Benjamin Balint : Bruno Schulz and the Hijacking of History

Tuesday, October 17, 2023
Event Time 03:30 p.m. - 05:00 p.m. PT
Location HUM 587
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The Jewish Studies presents distinguished American-Israeli author, journalist, educator, and translator Benjamin Balint, on his latest book "Bruno Schulz: An Artist, a Murder, and the Hijacking of History."

The twentieth-century artist Bruno Schulz was born an Austrian, lived as a Pole, and died a Jew. “One of the most remarkable writers who ever lived” (Isaac Bashevis Singer), Schulz also created erotic art—masochistic scenes that caught the eye of a sadistic Nazi officer. Schulz’s art became the currency in which he bought life.

Drawing on extensive new reporting and archival research in Bruno Schulz: An Artist, a Murder, and the Hijacking of History, Benjamin Balint chases the inventive murals he painted on the walls of an SS villa―the last traces of his vanished world―into multiple dimensions of Schulz’s life and afterlife. Sixty years after Schulz was murdered, those murals were miraculously rediscovered, only to be secretly smuggled by Israeli agents to Jerusalem. The ensuing international furor summoned broader perplexities, not just about who has the right to curate orphaned artworks and to construe their meanings, but about who can claim to stand guard over the legacy of Jews killed in the Nazi slaughter.

Benjamin Balint is the author of Bruno Schulz and Kafka’s Last Trial, awarded the 2020 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, and is coauthor of Jerusalem: City of the Book. A library fellow at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem, he regularly writes on culture for The Wall Street Journal, the Jewish Review of Books, and other publications.

Reception to follow at the Jewish Studies department, HUM 415

This in-person event will be live-streamed. Register to attend virtually.

This event is being sponsored by the Jewish Studies Department and co-sponsored by the School of Cinema, the Journalism Department and the Modern Languages and Literatures Department.

This event will count toward the Journalism Event requirement. Note for Journalism majors and minors: please email Amber with proof of attendance and the Journalism courses, including section numbers, that you are currently enrolled in.

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