The Street of Crocodiles and Other Stories,
Translated by Celina Wieniewska, Penguin reprint, 2008
If I could cancel one murder and save one life from history, I'd save Bruno Schulz, killed by the Nazis in 1942. If I could save one lost book, I'd save Schulz's Messiah. I can't. At least there is this book of treasures, Schulz's collected works. Actually, two books are included here: Street of Crocodiles and Sanatorium Under the Sign of The Hourglass.
The first, Schulz's masterpiece, is only 100 pages long. I could never choose a favorite book, but this is the one I reread most often. Any attempt by me to descibe its contents is a mockery. Reading it is like peering into a strange, dark painting: a mad father, a bewitching sister, a dark corner where something never before seen grows (almost) to life. This book may only take you a day to read but I promise you it will be a illumined and unforgettable day.
Sanatorium, which I think was written earlier, seems in part a workshop for what Crocodiles would become, but this is appropriate for Schulz: he is the master of describing life half-created: the life of mannequins, mad relatives, stuffed birds.
My only practical advice is: allow yourself to skim the surreal novella "Spring" if you get bogged down in it the first time you try. Just make sure you don't miss the rest of the stories!
There is nothing else like this book--and this one book is all there is. I envy anyone reading it for the first time.