Keywords: golem, Gustav Meyrink, Austrian literature, character formation, creator-creation
For citation:

Shabelnik A.V. The Demiurgic Aspect of Meyrink’s The Golem. Studia Litterarum, 2019, vol. 4, no 4, pp. 86–97. (In Russ.)

DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2019-4-4-86-97

Author: Anna V. Shabelnik (Telichko)
Information about the author:

Anna V. Shabelnik (Telichko), PhD in Philology, Assistant Professor, Institute of Foreign Languages, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), Miklukho-Maklaya St. 7, 117198 Moscow, Russia.

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-2395-7919

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Received: February 20, 2019
Published: December 25, 2019
Issue: 2019 Vol. 4, №4
Department: World Literature
Pages: 86-97
DOI: DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2019-4-4-86-97
UDK: 821.112.2(436)
BBK: 83.3(4Авс)6


The article examines Der Golem (1915) by G. Meyrink as a genuine text which various motifs, derived from various versions of the original legend, relate to the author’s own ideas about the development of the personal self. The article mainly focuses on the central aspect of the golem legend and its representation in the novel, e.g. on the “rabbi / golem” dichotomy that reflects a broader “creator” (wisdom) / “creature” (innocence) dichotomy. The relativity of the categories “knowledge” / “innocence” and the ambivalence of the demiurgic aspect are reinforced, on the one hand, by the framed narration, on the other hand, by a broad system of characters grouped around the images associated with the original legend: rabbi — father — archivist — rag-picker — puppeteer — magician — carver — doctor. The concept of the fragmented self is fundamental for all Meyrink’s novels which protagonists, just like “golems,” develop into absolute subjects throughout the narrative. Thus, behind the references to exotic spiritual practices, Meyrink’s works reveal a romantic longing for the missing integrity, as well as the modernist interpretation of the Bildungsroman structure. 


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