Harry Gruenberg’s twisted tale becomes interwoven with that of Lisa and his family, told with fragments of song, personal letters, primary source materials, photographs, family dramas, scenes, stories, fantasies, and dreams that gain their own narrative force.
Before long, I found myself thinking and dreaming in German, and I wondered what Dad would have thought of that.
It’s hard to commune with the dead when you are attending to your body. But didn’t I see my companion cry back there, in front of the suitcases? Did he smell the odor from human bodies?
Here, the trees pay their respects, mourn openly,
wear dreadlocks of hanging Spanish moss
sun bleached ash-blue and swaying; in seawind
they become prayer shawls
salted with dust, grief threads of every kind
Bruno Schulz was one of two great Polish fiction writers of the two decades between the wars, and so luckless was he, so lucky are we by comparison, that we may read his complete works in one long, trash-blown, weedy, windy, starry, swirling, Lower Carpathian day. His complete surviving works, that is—and that is the legendary pity of it. Such a day need not even take up your time, for you may go there in time according to Schulz, a limb of freak time that sprouts seamlessly out of time as we think we know it.