Bruno Schulz, Sklepy cynamonowe (1934)

One hour, one book: Daniel Canty

Bruno Schulz’s fantastical autobiography, Sklepy cynamonowe (1934)

June 20, 2014 - 6 PM

For the second edition of One hour, one book, and on this day marking the anniversary of his father, René Canty de Lachine (1928-2013), Daniel Canty has chosen to read from Bruno Schulz’s (1892-1942) fantastical autobiography,Sklepy cynamonowe (1934), translated as Street of Crocodiles(1963).

Schulz chronicles a year bursting from its twelve months to welcome an heretical season, exercising its pressure under the straining horizons of the four known ones. Schulz, already in his thirties, revisits his adolescent years, as his father, Jakob, a merchant-draper by trade, suffers from an illness that will leave him close to bankruptcy. His son Bruno chooses to interrupt his studies in Vienna to watch over his bedridden father. Did he intuit that this first return contained within itself the frightening promise of what becomes definitive, and that, in order to convince himself that he really lived, he would have to reinvent the circumstances of his existence?

For the greater part of his adult life, Schulz taught drawing at the Drohohycz lyceum, in the lost Kingdom of Galicia, a town twice unreal, transfigured by the artist’s dreamy application, only to be derealized by the violence of History. Bruno Schulz would die in the place of his birth, in 1942, in the ghetto instigated by the Nazis. The radiant season of his invention continues to blaze impossible paths of escape through the very heart of things. – Daniel Canty

Launched in May 2014, the One hour, one book series invites artists and researchers to present a book of their choice. These presentations may take the form of readings, talks, screenings or performances and offer opportunities for discussion. The series will resume in the fall.

Daniel Canty‘s exhibition and book project, Bucky Ball, was recently presented at Artexte. His most recent book, Les États-Unis du vent, was published by La Peuplade in April. He lives in Montréal.