My review of Andrzej Stasiuk’s (trans. Bill Johnston) book Dukla is up on the M/C Reviews website. You can read it here.
She had a large head covered in growths and lumps. Her small, ever-tearing eyes were set close under her low, furrowed brow. From a distance they looked like narrow chinks. Her nose looked as if it was broken in many places, and its lip was a livid blue, covered in sparse bristles. Her mouth was huge and swollen, always hanging open, always wet, with some sharply pointed teeth inside it. To top it all off, as if that wasn’t enough, her face sprouted long, straggling, silken hairs.
A small, quiet man, Polish author Bruno Schulz required little physical space to exist, and indeed seemed to prefer it that way – he left his birthplace only a handful of times. This is a trait shared by the literature he has left behind; it is unassuming – there it sits on my bookshelf, the tiny penguin on its spine showing the whites of its eyes, wide and fixed on the edge of its narrow perch. In his half-century of life Schulz produced two slim collections of stories, titled Cinnamon Shops (retitled The Street of Crocodiles in English translations) and Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass. Along with several other short pieces published in various journals, these two constitute – a vast epistolary corpus aside- the bulk of his known literature. He worked between the shadows of two great wars.