Biografia Schulza jako wyzwanie (rzucone historii)
Biography of Schulz as a Challenge (to History)
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Each and every biography is a challenge, but the biography of Bruno Schulz is a peculiar one. First of all because it is not easily accessible, hidden – just like its protagonist who concealed himself behind effigies produced to satisfy the needs of the others. The other reason is that history (Holocaust, Stalinism) deprived the writer of its major part. The first task is to establish the text of Schulz’s life, since just as textology establishes in critical editions of the work the foundation of its interpretations, a similar foundation of all biographical discourses should be the corpus biographicum – a sequence of the life’s events arranged according to chronology and placed in the context of the times. Such protobiographies usually take to form of a calendar (log) of life and literary activity, sometimes supplemented with the history of reception. Their only principle of selection is credibility, which is why such calendars do not impose on the series of presented events any additional order which follows an external – political, moral or sentimental – rule. Calendars are aideological. They are purely chronological. The only power they respect is that of time and its inescapable linearity, the sequence of days, weeks, months, and years. They do not tell stories of someone’s life from birth to death. From Homer’s practice they borrow just simple succession of events which do not have to connect with one another. The rules of narrative return only in particular daily entries which reconstructs the facts of someone’s life according to a classic list of questions: who? When? Where? What? To realize such a project in the case of Schulz, it is necessary to do thorough and systematic research in the archives, and practice the archaeology of memory. Jerzy Ficowski chose both directions. Already in the 1940s, he started looking for the witnesses of Schulz’s life. Their letters and memories make a big set which so far has been exploited only in small part. Regardless of what can be found among them, it is necessary to make new searches at all locations where Schulz lived or which he just visited: Drogobych, Lviv, Warsaw, Zakopane, Vienna, Paris, and Sweden, as well as Kyiv or Moscow (archives of the NKVD from the times of the Soviet occupation of Galicia).
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