Saturday, 29 March 2008

Bruno Schulz: from 'Tailors' Dummies'

'Carried on their shoulders, a silent, immobile lady had entered the room, a lady of oakum and canvas, with a black wooden knob instead of a head. But when stood in the corner, between the door and the stove, that silent woman became mistress of the situation. Standing motionless in her corner, she supervised the girls' advances and wooings as they knelt before her, fitting fragments of a dress marked with white basting thread. They waited with attention, and patience on the silent idol, which was difficult to please. That moloch was inexorable as only a female moloch can be, and sent them back to work again and again, and they, thin and spindly, like wooden spools from which thread is unwound and as mobile, manipulated with noisy scissors into its colourful mass, whirred the sewing machine, treading its pedal with one cheap patent-leathered foot, while around them grew a heap of cuttings, of motley rags and pieces, like husks and chaff spat out by two fussy and prodigal parrots. The curved jaw of the scissors tapped open like the beaks of those exotic birds.'

Bruno Schulz

8 comments:

George S said...

Welcome, all over again. Gorgeous Schulz passage.

Linda Grant said...

I can find clothes in the oddest places, George. Schulz is like Kafka, on acid.

Anonymous said...

No surprise that Schultz was also an interesting graphic artist.

I was thinking I might find "Buchmendel" on the net, but so far I've only sourced dodgy Russian versions in which the ß and umlauts become Cyrillic characters... But between the local Goethe Institut and university libraries I should be able to turn it up.

Zweig's last abode in Brazil is a museum, where there are exhibits and conferences.
http://www.casastefanzweig.com.br/

lagatta à Montréal said...

For some reason I was listed as anonymous (comments about Schultz and Zweig).

Justine Picardie said...

Linda -- this quote is amazing! Thanks so much for introducing me to the wonderful world of Bruno Schulz. PS: am about to link you to my blog. Come and visit me there...

lagatta à Montréal said...

I'd never read Schultz either. There is so much in those Central and Eastern European writers.

I've met surrealists from Prague, who have lived through all sorts of things. Incredible.

Hope we hear more about that part of the world!

deadstenographer said...

Who translated this one please?

Tailors Los Angeles said...

Schulz is a very adorable man. I really love everything the he does. And I also love his taste when it comes to fashion. He is just a very amazing guy.