on 16 October 2010
Bruno Schulz is oftern described as being like Kaffka, there is something in this suggestion and indeed he translated Kaffka. The Sanatorium under the sign of the hourglass is one of two collections of short shories, the other is called 'the street of crocodilies' in Engilsh or sometimes as the Cinamon shops. Although his work is limited in volume (he was murdered during the holocaust. His collection of short shories is little short of prefection. Combining a view of the world form a childlike prespective and a discomforting not-quite-rightness that is so remanistant of his age and of Krakka. Schulz was also a graffic artist and the pen and ink illistrations add an extra dimention to what is already a beautiful and deeply complex work. The short stories are interconecting and together form a lose narrative about the life of boy and his family (who run a small shop). The Sanatorium under the sign of the hourglass would be one of the Ten books that I would take with me into exile if I were ever forced to limit myself to just ten titles. I cannot recommend it enough. At times it is a complex read, and it will stand upto multiple re-readings. I now that i have not really said what the stories are about and in someways that is unimportant as the strong elements of surrealism and magical realism lift the work beyond the topics of the stories themselves. (It is also the kind of book which rewards its readers with single lines so prefect that they take you gasp...at least it did for me).