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This complex, ambitious novel, which centers on the life of the Elizabethan magus John Dee, intertwines past and present, dreams and visions, myth and reality into a world of the occult, culminating in the transmission of physical reality into a higher spiritual existence. John Dee, through this twentieth-century descendant, is led by the green Angel to the "Other Side of the Mirror." From the erotically alluring Assja (in all her incarnations), the pliant Jane, and the mischievous Queen Elizabeth I, to the earless charlatan Kelly, the grotesque Barlett Greene, and the sinister Emperor Rudolph II, John Dee heads a cast of characters that linger in the mind long after novel has been concluded.
Of the volumes available to the English public, The Green Face, first published in 1916, is the most enjoyable. In an Amsterdam that very much resembles the Prague of The Golem, a stranger, Hauberisser, enters by chance a magician's shop. The name on the shop, he believes, is Chidher Green; inside, among several strange customers, he hears an old man, who says his name is Green, explain that, like the Wandering Jew, he has been on earth 'ever since the moon has been circling the heaven.' When Hauberisser catches sight of the old man's face, it makes him sick with horror. The face haunts him. The rest of the novel chronicles Hauberisser's quest for the elusive and horrible old man." Alberto Manguel in The Observer This translation of The Green Face evokes a brooding, pre-first world war Amsterdam of ghettos, refugees and religious cults. The novel can be be read on many levels, something which no doubt contributed to its longevity. Eric Hidrew in The Leeds Guide Gustav Meyrink's most mystical novel yet. First published in 1916 to critical and commercial acclaim, the book is set in the near future of post-war Amsterdam, and is an elating vision of apocalypse. A trait of Meyrink's novels, particularly The Green Face, is its depth of meanings, which go beyond one single interpretation. It deals with love, a galaxy of grotesque characters, but it has other hidden significances, like the mystic conception of life. Full of symbols and parables, it's a very complex novel that is difficult to understand, but certainly worth the trouble. DT in Buzz Magazine
Comic and fantastic, gruesome and grotesque, Walpurgisnacht uses Prague as the setting for a clash between German officialdom immured in the ancient castle above the Moldau, and a Czech revolution seething in the city below. History, myth and political reality merge in an apocalyptic climax as the rebels, urged on by a drum covered in human skin, storm the castle to crown a poor violinist 'Emperor of the World' in St Vitus' Cathedral.Written in 1917 Walpurgisnacht continues the message of The Green Face of a decadent society on the brink of collapse and of a Europe past salvation. In it we see Meyrink's exceptional narrative powers at their height."It is 1917. Europe is torn apart by war, Russia in the grip of revolution, the Austro-Hungarian Empire on the brink of collapse. It is Walpurgisnacht, springtime pagan festival of unbridled desire. In this volcanic atmosphere, in a Prague of splendour and decay, the rabble prepare to storm the hilltop castle, and Dr Thaddaeus Halberd, once the court physician, mourns his lost youth. Phantasmagorical prose, energetically translated, marvellously evokes past and present, personal and political, a devastated world."The Times
The story of a jeweler and art restorer living in the ghetto of Prague.
Presenting Druidry in an easy-to-understand way, making the concepts open to everyone. Pagan Portals - The Urban Ovate, continues the process started by Brendan Howlin in The Handbook of Urban Druidy by moving deeper into the life of an urban ovate.
The Other Side tells of a dream kingdom which becomes a nightmare, of a journey to Pearl, a mysterious city created deep in Asia, which is also a journey to the depths of the subconcious, or as Kubin himself called it, 'a sort of Baedeker for those lands which are half known to us'. Written in 1908, and more or less half way between Meyrink and Kafka, it was greeted with wild enthusiasm by the artists and writers of the Expressionist generation. ' Expressionist illustrator Kubin wrote this fascinating curio, his only literary work in 1908. A town named Pearl, assembled and presided over by the aptly named Patera, is the setting for his hallucinatory vision of a society founded on instinct over reason. Culminating apocalyptically - plagues of insects, mountains of corpses and orgies in the street - it is worth reading for its dizzying surrealism alone. Though ostensibly a gothic macabre fantasy, it is tempting to read The Other Side as a satire on the reactionary, idealist utopianism evident in German thought in the early twentieth century, highly prescient in its gloom, given later developments. The language often suggests Nietsche. The inevitable collapse of Patera's creation is lent added horror by hindsight. Kubin's depiction of absurd bureaucracy is strongly reminiscent of Kafka's The Trial, and his flawed utopia, situated next to a settlement of supposed savages, brings to mind Huxley's Brave New World; it precedes both novels, and this superb new translation could demonstrate its influence on subsequent modern literature.' Kieron Pim in Time Out It will appeal to fans of Mervyn Peake and readers who like the darkly decadent, the fantastic and the grotesque in their reading.
Since the publication of Gary Lachman's The Dedalus Book of the Occult we have been inundated with requests to make this book available in English. - Russian decadent/occult classic. - For Dedalus readers it will call to mind Gustav Meyrink's The Angel of the West Window. - Introduction by Gary Lachman. The Fiery Angel or a True Story in which is related of the Devil, not once but often appearing in the Image of a Spirit of Light to a Maiden and seducing her to Various and Many Sinful Deeds of Ungodly Practices of Magic, Alchymy, Astrology the Cabalistical Sciences and Necromancy, of the Trial of the Said Maiden under the Presidency of His Eminence the Archbishop of Trier, as well as of Encounters and Discourses with the Knight and thrice Doctor Agrippa of Nettesheim, and with Doctor Faustus, composed by an Eyewitness.
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