"A superbly atmospheric story set in the old Prague ghetto featuring The Golem, a kind of rabbinical Frankenstein's monster, which manifests iitself every 33 years in a room without a door. Stranger still, it seems to have the same face as the narrator. Made into a film in 1920, this extraordinary book combines uncanny psychology of doppelganger stories with expressionism and more than a little melodrama... Meyrink's old Prague - like Dicken's London - is one of the great creations of City writing, an eerie, claustrophobic and fantastical underworld where anything can happen." -- Phil Baker in The Sunday Times
From a literary point of view, Meyrink is one of the most talented and most annoying satirists to emerge in twentieth century Germany, and also who had the ability to prick his victims into a frenzy that is now difficult to understand. He was also one of the earliest expressionist writers, and certainly the foremost twentieth century novelist of the supernatural. He is now remembered mostly for Der Golem (The Golem), a mystical love story of charm, tenderness and terror.
The Cabalah...found in the ghettos a suitable home for its strange speculations on the nature of God, the magical power of letters, and the possibility of creating a man in the same way that God created Adam. This homunculus was called the Golem...Gustaf Meyrink uses this legend...in a dreamlike setting on the other side of the mirror and he has invested it with a horror so palpable that it has remained in my memory all these years.
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Meet the Author
Gustav Meyrink (I868-1932) found worldwide critical and commercial acclaim with his first novel The Golem (I9I5), which prior to the Dedalus Meyrink programme has been the only work available in English. It established his reputation as the master of the occult and the grotesque.(He was the German translator of Dickens). His reputation declined in his last years but his work is now being reassessed in Germany & Austria, and he is now considered as one of the most important German language novelists of the 20th century . Dedalus is part of the European-wide movement championing Meyrink's work. A new translation of The Golem was published by Dedalus in 1995, and the first English translations of The Green Face; Walpurgisnacht, The Angel of the West Window, The White Dominican, The Opal (and other stories), were published by Dedalus during 1991-94 making all of Meyrink's major work available in English.
In 2008 Dedalus published the first English language biography of Gustav Meyrink,Vivo: The Life of Gustav Meyrink by Mike Michell. In 2010 Dedalus will publish a further collection of Meyrink's short stories.
For many years an academic with a special interest in Austrian literature and culture, Mike Mitchell has been a freelance literary translator since 1995.
He is one of Dedalus's editorial directors and is responsible for the Dedalus translation programme.
He has published over fifty translations from German and French, including Gustav Meyrink's five novels and The Dedalus Book of Austrian Fantasy.
His translation of Rosendorfer's Letters Back to Ancient China won the 1998 Schlegel-Tieck Translation Prize after he had been shortlisted in previous years for his translations of Stephanie by Herbert Rosendorfer and The Golem by Gustav Meyrink.
His translations have been shortlisted three times for The Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize:Simplicissimus by Johann Grimmelshausen in 1999, The Other Side by Alfred Kubin in 2000 and The Bells of Bruges by Georges Rodenbach in 2008.
His biography of Gustav Meyrink:Vivo:The Life of Gustav Meyrink was published by Dedalus in November 2008.