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: immortal
This book. This goddamn book.

The Street of Crocodiles tore threw me like electricity. Or enchiladas. Or electric enchiladas. You get the picture. It is so painfully lovely, so exquisitely wrought, that you have to read it to believe the defying of gravity that Schulz accomplishes here. This rare astronaut; this martyred martian. The most immediate comparison (which I don’t know why I feel compelled to make, other than with hope that it compels someone to read it) is Calvino’s Cities. In terms o
Mar 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-fiction
Do Furniture and wallpaper have life? Are they in permanent chaos? Are they subject to the workings of systems and so with that are as entropic as all other systems? Do Demiurges treat tailors dummies no different than empty rooms? Can a man turn into the rubber tube of an enema?
In dementia can wise questions come. Tailors Dummy is a work of genius.

So is Birds. Cinnamon Shops and The Comet come so close.
But I don’t feel much different than I did about Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglas
K.D. Absolutely
Mar 20, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jayson Fajardo
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2008-2012)
I was led to this book by Cynthia Ozick because in her 501 book, The Messiah of Stockholm (3 stars), she has a protagonist named Lars Andeming who thinks that he is the son of Bruno Schulz (1892-1942). So when I googled Schulz, I saw that he has this book, The Street of Crocodile that is included in the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. Bruno Schulz was a Polish writer who was finishing a novel entitled Messiah when he was shot by German Nazi in 1942. The manuscript has been missing sinc ...more
When I think about Bruno Schulz' life story, I always feel a pang in my heart. I'm known for my displays of pity regarding every living being, even trees (several nights ago, after a big storm, I found a young tree that was bent and was probably going to be cut down; I felt so sorry for it that went out, straightened it and tied it). So it's no surprise that the unjust death of Schulz and the disappearance of his other writing provokes a dull ache in my heart, especially after having an insight ...more
A volume of Bruno Schulz stories is like an impossibly delicious and ornate gateau; it's impossible to eat the whole thing at once. (Although this didn't take me as long to read as the dates above may suggest: it was more like a fortnight's worth of days, in two phases separated by eleven months.) But it's also not simply the feast of sweetmeats and beauty that this collection's more fitting, original Polish title, Cinnamon Shops may suggest: in among the glittering decorations are also, if you ...more
Manuel Antão
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1981
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Unhappy Philosopher: "The Street of Crocodiles" by Bruno Schulz

(Original Review, 1981-05-30)

Why do I read? To learn, to experience worlds, emotions, interactions that I don't experience in my reality, to think, to be, to become.

If not for Huxley - recommended by an English teacher at school - I'd have remained a working class racist, sexist homophobe, would never have smoked haxixe, gone on to study philosophy, met my children's mother
Matthew Appleton
What is reality? One of the best questions, I think, in the world. Regardless of the answer, The Street of Crocodiles takes us into the mythical and dreamlike reality of Schulz. His Polish childhood, yes, but what else! Countless bizarre happenings, impossible things with no explanations, as wonderful as Kafka. Surreal and beautiful, two words to describe the book. The translation I have is beautiful too. How I wish I could read Schulz's talent in his native tongue.

The 'chapters' are named as f
Dhanaraj Rajan
Few Questions and Answers:

1. Can a simple ordinary fact of a normal day, become a superb piece of literature? For instance, the first act of barking of a puppy - can there be anything interesting to describe it? Not to say anything of four pages of pure pleasure and in the form of a 'short story'. Schulz does it very easily.

2. Can language be intoxicating? The language intoxicates you and results in high voltage creations of hallucinations. An example: In the middle of the day, when the sun was
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic-fiction
I discovered Bruno Schulz through an amazing short story by contemporary author Helen Maryles Shankman. She writes a fictional account of the interaction between Shulz and his Nazi protector during World War II in Poland. The exquisite story, "In the Land of Armadillos," made my want to read Shulz's own work. This classic story collection is a dreamy, post-modernist, surreal walk through the streets of Drogobych and through the many rooms of Shulz's imagination. Likened to Kafka, the book as a w ...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
There are two introductions to this edition. One is by the translator Celine Wieniewska, and the other by Jerzy Ficowski, who must have written the introduction to the original. I don't recall in which, but one of them says this is a novel - and it is, of sorts. It is collection of inter-connected stories, a novel in the same way, perhaps, that Olive Kitteridge is a novel. Please do not mistake me: that inter-connectedness the only thing the two titles have in common. These stories are all told ...more
Steven Godin

"The old established inhabitants of the city kept away from that area where the scum, the lowest orders had settled—creatures without character, without background, moral dregs, that inferior species of human being which is born in such ephemeral communities. But on days of defeat, in hours of moral weakness, it would happen that one or another of the city dwellers would venture half by chance into that dubious district. The best among them were not entirely free from the temptation of voluntary
The book title in some editions includes “… and other stories”, also suggested in the blurb, which slightly misled me to think that it’s a collection of stories. As I rarely read story collections in linear fashion, I started with a couple of the more famous “stories” which are in the second half of the book only to realize that they are interconnected as are almost all others in this fascinating and genre-bending book. It was originally published under the title of a different "story" Cinnamon ...more
holy moo, what a read. I heard Schulz was a drawing teacher. To me, he appears to be a superior painter with prose.
The way Schulz illustrated a street/bird/bed or the cloud invoked in my head vividly colorful paintings.
Benjamin Uminsky
Wow... much less a collection of Schulz's memories and more a wonderous exploration into chaos versus order, the banal versus the fantastic.

The prose was simply beautiful and flowed across the literary canvas like quicksilver. In fact, I would point out that the lyrical and fluid nature of Schulz' prose perfectly accented the core of this meditation... chaos.

I really loved the juxtapositions provided by Schulz, particularly the characters of Jacob (Schulz' father) and Adela (house keeper). Jacob
A strange and magical experience. The small stories in this book are language-drunk, old-world-surrealism, the emphasis on the weird life of objects, and a father who at various times turns into a bird, saves the world, forgets his wallet, pursues the maid, creates a world out of bolts of cloth, and--of course! becomes a cockroach…the Mittel-Europa city that morphs and morphs again… Only the maid never changes from story to story. A vanished world, a child's wavering sense of reality, a street o ...more
Adam Dalva
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Profoundly weird in the best of ways. Sort of like a bizarre hybrid of Proust, Kafka, and the '30s surrealists. There are moments in here that match the best I've experienced in any book. The first collection in particular, Street of Crocodiles, is a Winesburg, Ohio style linked set of stories that does tremendous work. Bumped down a star only because for large chunks of pages my mind wandered - the experimentalist tangents can go on for way too long. But this is an accomplishment. The "if only" ...more
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A volcano, smoldering silently in the isolation of a sleepy provincial town – of Bruno Schulz - Celina Wieniewska (translator)

One thing for sure Schulz is a very sensual writer, sensual in the almost erotic tinge he gives his words. Also sensual in the sense of touch, the feeling that there is behind his words.

Schulz does not hamper himself with a focused story line, he lets his words, his imagination flow and go where it will just like dreams do. Part of the fun is trying to unravel the associa
Sep 18, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is completely delirious. Every inanimate object is alive in some horrid, pulsing way: the night seethes with stars, the floriated wallpaper opens eyes and strains ears to spy on the family in their cavernous, dusty rooms, while what we think of as reality is an enormous empty theater. Only the scene immediately before us retains its characteristics while everywhere our gaze does not fall is crumbling as we speak into decay and plaster and sawdust, unable to keep its form without our co ...more
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Reading 1001: The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz 2 16 Feb 06, 2020 02:04PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Separating two editions? 5 24 Mar 18, 2017 05:05PM  
KNJIŽEVNI KLABING: Šulc, Cimetaste prodavnice 5 30 Dec 01, 2016 09:29AM  
The Street of Crocodiles - BR Carol, Maya & Sofia 4th April 16 157 31 Mar 07, 2016 06:21AM  
In search of Cinnamon Shops 1 23 May 19, 2014 06:22AM  

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Bruno Schulz was a Polish writer, fine artist, literary critic and art teacher of Jewish descent. He was regarded as one of the great Polish-language prose stylists of the 20th century.

At a very early age, Schulz developed an interest in the arts. He studied at a gymnasium in Drohobycz from 1902 to 1910, and proceeded to study architecture at Lwów University. In 1917 he briefly studied architectu

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