July 25, 1938, Monday

(A) Drohobych. Bruno Schulz submits a request to the County Office in Drohobych for a foreign passport to travel to France and receives it on the same day.

(B) Warsaw. Rachela Auerbach writes a letter to Bruno Schulz.

(C) Sambor. Artur Sandauer writes a letter to Bruno Schulz.

(A) The application is accompanied by: (1) a certificate of residence “for passport purposes”, obtained on the same day at the City Council in Drohobych, (2) a birth certificate of October 11, 1921 (no. 1432/1921), (3) citizenship certificate no. A. 7882/928, issued by the County in Drohobych on April 20, 1938, (4) proof of payment of the letter of credit, (5) membership certificate of the Polish Literary Union, issued on July 1, 19381. On the back of the passport form, Schulz himself filled in the fields concerning personal data and description and he pasted his photo in the appropriate place. When addressing the County Office, he asks for a foreign passport valid for two months to travel to France. He explains that he is taking the journey to “study literature and organise an exhibition of paintings”. The passport, numbered 115/38, is issued to Schulz on the same day and is valid for five weeks, until August29. The fee in the amount of41 zlotys is intended for trips “for tourist purposes”, which means that the “certificate of the Polish Literary Union” attached by Schulz to the application was not included as a reason for reducing the price for a passport. (sr) (transl. mw)

(B) This is a response to Schulz’s unpreserved letter of May that year. The “case of Mr. G” (“Mr. Gruber”)2 raised by Auerbach*, which the addressee must have known well, was not explained by the publisher of the correspondence. “An old acquaintance from Lviv times” – as Auerbach describes herself in the letter, perhaps knowing about Schulz’s departure, writes further about her plans: “I am tied by lack of money, therefore I can’t make my planned journey to Paris, where Manger3 has been for three months now, as a result of the same ordinances against which he is trying to skilfully defend Mr. Gruber”4. In the last part of Auerbach’s letter there is a sentence that would make a considerable career in schulzology: “I am strongly convinced that your works can become a world-class revelation, and since you do not write in Yiddish and do not belong to the environment where you have grown, you should at least belong to… the world”5. She also declares her willingness to try to translate Schulz’s prose “into the Jewish language”. (sr) (transl. mw)

(C) He is disturbed by the long silence of Schulz, who has not written back since July 19*, so he expects an “immediate response”. In addition, he informs Schulz about the planned text for Wiadomości Literackie, which is to compare his prose with the works of Witold Gombrowicz*. He inquires again about The Messiah6.

See also: May 12, 1938*, June 27, 1938*, July 5, 1938*, after July 12, 1938*, July 11, 1938*. (ts) (transl. mw)

  • 1
    The documents were found and published by Łesia Chomycz (“Wyjazd Brunona Schulza do Francji”, Schulz/Forum 11, 2018, pp. 179–188).
  • 2
    Letter from Rachela Auerbach to Bruno Schulz dated 25 July 1938, [in:] Bruno Schulz, Dzieła zebrane, volume 5: Księga listów, zebrał i przygotował do druku Jerzy Ficowski, uzupełnił Stanisław Danecki, Gdańsk 2016, p. 293.
  • 3
    Icyk Manger (1901–1969) – one of the greatest poets of the Jewish language in the 20th century, then associated with Rachela Auerbach. Ibid., p. 422.
  • 4
    Ibid., p. 294.
  • 5
  • 6
    Bruno Schulz, Dzieła zebrane, volume 5: Księga listów, zebrał i przygotował do druku Jerzy Ficowski, uzupełnił Stanisław Danecki, Gdańsk 2016, p. 312.