Gustav Meyrink  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Gustav Meyrink (January 19 1868December 4 1932) was an Austrian author, storyteller, dramatist, translator, banker and Buddhist, most famous for his novel The Golem.


In 1915 the first and the most famous Meyrink's novel, The Golem, was published, though its drafts may be traced back to 1908. The novel is rooted in Jewish legend about a rabbi who made a living being called golem (גולם) out of clay and animated him with a Kabbalistic spell. The main character is Athanasius Pernath, a contemporary artist from Prague. It is left to the reader to decide whether Pernath is simply writing down his hallucinations or gradually turning into a real golem. The novel was a huge success and an unprecedented amount of copies were published. In 1916 one more compilation of short stories, Bats, and soon the second novel, The Green Face, came into the world. The number of copies sold of The Green Face reached 40,000, and 100,000 of The Golem.

The next year the third novel, Walpurgis Night, was written. It was a strange coincidence that a novel about popular riots instigated by forces of evil to flood Prague with blood, was released in 1917.

By 1920 Meyrink's financial affairs improved so that he managed to buy a villa in Starnberg. The villa became known as "The House at the Last Lantern" after the name of the house from The Golem. There he and his family lived for the next eight years and two more masterpieces — The White Dominican and Meyrink's biggest novel The Angel of the West Window — were written.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Gustav Meyrink" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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