Meyrink was not, despite the statements of some of his contemporaries, of Jewish descent — this rumour arose due to a confusion of his mother with a Jewish woman of the same name. He then stayed in Hamburg for a brief time, until his mother relocated to Prague in Prague[ edit ] Meyrink lived in Prague for twenty years and has depicted it many times in his works. Meyrink described it in the autobiographical short story "The Pilot". That day, August 14, , on Assumption Eve, Meyrink, twenty-four years old, was allegedly standing at his table with a gun at his head, determined to shoot himself.
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Meyrink was not, despite the statements of some of his contemporaries, of Jewish descent — this rumour arose due to a confusion of his mother with a Jewish woman of the same name. He then stayed in Hamburg for a brief time, until his mother relocated to Prague in Prague[ edit ] Meyrink lived in Prague for twenty years and has depicted it many times in his works. Meyrink described it in the autobiographical short story "The Pilot".
That day, August 14, , on Assumption Eve, Meyrink, twenty-four years old, was allegedly standing at his table with a gun at his head, determined to shoot himself. The booklet was called Afterlife. Meyrink was surprised by this dramatic coincidence and started to study the literature of the occult.
Until his death Meyrink practiced yoga and other occult exercises. In Meyrink was charged with fraud. He was charged with using spiritualism in order to benefit from banking operations. Though, after two months, he was released from jail, his banking career was effectively ended.
His jailhouse experiences are depicted in his most famous novel, The Golem — Approximately at the same time he relocated to Vienna. Almost immediately after his arrival another compilation of his short stories, The Orchid. Strange stories, was released. On May 8, Meyrink married Philomene Bernt, whom he had known since On July 16, his daughter Sybille Felizitas was born. In the third compilation of short stories, Waxworks, was published. Being in need of money, Meyrink started working as a translator and he became a prolific one; during five years he managed to translate into German fifteen volumes of Charles Dickens , as well as work by Rudyard Kipling and Lafcadio Hearn.
Meyrink also edited a series of books on the occult. It was a compilation of short stories from the previous three books and several new ones; the title is a parody of Des Knaben Wunderhorn. The main character is Athanasius Pernath, a contemporary lapidary from Prague.
It is left to the reader to decide whether Pernath is simply writing down his hallucinations or gradually becoming a real golem. Frenschkowski describes the Golem as both "a deep-footed initiatory tale and an urban fantasy ". In one more compilation of short stories, Bats, and soon a second novel, The Green Face , was published. The next year his third novel, Walpurgis Night, was written. The success of these works caused Meyrink to be ranked as one of the three main German-language supernatural fiction authors along with Hanns Heinz Ewers and Karl Hans Strobl.
On July 12, at the age of 24 he committed suicide — at the same age his father was going to do it. Meyrink survived his son by half a year. He died on December 4, in Starnberg , Bavaria, Germany. Reputation[ edit ] Frenschkowski notes "like those of most other German and Austrian fantastic writers, his books were prohibited during the Nazi era".
Plot[ edit ] The novel centers on the life of Athanasius Pernath, a jeweler and art restorer who lives in the ghetto of Prague. The story itself has a disjointed and often elliptical feel, as it was originally published in serial form and is intended to convey the mystical associations and interests that the author himself was exploring at the time. Similarly, it is revealed over the course of the book that Pernath apparently suffered from a mental breakdown on at least one occasion, but has no memory of any such event; he is also unable to remember his childhood and most of his youth, a fact that may or may not be attributable to his previous breakdown. His mental stability is constantly called into question by his friends and neighbors, and the reader is left to wonder what if anything that has taken place in the narrative actually happened. Main characters[ edit ] Athanasius Pernath: the ostensible protagonist, a jeweler who resides in the ghetto of Prague. He is the antithesis of Hillel, embodying all of the then-popular negative stereotypes surrounding Jews. Innocence Charousek: a consumptive, poverty-stricken student consumed with hatred for Wasserturm and his son, Dr.