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The tragically short life of Bruno Schulz – and his complicated legacy

The Polish-Jewish writer and artist enjoyed all too brief acclaim before his murder in 1942. Benjamin Balint describes the ongoing battle for ownership of his final works

15 April 2023

9:00 AM

15 April 2023

9:00 AM

Bruno Schulz: An Artist, a Murder and the Hijacking of History Benjamin Balint

W.W. Norton, pp.288, 23.99

This is the second excellent book by Benjamin Balint to consider the cross-cultural perils of being a great writer after you’re dead. His first, Kafka’s Last Trial: The Case of a Literary Legacy, described legal battles over the residence of Kafka’s literary estate. This new one shifts the focus to a very different (and equally unusual) writer, Bruno Schulz, whose work has long been caught up in posthumous conflicts about who it most belongs to – that motley assembly of us selfish readers who actually read him, or those various governments competing to claim him as part of their national...

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