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Gustav Meyrink

( Austrian expressionist writer.)

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Biography Gustav Meyrink
Meyrink, Gustav (Gustav Meyer) (1868-1932) - famous Austrian writer-Expressionist.

Born in Vienna on January 19, 1868 as the illegitimate son of Wurtemberg minister and a famous actress. Until 1881 he lived with his mother in Munich, where he attended school and high school. Moved post new engagements mother in Hamburg, then two years later - in Prague, where in 1883 graduated with honors from the local high school. In Prague, after his mother's departure is a way of life of a young dandy, playing sports - rowing and chess, studying at a commercial school, and in 1889 with a partner founded the banking house 'Meyer and Morgenstern'. Since 1891 began a serious passion for the esoteric and the occult - it comes into theosophical lodge 'Y' Blue Star ', . studying the works of Madame Blavatsky, . interested in paranormal phenomena, . telepathy, . alchemical experiments, . participates in mediumistic sessions, . corresponded with the British Masons,
. Leads acquaintance with avant-garde-minded poets, actors and artists, who established the union in 1895 'Young Prague', which included Rainer Maria Rilke, Oscar Wiener, Paul Leppin, actor Alexander MOISSY, artists Hugo Steiner and Emil Orlik.

In 1902, Gustav Meyer had to go through a series of trials because of attempts to duel with an Austrian officer. At the same time, the bank Mayer and Morgenstern 'was subjected to inspections - suspicions were using occult practices to defraud customers. Checks revealed no violations, but the reputation of the banking house was undermined.

Gustav Meier ceases to engage in banking business and decides to devote himself to literature. By this time in the Munich magazine 'Simplicissimus' under the name of Meyrink already been published his first story, and the Munich publisher Albert Langen first book "Hot soldiers and other stories" and "Orchid". Strange stories. In 1903 Meyrink moved to Vienna, where he engaged in translations and became editor of the magazine 'My dear Augustine'. The magazine - all came out 25 rooms - printed works of Strindberg, Maeterlinck, Rossetti, Edgar Allan Poe, etc.. He manages to bring to the work of like-minded supporters of the modernist trend in literature and painting.

Meyrink continues to participate in seances, metaphysical experience, tries out new occult techniques, yoga, mastering the technique 'magical awakening heat' under Chino Farmizano etc.. Gradually, skepticism begins to permeate his fascination with esoteric. It is clear that expected on the way to expand consciousness and outputs to other worlds, and if possible, it is not to an extent, as suggested by the enthusiastic neophytes. Nevertheless, finally the occult writer never broke. It is no coincidence his works for the most part contain reference to all sorts of magical and mystical schools - Kabbalah, Christian mysticism, yoga, etc.. and attempts to reflection about the possibility of them somehow relate or reconcile with each other.

In 1906 moved to Munich, the literary capital of Germany at that time. Here come Journals modernist trend 'Jugend', 'Simplicissimus', 'Merz'. Deformation of cultural values, and in the first decades of the 20 century., Finds expression in one of the branches of modernism - Expressionism. Centers expressionism - Prague and Vienna. Expressionists extremely sharpen the most important features of reality down to their grotesque, fantastic distortion. Hence the attraction to the underlined emotion, tragedy, mysticism.

Meyrink is located in the center of artistic and conceptual search of his time - published in 'Merz' literary parody and travel sketches, is engaged in translation, along with the writer Rod Rod trying to write dramatic works. This is the most productive period of his life, when they were written by the most famous novels "The Golem" (1913) and "Green face" (1915), which was huge for the European edition of 100 and 40 thousand copies of. Since 1911, lives with his family near Munich in the town of Starnberg Lake Starnberg, engaged in literary activities and continuing to practice the occult and the esoteric.

At the heart of the novel "The Golem" (1913) are fantastic events taking place in the Jewish Quarter in Prague. The protagonist - the carver of cameos - is itself a Golem, a clay man revived, serve the rabbi, then someone else - dying in the same capacity, he is reborn in another. The appearance of double leads to a chain of meetings, events, travel through time and space - has escaped the control Golem walks in the world, spreading around the robbery and murder. This image was prescient for our times, those anticipating trouble and destruction, which were brought to mankind its great scientific inventions, in particular, managed atom. In the end the protagonist goes out of oblivion - a typical reception completion of the mystical journey - in this case painted esoteric Kabbalah.

In the "golem" it is about the mystical visions. One-dimensional existence becomes multivalued, transparent and ghostly, in its gaps shine other worlds, other fate, mysterious symbols and prophetic signs. The main difficulty is the attempt to find the meaning that will help unravel the thread of his own existence. In addition, the novel is permeated with irony and bitterness - in the volatile, ever-changing world is practically impossible to find solid ground under their feet, find the life orientation.

"Golem" repeatedly portrayed in Germany and Czechoslovakia. The best screen version is considered a silent film directed by Paul Wegener only (1920), which became a masterpiece of Expressionism in cinema. In this novel the director is taken from a legend of the Golem - creatures with enormous power.

In the novel "Green face" (1916) events occur after the First World War in Amsterdam, flooded with refugees. The focus of the novel - characters from 'waking' consciousness, which are in an intense search of characters and revelations indicating to them the way in the world lose its stability. Random encounters become fatal, fleeting visions turn into prophetic insights. The main character meets with seemingly random people and found among them his beloved. And each is under the influence of a mystical teachings or spiritual tradition. These developments are likely to be interpreted from different perspectives - that of Christian mysticism, and Kabbalah, and yoga, and voodoo, that confuses many as heroes, and readers. In this fleeting desire, brought an unknown force, for example, voodoo magic, can cause inexplicable from the standpoint of common sense death, as happened with the beloved hero. Such is the situation in the world where nothing is sustainable, where people are trying to find a new pillar of its existence, to understand what their purpose. And over all the events as a symbol of power and a fatal game of mystical forces in human life prevails green face - the face-mask of an ancient old man, appearing in the fevered minds of the protagonist.

The Magic Horn Burger "(1913) - in this collection includes early stories Meyrink, printed in journals, and early collections of short stories" hot men "," Orchids "and" The Cabinet of Wax. The red thread of all stories - ridicule layman, is inclined to interpret the esoteric and occult experience as meaningless tricks and stunts aimed at best to amuse and surprise the burger bored, at worst - to trick him. Narrow-minded consciousness, which is adjacent to the narrow limitations of infantile desire to insatiable razvlekatelstvu, often becomes the target of ridicule Meyrink. Tendency to treatment of all the events happening in the outside world in a single plane - the plane visible tangible facts and truths - is something that has always been a writer blasts irony and indignation.

Next was written by a number of works - stories of "Bats" (1916), novels "Walpurgis Night" (1917) and "white friar" (1921).

"Angel of the West Window (1927) - Meyrink's last novel - is an alleged transcript of records of the court astrologer of Queen Elizabeth of England, John Dee. As always in Meyrink's novels, is busy searching the grounds towards the individual - the truths that would simultaneously give stability and open space movement forward. In the center of the search - androgyne, combining masculine and feminine. Compared with previous works, the number of religious, mystical, magical schools participating in the 'alchemy of the spirit', reaches a maximum.

Meyrink died Dec. 4, 1932 in Starnberg.

Works of Gustav Meyrink reflects the global challenge of European aesthetics in the early 20. - The search for the boundaries between fiction and illusion, between reality and its interpretation and justification. Universal popular writer of novels, especially the Golem, nonrandom. Their intonation - stoicism when faced with an absurdity of existence, is reminiscent of many authors, including Russian oberiutov. Meyrink laid the foundation of the new novel, phantasmagoria, received a special distribution in the XX century. It is within this genre and were actively being sought new reality, which could coexist universal and particular, emotion and thought, individual experience and kind.


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