the golem


'Just as on sultry days the static electricity builds up to unbearable tension until it discharges itself in lightning, could it not be that the steady build-up of those never-changing thoughts that poison the air in the Ghetto lead to a sudden, spasmodic discharge? [...] And just as there are natural phenomena which suggest that lightning is about to strike, so there are certain eerie portents which presage the irruption of that spectre into the physical world. The plaster off a wall will resemble a person striding along the street; the frost patterns on windows will form into the lines of staring faces; the dust drifting down from the roofs will seem to fall in a different way from usual, suggesting to the observant that it is being scattered by some invisible intelligence lurking hidden in the eaves in a secret attempt the create all sorts of strange patterns. Whether the eye rests on a uniform sameness of texture or focuses on irregularities of the skin, we fall prey to our unwelcome talent for discerning everywhere significant, ominous shapes which grow to gigantic proportions in our dreams. And always, behind the spectral attempts of these gathering swarms of thoughts to gnaw through the walls surrounding our everyday existence, we can sense the tormenting certainty that our own inmost substance is, deliberately and against our will, being sucked dry so that the phantom may take on physical form.'


- Gustav Meryrink
The Golem
(Pages 59-60)



Creepy, introspective and beautifully longwinded.

This book has a particular conclusion that i find hard to resolve for myself.
Not because it lacks sense but because Meyrink writes in such a dream-like fashion that resolution isn't really an important factor.
When has a dream ever followed the basic principles of sense-making or for that matter, concluded?
Dreams are complex, multilayered, labyrinthine even and if you could touch them, i do believe they'd feel like dense candy floss and smell like long forgotten possessions.
There's more to a dream than you'll ever remember and this is exactly how Meyrink writes and frustrates.
For some that's enough.
They'll take that unknown quantity and run with it.
But i need and desire closure.
Without it i'm finding it almost impossible to formulate the right words to review this unexpected triumph.
Not that my 'reviews' ever go into much depth or detail and i more than usually veer into talking more about how i felt about the book than the content of it.
But that's just because i'm a terrible reviewer who does think and formulate hypotheses about the story she's just digested but as is ever the case with me, i just don't have the words, or the patience, or the attention span.
Once i've finished a book i'm already looking for the next one.
There's no resting period in-between.
Only the next literary adventure.

So, here's a review on Black Gate that says what i cannot.

Bless the internet for having thoughtful people who express their ideas with eloquence and intelligence.
Not just word-vomiters like myself.