Schulz's abbreviated genius (two books was all before he was shot in the Drohobycz ghetto by an SS man in 1942) tantalizes--and anything that's recovered in addition seems valuable. Here is a selection of his mordant graphics and many letters, as well as a few important essays (on Gombrowicz's Ferdydurke and one on Kafka) and three autonomous prose pieces (one of which, ""Autumn,"" ranks with Schulz's best prose). The letters make up the bulk of the book--and for the most part they are more remarkable for their pathetic obsequiousness to Polish inkhorns of the day (writers usually far inferior to Schulz) than they are for their literary qualities. Those qualities Schulz had already expended in earlier letters, now lost, in which--to various correspondents--he drafted the extraordinary provincial portraits that were to make up his masterpieces, Cinnamon Shops and Sanitorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass. Harried by his job as a teacher, hypochondriacal, unlucky in love, feeling ever the cut-off yokel--these flavors do come out in the letters included here. . .and there's one especially heartbreaking series in which Schulz finagles various influences to get him to Paris in 1938--where he stayed for a while, and then left to go home and to his death.