Coming from Nawakum Press March/April 2019
THE REPUBLIC OF DREAMS
“Here on the streets of Warsaw, in these tumultuous days, fiery and intoxicating, I am transported in thought to the distant city of my dreams, I soar with my gaze above this low land, expansive and undulating like a coat of God’s thrown down as a colorful canvas at the threshold of heaven.”
Bruno Schulz, a Polish Jewish writer, fine artist, and literary critic, was born in 1892 in the town of Drohobycz, in Galicia, which today is in Ukraine. Schulz is regarded as one of the greatest Polish-language prose stylists of the 20th century, and is often referred to as the “Polish Kafka.” His life’s work is small, with only two collections of short stories, a novella, a few essays, articles, and some art which remain. He was killed by a Nazi SS officer in World War II on his way home, in the ghetto where he was forced to live at the time.
Nawakum Press will be publishing Schulz’s short story The Republic of Dreams in a limited edition artist’s book format, co-designed, printed and bound by Foolscap Press, with etchings from artist Tom Wood, who also worked on Nawakum’s The Book of Sand by Jorge Luis Borges. The book will be printed in Polish and in English, with a new translation by Madeline G. Levine, Kenan Professor of Slavic Literatures Emerita at the University of North Carolina. In her words “In a sense, in order to find an English voice for him I had to suppress my critical habits, hold my breath, dive deep and start swimming."