Tension Between Auras

09Apr12

It seemed as if the very whiff of masculinity, the smell of tobacco smoke, or a bachelor’s joke, would spark off this feverish femininity and entice it to a lascivious virgin birth.

-Bruno Schulz, “The Street of Crocodiles”

I ran barefoot to the window. The sky was swept lengthwise by the gusts of the wind. Vast and silvery white, it was cut into lines of energy tensed to breaking point, into awesome furrows like strata of tin and lead. Divided into magnetic fields and trembling with discharges, it was full of concealed electricity. The diagrams of the gale were traced on it which, itself unseen and elusive, loaded the landscape with its power.

-Bruno Schulz, “The Gale”

What makes these passages so effective? An insistence on their own integrity? A refusal to simplify and clarify? A refusal to systematize? A refusal to allegorize? A refusal to provide anything except what is most dangerous?

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