Under the imaginary table that separates me from my readers, don’t we secretly clasp one another’s hands?
~ Bruno Schulz, Sanatorium under the Sign of the Hourglass
Books as communion and consolation. We wish it were literally true in the case of Schulz, so that taking him by the wrists we might pull him through the text to safety – out of the Drohobycz ghetto and the sights of the Gestapo officer who murdered him. But we pick up the book, we turn the page, and see – we aren’t entirely empty-handed.