A Palpable Void: The Remediation of Bruno Schulz’s The Street of Crocodiles as a Visual Work of Art in Jonathan Safran Foer’s Tree of Codes


  • John Mark Wilson Aberystwyth University


Experimental Fiction, Metafiction, Postmodernism, Deconstructionism, Authorship, Visuality


This paper, entitled “A Palpable Void,” explores the method and reasoning behind Jonathan Safran Foer’s techniques in creating an original work Tree of Codes (2010) out of another text, The Street of Crocodiles, by an obscure author named Bruno Schulz.  This experiment involves creating physical gaps in Schulz’s text, meticulously excising parts of the text to create a wholly original piece of visual literary art. 

The gaps introduced by Foer produce many layers of signification, ranging from cultural amnesia to the deconstruction of voice and authorship.  I argue that Foer did in effect “write” Tree of Codes despite not actually contributing any of his own text or altering Schulz’s syntax or punctuation; everything in the original text remains intact save the gaps that transform the work and imbue it with more layers of meaning.  This transformation raises questions about the ontological and aesthetic status of the contemporary novel.


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Author Biography

  • John Mark Wilson, Aberystwyth University

    Department of English and Creative Writing

    3rd year PhD Candidate


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Foer, Jonathan Safran. Tree of Codes. London: Visual Editions, 2011. Print.

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Schulz, Bruno. The Street of Crocodiles and Other Stories. Translated by Celina Wieniewska. London: Penguin Books, 2008. Print.







How to Cite

A Palpable Void: The Remediation of Bruno Schulz’s The Street of Crocodiles as a Visual Work of Art in Jonathan Safran Foer’s Tree of Codes. (2014). Postgraduate English: A Journal and Forum for Postgraduates in English, 29. https://postgradenglishjournal.awh.durham.ac.uk/ojs/index.php/pgenglish/article/view/139