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Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass (Paperback)

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  1,281 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
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 attem ...more
192 pages
Published October 10th 1980 by Picador (first published 1937)
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Το Άσχημο Ρύζι Καρολίνα
Ο τρόπος που δένει την πραγματικότητα με τη φαντασία, τον ρεαλισμό με το όνειρο, την αλήθεια με τον μύθο, έχει κάτι το αρχέγονο, το πρωτεϊκό. Εμπεριέχει την ουσία του κόσμου, σε όλες τις πιθανές και απίθανες εκδοχές του.

Από τη μια, οι χρωματιστές, πλούσιες λεκτικές πινελιές (ένα ουράνιο τόξο από εικόνες που αντανακλούν το φως ή φωσφορίζουν στο σκοτάδι) από την άλλη τα ασπρόμαυρα εξπρεσιονιστικά σκίτσα του που πλαισιώνουν το κείμενο (με τα υπερμεγέθη κεφάλια, σαν μια σκοτεινότερη, ενήλικη εκδοχή
Vit Babenco
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass at the turn of the millennium and now I just wanted to reread a single story but couldn’t stop till the last page – such is the magic of this book.
“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
Nov 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-fiction
‘It is part of my existence to be the parasite of metaphors’ writes the author in the very short story Loneliness. He has a point. This entire collection of short stories is riddled with metaphor. Riddled? For all I know maybe it is all just metaphor. It has also been a challenge for me personally.

This collection, to me anyway, is a heady mix of the metaphor with childlike fantasy and delirious dreaming that seemingly mixes the authors life memories/observations that cover his childhood through
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, 2017-h1
jestem literacko rozbity
bo wyobraźnia Schulza nie zna granic
zbiór ten jest o wiele trudniejszy od "Sklepów"
dlatego jeszcze nie raz wrócę do tej książki
przykro mi, że to już koniec jego opublikowanej twórczości
a może w jego tekstach jest jeszcze więcej nieznanych mi sekretów…?
Jul 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
there are v. few writers I know of today who can project one's psyche onto the physical world in such a dispassionate yet compelling way as Schulz. He cajoles one into taking residence in his mind through a fireworks display of prose that is as unrelenting as it is demanding. Even the slightest phrase can take off as abruptly as a flight of roosting birds: images collide into each other and spark new narrative lines. It is a conjurer's act, one made up of fragmented memories--a walk at dusk, a w ...more
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favoritism
Following Nabokov’s Pale Fire with this Schulz wonder was a move of genius I did not plan. Such different voices, both masters nonpareil. There is virtually nothing in the way of similarity between the two, save their ability to defy gravity with the written word. With Nabokov, it is density and shadowplay; Schulz, wonderment and flights of joy.

But this isn’t about Nabokov, is it? This is about the one and only Bruno Schulz, a man snubbed out at 50 by fucking Nazi’s. Bastardassholes! Read one o
12 short stories and one long one linked by the strong voice of the author and illustrated by him with an equally idiosynchronistic flair. BS writes with delicate ferocity, his luminous prose and boundless optimism softening somewhat his acerbic observations. That his evocation of childhood and old age are equally vivid attests to his virtuousity.

The long story, Spring, delves into "the marginal world beyond the limits of a wilting afternoon" with such thorough tenderness that no one need bothe
Aug 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-translation
If there are any writers out there who managed to establish a voice as distinctive, as potent, or as beautiful as Bruno Schultz's with so small an output, I haven't heard of them. His two tiny, genre-less (sometimes anticipating Allen Ginsberg's incantations, other times evoking the headier films of Guy Maddin) books represent an extraordinary genius and a criminally truncated life.
Aug 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
His prose swells and brims with a mesmerising ripeness. Words unfold, petal after petal of an infinite flower drowning the reader in delectable, fever-inducing, hallucinations. It is a delirious prism, a paradox, a pandemonium - a labyrinth carved from a cave of rare gems or a forest of rainbows. I just cannot, cannot, get over this book. I have tasted the lines, drunk on the dripping nectar of the trippy verses and there is no coming back. There are some books that transforms the way you read s ...more
Dec 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 fiv ...more
A feverish stew of metaphor and imagery that simmers in a base of family relationships and seasonal changes. It takes some time to adapt to Schulz's style, which is rich and meandering and despite its deliciousness is sometimes hard to digest. The long story "Spring" revolves around a stamp album that inspires colorful daydreams of foreign lands and historical figures-- of which the daydreamer is one-- but I finished reading it and felt like I had just awakened from a vaguely unpleasant dream. A ...more
Jigar Brahmbhatt
There is a problem in writing fiction that verges towards the highly personal, in that the writer wants to exorcise deepest tragedies or familial burdens but at the same time is conscious of not revealing too much, because any writing that is attempted towards this goal rushes to that dense limbo filled with the scars sustained on the self, and in so doing the struggle becomes to make it readable, to turn it into literature - by "not telling", to revolve around the personal tragedy that has to b ...more
Nate D
Nov 04, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sleepwalkers
Recommended to Nate D by: Wojciech Has
Published later but composed before Schulz's magnificent Street of Crocodiles this is a little diffuser, it's narrative vagueries a little more discernable through its thinner broth of description. Still, it's Schulz, strange and captivating, especially in the title story of a hospital that sustains its patients by removing them from the progression of time entirely, probably his most obviously story-shaped piece. Between that and the long, tangled tale of waxwork intrigues and the coded meaning ...more
Rebekah Baglini
Aug 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Rereading this summer for the umpteenth time.)

I will learn Polish, someday, for the sole purpose of reading this in the original.
Tsvetelina Mareva
Стилът на Шулц е абсолютно несравним с нищо, което съм чела досега - детайлен, сгъстен, буквално всяка дума е метафора, от което ритъмът на четене се накъсва, чете се бавно и изисква паузи. Както казва един негов герой: "Характерна особеност на моето съществуване е, че паразитирам върху метафорите, щом ми хрумне някаква метафора и се забравям". Това са безсюжетни разкази, звучащи като фрагментарен постмодернистичен роман. Обединени са от общи символи, мотиви, атмосфера, елементи и герои. Такива ...more
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
„Санаториум „Клепсидра“ от Бруно Шулц (Издателство "Аквариус", 2017 г.; превод: Магдалена Атанасова) е една от най-впечатляващите книги, на които съм се натъквала в последните няколко месеца.

Тя е красива творба, цяла една нова, „флуидна“ реалност; историята на една меланхолия, която е "по-истинска, по-ослепителна и по-ярка" от другите меланхолии. Манифест, писан с пламенния ентусиазъм на нестихващата тъга по отминалото.
Youtube: 00:51:44:

Bruno Schulz was a Polish Jewish writer and artist whose life and career were cut short when he was murdered by a Gestapo agent in 1942. He left behind some truly masterful works of subtle surreality. This is the title story to a 1937 collection, unfortunately his last. You can find more of his visual art, writing, and biographical info here: (flash player required) Also check out this channel.

Opening: It was a long journey. Barely one or two pa
Aug 02, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Прочетох 200 страници, след това не продължих.
Този сборник не ми даде нищо ниво. Открих усещания, линии, вълни, които се припокриват с творчеството на Борхес и Пруст. Това ми хареса.
Но за жалост единствения начин, по който харесах прочетеното е оценявайки го чрез останалите в мен впечатления за други много по-добри автори. Един вид леко паразитна книга. Което е далеч от представите ми за добро четиво и далеч от причините заради които чета - научачване на нещо ново за себе си и за света, докато с
Jan 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hate to say that I was a bit disappointed I didn't enjoy this book as much as "Street of Crocodiles," a book I truly found inspiring. These stories are more varied in tone than those in "Street of Crocodiles," a collection often focused on the shenanigans and exploits of his seemingly deranged father.

Although more varied, I found the prose here not quite as inspiring, or as consistently so. I believe the main problem for me at least is that this writing is best suited to shorter lengths, and a
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
Reading this book was trully challenging; it's surrealism (reaching absurdity too often), along with the absence of a solid plot in most of its stories and a certain obsess with words, led me to consider abandoning it quite a few times. But then there were ingenious passages of real pleasure like the following and I was giving it a second chance:
“At such a time [at dawn] I would dream of being a baker who delivers bread, a fitter from the electric company, or an insurance man collecting the we
Tim Pendry

Bruno Schulz was a writer of crepuscular fantasy who sometimes feels like a kinder Ligotti. He got no kindness out of life in the end, being deliberately murdered by a Gestapo officer (Schulz was a Polish Jew) on his way back to the Drohobycz Ghetto in 1942.

This particular novella is, like all his work, hard to get a fix on. The writer takes a train to a sanatorium where his father sits literally, it would seem, in a state between life and death and he too finds himself in transit eventually, al
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shortfiction
I think Schulz wrote totally in the vernacular of dreams. Sometimes when I read one of his stories, it is almost as if I AM dreaming--I can sense something momentous happening but often it is just outside my grasp; I get to the end it dissipates and I am left trying to reconstruct the impression that the story first left. I remember the words, but I can only get that feeling by actively reading them. It's magic. My actual dreams are incredibly lucid when I'm on a Bruno Schulz jag, too.

Maybe Schu
”Sanatoriul timpului”, cea de-a doua parte a Manechinelor, folosește, mai ales în primele povestiri, un limbaj mult mai ermetic și mai saturat de metafore decât în ”Prăvăliile de scorţişoară”, depărtându-se de subiectul concret și coborând în abstract, prin intermediul unui delir lingvistic. Dificultatea lecturii nu rezidă, însă, în folosirea unor termeni complicați, ci în babilonia de metafore și alăturări neașteptate de cuvinte.

Este destul de dificil și obositor să ții pasul cu imagistica fre
I feel confident in saying that Polish writer Bruno Schulz is an under-appreciated and severely under-read writer. His writing career, reduced mainly to two relatively small books, was cut short with his dead by Nazi hands during World War II. Schulz’s writing style is not easy to describe. For those readers that demand uniformity in plot, this may leave you a little impatient. While not necessarily scattered, the visions he imparts are almost kaleidoscopic in nature. It often feels almost as if ...more
Nov 18, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short_stories
I have had this book on my coffee table for months, and I read a few passages here and there, usually on weekends when my mind has readjusted to its proper speed. And I think I will leave it there so that I can re-read it several more times.

The most wonderful, most enjoyable parts of Sanatorium are the descriptions, like when Schulz describes the smells of spring, the white dress of a young girl, or – my favorite – the wonders of a stamp collection, which bring the mind of a young provincial boy
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some books are slow reads because they are dull. Others are slow reads because they are dense, or because their syntax has been tortured into ludicrous shapes by some authorial failure.

Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass is one of those rare books that reads slow because of it possesses an intense, dreamlike beauty.

I found myself re-reading sentences half a dozen times, pausing ten minutes between paragraphs to savor the imagery and masterful emotional import of Mr. Schulz. Occasionally
Brent Hayward
Jul 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Schulz's life story, at least the wiki version-- specifically the end part of it-- is as disconcerting and surreal as his writing. A so-called 'pet Jew' to an occupying Nazi, he was shot in the head and killed as he went out for a loaf of bread. The killer was another Nazi staying in town who had issues with Schulz's 'owner', and was either settling accounts or upping the ante on the fascists' wierd feud. Schulz, apparently, a kept man, would entertain his German by painting murals. (What a subt ...more
Jan Jørgensen
Jul 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fed bog, fantastiske fortællinger fra en virkelighed der ikke overholder nogle regler. Som læser sidder man tilbage og vrider hænderne for at få mere af Schulz. Det er sjældent at man møder en forfatter der håndtere sproget så mesterligt og samtidig er i stand til at vride og oplæse de rammer fortællingen befinder sig under.
Som læser efterlader Schulz mig i en følelse af at jeg har været på en rejse men at jeg ikke har fatte alle nuancerne af det der er sket omkring mig. Det er som at vågne fra
Sean A.
Mar 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, surreal
Excellent series of mythical vignettes and surreal tall tales. Lush and lavish language. Not much of a plot but rather a reoccuring and reincarnated father character picked up from schulz's other novel, street of crocodiles. A whole lot of listless implosion. I immensely enjoyed this as well of street of crocodiles which i read last summer. Totally magical. The ending was a bit underwhelming. Anyways...
Drew Gordon
Oct 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i don't exactly remember what happened in this book, but i do have a _very_ distinct recollection of the feeling of a few moments with respect to reading this book. as if I were reaching consciousness during lucid fever dreaming, then falling back into the fever dream. it's foggy, but favorably memorable.
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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
More about Bruno Schulz

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“There are things than cannot ever occur with any precision. They are too big and too magnificent to be contained in mere facts. They are merely trying to occur, they are checking whether the ground of reality can carry them. And they quickly withdraw, fearing to loose their integrity in the frailty of realization. ” 63 likes
“An event may be small and insignificant in its origin , and yet, when drawn close to one’s eye, it may open in its center an infinite and radiant perspective because a higher order of being is trying to express itself in it and irradiates it violently.” 40 likes
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