Saturday, June 30, 2012
This Hermetic Legislature
Bruno Schulz was a fascinating character and a hugely influential writer. My first exposure to his vision was through this bizarre animated film of The Street of Crocodiles made by the Brothers Quay. I have always loved stop-motion animation and the films of such originals as Jan Švankmajer, Walerian Borowczyk and Bruce Bickford have always filled me with strange feelings in a way that live action films rarely do: a combination of wistfulness, terror and ecstasy. The Brothers Quay were among the very best of such animation artists. Anyway, their adaption of the Schulz book led me to seek out the work of the genius himself.
It's hard to describe Schulz's style but I think that Angela Carter made a good attempt by calling it 'Mercantile Gothic' (this was actually in a review of Milorad Pavić's Dictionary of the Khazars, a novel that contains a sequence that is a pastiche of Schulz). The sense of passing time is exquisitely rendered, the mood is crepuscular rather than dark, the logic of events is febrile and not objective. Anway, the tribute anthology is entitled This Hermetic Legislature and more details can be found at the relevant Ex Occidente webpage. Contributors include: George Berguno, Stephen J. Clark, Karim Ghahwagi, Joel Lane, Mark Valentine, Oliver Smith, Charles Schneider, John Howard, Adam S. Cantwell, Colin Insole and the always excellent Michael Cisco, among others.
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