11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Weird and surreal,
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This review is from: The Street of Crocodiles and Other Stories (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
I read the Street of Crocodiles from this collection quite a few years ago and was so deeply impressed that fragments have stayed with me as if they were my own dreams (the dreams that touch some archtypal depth to an extent that you never forget).
It has such a surreal, rich atmosphere and use of metaphor, at times glorious at times dark - always a joy. In Schulz this atmosphere and metaphor are the drivers for the story. It allows you to access the psychological states of the characters in some highly personal manner that isn't possible with straightforward storytelling.
With both Street of Crocodiles and Sanitorium Under the Sign of an Hourglass, it was about half way through reading the inter-linked short stories that I realised I was aclimatised to Schulz's weirdness, and was suddenly totally and utterly blown away by him. The language, even in English translation, is absolutely radiant. Lyrical beauty and warmth exists, but in some passages things can get disturbing and dark. These passages leave me with the feeling of a beautiful dream which was also vaguely disturbing, which touches some primal part of the self.
In my mind Schulz is one of the greatest talents of the 20th century. It's a great loss to literature that he was killed (shot dead by a Nazi officer) and much of his work lost - apparently forever.