The Street of Crocodiles Background

The Street of Crocodiles Background

The Street of Crocodiles was written by Bruno Schulz and is a collection of short stories. It was published in 1934, but in Polish. Celina Wisniewska translated the stories into English quite a while later, in 1963. Schulz had trouble publishing this collection; he sent his stories to his friends, Władysław Riff and Debora Vogel, who were not able to help Schulz get them published. Schulz finally sought out help from Zofia Nałkowska, who was able to get his work published in December 1933.

The Polish title of the collection translates literally into “Cinnamon Shops.” The main characters are from a Galician merchant family. This Spanish town is similar to Schulz’s hometown, Drohobycz, Ukraine. The father of the family is a merchant who also has fascinating superhuman abilities. Józef is a young boy who is the literary copy of Schulz himself. All of the short stories are characterized by the unique mythical and almost dreamlike elements; everything feels like it’s coming directly from the author’s imagination and mind, pushing the boundaries of reality.

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