Cipher of Masochism. The American Contexts of Bruno Schulz’s Fiction Cover Image

Szyfr masochizmu. Amerykańskie konteksty prozy Brunona Schulza
Cipher of Masochism. The American Contexts of Bruno Schulz’s Fiction

Author(s): Marek Wilczyński
Subject(s): Polish Literature, Ukrainian Literature, Philology, Theory of Literature
Published by: Fundacja Terytoria Książki
Keywords: Bruno Schulz; schulz studies; literary theory; interwar period; polish literature;

Summary/Abstract: The paper focuses on the affinities between the short stories of Bruno Schulz and the fiction of two American writers from the 1930s: Djuna Barnes, known mainly for her masterpiece "Nightwwod" (1936), and Nathanael West, author of "Miss Lonelyhearts" (1933) and "The Day of the Locust" (1939). The background of a comparative reading of Schulz and the writers who most likely did not have a chance even to hear about him, is the poetics of masochistic fiction developed by Gilles Deleuze in his study of the work of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, translated into English as "Coldness and Cruelty". The present interpretation is not rooted in Artur Sandauer’s hasty claim about the masochistic aspectof Schulz’s fiction, but takes into consideration some common features of the poetics of Schulz, Barnes, and West, surprisingly akin to that of Sacher-Masoch’s once scandalizing novels.

  • Issue Year: 1/2012
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 47-61
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: Polish