First American Edition of Gustav Meyrink's Masterpiece The Golem; in the rare original dust jacket
Item Number: 95179
Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1928.
First American edition of the English translation of Meyrink’s masterpiece of mysticism and the occult. Octavo, original stamped purple cloth, engraved frontispiece. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by McKnight Kauffer. A very nice example.
A contemporary of Kafka, Vienna-born writer Gustav Meyrink was a pioneer in expressionistic writing, and is considered by many among the finest of 20th century supernatural writers. The golem, as an effigy, dates back to the Middle Ages, with most stories concerning a 16th century rabbi and the golem's power to protect him. Meyrink's The Golem first appeared in 1913-14 in the periodical Die weissen Blätter, and was published in book form in Germany in 1915 where it sold over a quarter of a million copies before its first appearance in English in 1928. In the novel, Meyrink used the golem as a symbolic device to convey a paranoid's nightmare of life in the Prague ghetto of the late 19th century.