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Illustrierte Sonderausgabe mit den Geschichten von: Gebrüder Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen und Co.
Gerrig, Philip G. Zimbardo, Ralf Graf, Simone Rothgangel, Modernity resists an all-encompassing definition and continues to generate attempts to circumscribe its complex structure. Broadly viewed as a series of social and intellectual upheavals beginning in the Renaissance, several critics and cultural theorists argue that modernity describes experiences and relationships permeated by ambivalence: the clash of concomitant yet mutually exclusive paradigms Bauman 5; Berman 16; Habermas 3; Kniesche and Brockmann 7—12; Treitel 17— As such, his sleepwalkers are caught in the massive flux of historical and epistemological shifts as they manifested themselves at the turn of the twentieth century.
This incarnation of the somnambulist inhabits a dark corner of modernity — the danger that lurks among the intangible and hidden powers of the mind. Meyrink, as another voice in this choir, recognizes neither uneasiness nor perniciousness in somnambulism. Instead, he views the somnambulistic condition as integral to mending the inherent rift within each human being. A colourful and controversial figure, Meyrink was often in the centre of conflict because of his brazen and iconoclastic character Frank; Karle; Lube; Marzin; Mitchell; Smit.
One of the reasons why he was so controversial was his caustic derision of those who favoured empirical science at the expense of the occult. In addition to his satires, he also chronicled his own attempts to harness occultist forces, and his novels arguably could be read as fictionalized accounts of individuals on journeys of salvation, journeys that overcome dualism and lead to freedom and felicity.
Salvation is realized only at the end of a process of awakening to higher knowledge, and this awakening is contingent upon escaping daily consciousness and entering a state of awareness akin to a somnambulistic state. Meyrink often writes about varying degrees of awareness that hinge on the underlying dualistic structure of human experience. In Der Golem , somnambulism is the trope most closely associated with the condition in which the unnamed narrator, Pernath, crosses the planes of consciousness. Der Golem is a framed narrative and begins with an unnamed protagonist drifting off to sleep after having read a biography of the Buddha.
He begins to dream, and this dream is the bridge between the framed and embedded nar- ratives. The reader then follows Pernath as he encounters the tempestuous personalities and negotiates the perilous day-to-day workings of the Prague ghetto. Pernath stands entangled in both threads, as an unscrupulous member of the ghetto has him falsely charged with the murder of a local watchmaker. As a result, he is arrested and subsequently, after months of incarceration, released. This kind of interaction is not unique. During this process of self-discovery, Pernath comes into contact with gurus, ghoulish apparitions, and mystical texts.
All of this culminates in his release from prison and return to the ghetto only to find it abandoned. On Christmas Eve, fire breaks out in his building, and he escapes by climbing out of his window and falls to the pavement below, but not before witnessing visions on the way down that bear great import to his destiny. This signals the end of the embedded narrative and brings the reader back to the slumbering unnamed protagonist of the frame. Upon waking, the protagonist realizes that he had taken the wrong hat at High Mass earlier in the day — the hat belonging to Athanasius Pernath.
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Wishing to return the hat to its owner, he seeks out and eventually finds Pernath in the Alchimistengasse on the Hradschin, a place of great spiritual energy that the narrator encountered in his dream. Two further aspects of the ending of the novel are worth noting. Although he lived decades prior to this discovery, he has not aged a day, he exists in a place beyond time.
Also, he and the unnamed narrator are physically identical. This interpretation, which combines fiction and autobiography, comes into focus through the lens of allegory. Allegory is an exegetical matrix, a text that creates a space in which different interpretations can arise. The key to multiple interpretations resides in the narrative structure. A coupling of the primary and proof texts extrapolates a reading distinct from — yet coeval to — the original narrative. She identifies two species of allegory that have developed over time: allegory as metaphor fabulistic and allegory as metonymy figurative.
This species of allegory links signs in a text — for example a fox and a crow — to a general moral code, for example, that flattery from certain quarters should be accepted with a grain of salt. Madsen quotes A. An example of this kind of allegory is the Christian exegesis of the Bible. When reading the Bible, one identifies an interpretive relation between the Old Testament figure and its spiritual, New Testament referent Essential to this latter species of allegory, as Madsen frames it, are shared figures or themes that link both texts. In this text, Meyrink interweaves personal experiences, philosophical reflections, and polemical exclamations to illustrate the schism of the psyche as well as to help the reader to overcome this intrinsic ailment.
At the nexus of this textual confluence stands, or wanders, the sleepwalker. The sleepwalker is the lynchpin for an allegorical reading. The contiguity between the two texts resides not in a precise mirroring of biography and fiction, but in shared signposts along paths to salvation. First, one must become receptive to the turbulence of the supernatural realm. This is achieved by entering a trance represented by somnambulism. Contact with the apparitions of the spiritual realm is the next phase. Finally, one deciphers the language of the intuition with the help of guides and gurus. For example, his novels explore a variety of esoteric traditions, and therefore one cannot ascribe a one-to-one connection between his own views and the views and deeds portrayed in his novels.
Instead, the current study argues that throughout his fiction and nonfiction there are common processes that allow for the identification of patterns in his texts that invite comparisons. The first common trait of these processes that heal the duality in each human being is entering the realm of the supernatural through a somnambulistic trance. Andrew J. The method for healing the spiritual divide is the practice of proper yoga. Yoga, which Meyrink notes is largely absent in modern society, is an instrument for mediating between the spiritual and material realities because it marries spiritual energy to worldly activity.
This is the crux of his text and indeed much of his ourevre. He outlines how this unification is conducted, and uses a seminal metaphor in illustrating this process: the somnambulist. He explains: Ich beobachtete mich selbst dabei so scharf ich nur konnte. Dabei wurde mir bald klar: all das geschieht nur zu dem Zweck, damit du die Augachsen parallel stellst. Sleepwalkers exist in a state of intermediate consciousness — or as a character in Der Golem describes it: the sleepwalker wanders in a region between waking and deep sleep.
Meyrink tells of meditating outside and wondering to himself how late it had become. The ability of inner sight becomes possible after entering a heightened state of spiritual awareness The protagonist in Der Golem, Athanasius Pernath, finds himself in similar situations. At one point in the embedded narrative, Pernath falls into a deep trance and is unresponsive to any external stimulus. This stupor embodies the first phase in the process of spiritual awakening.
During this episode Pernath witnesses a series of opaque and eerie visions. Significant among these is the book Ibbur, which, according to Hillel, makes the soul fertile with the spirit of life The apparitions encountered here and elsewhere remain with Pernath as he attempts to decode their meaning. Eventually, Meyrink did begin to listen and to follow the leadership of this figure and came to recognize it as central to his well-being.
Er ist das, was wir im Leben Vorsehung nennen.
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Pernath also encounters a mysterious character that leads him down the path of happiness and to salvation. The role of the disguised one in the novel is taken on by the golem and further illustrates metonymic allegory. After the unnamed narrator drifts off to sleep and launches the embedded narrative, Athanasius Pernath enters the story finding himself in curious circum- stances.
He is suddenly overcome with tremendous feelings of anxiety. He falls into a curious stupor and is confronted with the visage of a strange figure. The golem, as Hillel makes clear, represents the awakening of the dead. It transmits cryptic images and symbols that Pernath must learn to decipher, just as the disguised one did for Meyrink. Instead, one must act on knowledge procured in that realm. As Meyrink details the events surrounding this progression, life allowed him to overcome setbacks caused by charlatans posing as sages and to glean true wisdom from his encounters, albeit not without struggle and hardship.
Upon meeting O. These exercises did not, however, produce the desired result, instead Meyrink learned from people he trusted that O. This is not the only experience Meyrink had with so-called gurus. Through his contact with O. He needed to identify the needle of truth in the haystack of falsehoods in his journey, but Pernath has better luck with his spiritual mentors. Several figures assist Pernath in his journey. One of them is his cellmate in prison, Amadeus Laponder. Pernath is appalled when he first meets Laponder, who is condemned to death on charges of rape and murder.
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Yet Laponder is not completely what he seems. Here again the unity of the soul is necessary for the ultimate goal of immortality to be achieved. Laponder then speaks more directly to the seminal figure in this enterprise. This in fact is precisely what happens after Pernath gains his freedom from prison. After his release, Pernath returns to the ghetto only to find it in shambles. The quarter has been torn down, and all that he had known is no more.
At that moment, fire breaks out and Pernath is forced out of the building and falls to the street below. Of importance here is the culmination of the journey toward sal- vation. Pernath becomes receptive to the supernatural through somnambulistic fugues. He learns and interprets the symbols of the language of intuition with the help of gurus and guides. This knowledge liberates an individual from a fundamental fear — the fear of death. The current reality is merely one among many, and Meyrink claims that one can recall the memories of past lives through yoga.
Once again, yoga, an exercise that induces a somnambulistic condition, is the key to accessing the beyond. In the same text, Meyrink attempts to shed more light on the nature of yoga by employing a metaphor of the divided self. He writes that the human being is a Doppelwesen, das [ The unification of the self results in the knowledge of immortality, knowledge that Pernath also gains. After the fire scene in the embedded narrative, Pernath plummets to the street below, and the narrator of the framed narrative awakens with a start. He learns that he had slept for less than an hour and is still confused when he realizes that he had taken the wrong hat after High Mass.
The narrator then sets out to find the place where Pernath lived. Making his way to the Hradschin, he comes upon an idyllic vision in the Alchimistengasse, with which he became acquainted during his wanderings as Pernath. On the gate is the god Osiris in the form of a hermaphrodite — the symbol of unification. The servant of the house approaches, and the narrator hands him the hat. Once the gate is opened, the narrator spies the miraculously unaged Pernath. Pernath has achieved the unification of his soul and resides with Miriam in the shadow of the hermaphrodite.
Intrinsic similitude — the defining mark of metonymic allegory — appears again and again through the analysis. Figures from different philosophical and cultural traditions such as August Comte, Helena Blavatsky, and Walter Benjamin framed epistemological questions in terms of a duality between the material and the mystical.
Some rejected one realm in favour of the other, some sought to meld the two together, and others lamented the separation of the two in art. Meyrink sought his own resolution in the occult; his solution to the epistemological crisis is outlined in both his autobiographical and his fictional texts. His best-selling novel, Der Golem, is an example of how his texts express his own epistemology.
This knowledge is attainable through occultist means and resides within the individual. At the core of this endeavour is the somnambulist, for in order to experience true awakening, one must wander the realm between waking and deep sleep. Amsterdam: Rodopi, Bauman, Zygmunt.
Modernity and Ambivalence. Benjamin, Walter. Harry Zohn. New York: Schocken, Berman, Marshall. New York: Penguin, Die Schlafwandler. Broszeit-Rieger, Ute Ingrid. U of Virginia, Cersowsky, Peter. Phantastische Literatur im ersten Viertel des Munich: Fink, Cowan, Bainard.
Cranston, Sylvia. Frank, Eduard. Meyrink, Das Haus zur letzten Latern 7— Gaede, Friedrich. Harmsen, Theodor. Amsterdam: Pelikaan, Jansen, Bella. Jennings, Lee B. William Coyle. Westport: Greenwood, Jung, C. Psychologie und Alchemie. Zurich: Rascher, Karle, Robert. Kniesche, Thomas, and Stephen Brockmann. Lube, Manfred. Rein A. Madsen, Deborah L. New York: St. Marzin, Florian. Okkultismus und Phantastik in den Romanen Gustav Meyrink.
Essen: Blaue Eule, Meyrink, Gustav. An der Grenze des Jenseits. Das Haus zur letzten Latern — Der Engel vom westlichen Fenster. Eduard Frank. Der Golem. Munich: Ullstein, Das Haus zur letzten Latern: Nachgelassenes und Verstreutes. Das Haus zur letzten Latern — Prague: Vitalis, Hamburg: Books on Demand, Donald G. Riverside: Ariadne Press, Vivo: The Life of Gustav Meyrink. Cambs: Dedalus, Winfried Freund. Pastuszka, Anna. Qasim, Mohammad. Gustav Meyrink: Eine monographische Untersuchung. Stuttgart: Heinz, Quilligan, Maureen.
The Language of Allegory: Defining the Genre. Heinz Otto Burger. Scholem, Gerschom. On the Kabbalah and its Symbolism. Ralph Manheim. Smit, Frans. Teskey, Gordon. Treitel, Corinna. Webber, Andrew J. Oxford: Clarendon, Weber, Samuel. Wiene, Robert, dir. Das Cabinet des Dr.
Written by Hans Janowitz and Conrad Mayer. Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt. Decla Bioscop, Wolkan, Rudolf. Augsburg: J. Stauda, Meyrink, Der Engel — Dat es e Hellijebooch! Getauft ist. Ich spitzte die Ohren. Was hatte ich da gelesen?
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Also hatten diese Laute eine wirkliche Bedeutung. Derheiligeaufdemrost meinte wirklich einen Heiligen auf dem Rost. With regard to the cultural heritage of European Christianity, the passage is illuminating for a number of reasons.
First, it reminds us that stories of saints were the most popular literature of premodern times and still resonate in Christian contexts today. The stories collected in the Legenda Aurea by Jacobus de Voragine established an especially strong tradition of transmitting, preserving, and representing the sacred for European Christians, and probably provided much of the background for the text mentioned in the passage cited above. Second, the level of ex- cessive violence portrayed in some of these narratives is especially noteworthy. In medieval hagiography, as well as in visual art, bodies of saints are subjected to cruel treatments.
They are beaten, mutilated, burned, boiled, or tortured to death in the most brutal ways imaginable. Third, the function of these passages is not always immediately clear to the modern reader. Because the episodes are more often than not excessively brutal, they have raised questions about the mentality of the historical audience for which they were written.
Why were they fascinated by such brutality? The religious content, however, seems to speak less to her, and perhaps this hints at how religious memoria came to lose its potency over time. All the same, the succession of violent acts and the final resurrection does not follow the usual causalities of time, space, or mortality and can be adequately understood only in the context of a religious culture.
From the Middle Ages to modernity the sacred makes a transition to the literary through a number of major alterations, especially with respect to the status of the narrator. However, the primary focus of this article lies in an attempt to understand selected body concepts of saints from medieval times to modernity — their position between materiality and transcendence, their relation to space, and conceptualizations of the sacred. In this story, Mann introduces the peculiar notion that with time a saint might shrink to the size of a hedgehog.
It builds upon recent scholarly work on medieval concepts of saintliness and sexuality, the body, and pain. Special attention will be given to the fact that the body itself can become a space for encountering the sacred. During the Middle Ages, European Christians could expect to encounter the sacred in a number of different locations.
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These were exquisite places where space and imagination came together in a complex way to make transcendental experiences possible. However, the body of a devout believer could also be considered a locus within which an experience with God might be possible. Among other medieval narratives, this sort of intercourse with God has often been related in stories of the saints, in other words, hagiography.
This can best be illustrated with an example of the legend of Saint Vincentius, as narrated by Jacobus de Voragine in the Legenda Aurea, from the second half of the thirteenth century. It pushes the tendencies outlined above to an extreme. Whereas just one of these tortures would have sufficed to kill a person, the martyr survives a whole series of them. Thus a rather laconic, repetitious, and mechanical quality is another curious aspect to be found in the physical torture portrayed in legends of saints.
It makes the grisly depictions physically and physiologically somewhat implausible. The brutality sometimes leaves an almost comical impression on the modern reader — the story of St. George, for instance, reminding Sarah Kay of a Tom and Jerry plot This association is actually not out of place. Instead of suffering from pain and agony, they seem to feel joy in anticipation of new afflictions to come. The corporeal experience suggested in the text is most surely grounded in feelings of pain, and we are supposed to believe that the martyr is indeed suffering.
In addition, the saint also willingly embraces the pain in an effort to experience it to the fullest and to transform it into a spiritual encounter. Connections and differences to the descriptions of masochistic pleasures provided by torture in modern literature, most notably in the works of the Marquis de Sade, have been discussed, among others, by Kay and Niklaus Largier Lob der Peitsche.
It is therefore safe to assume that one important historical element of an ideologization of eroticized pain is the fact that the experience of intense suffering is considered a form of imitatio Christi. According to this Christian tradition, the feeling of pain is one way to become especially close to Jesus. The fierce desire for such divine intimacy finds expression in the fact that the abuse of the saints was meant to be at least as bad as that suffered by Christ.
And in the process of this experience, the saintly martyr supposedly undergoes a specific act of transformation in which pain is ultimately replaced by beauty, sweetness, and good fortune. While the saint embraces his pain, God intervenes and causes a miracle. The body literally becomes a stage upon which the sacred is enacted — a contact zone for divinity.
On the contrary, the body plays an active part in the search for a spiritual experience that can be achieved by an act of transforming pain. The fact that the body is at first reduced to the essence of its pure materiality through its ability to experience pain is the pre- condition that opens possibilities to encounter the transcendental. It is instead an example of the so-called conversio. Conversio also represents the other dominant style of saintly legend.
It is in most cases related to the realization that a person has lead a sinful life, which elicits an intense wish for change. The person is moved to ask for atonement and forgiveness and engages in ascetic practices. However, the suffering of the body plays a similarly central role in the lives of ascetics as in the lives of martyrs, and it involves a very similar emphasis on physical affliction. The violent maltreatment of the body through nutritional and other deprivations can also be interpreted as a form of martyrdom — in the end, another route to sanctity through the body.
A short hagiographic version is extant in the Latin Gesta Romanorum the differences between this legend and Gregorius outlined by Haug — Even less than its French model, the text is not simply a legend, but a generic hybrid between hagiography and courtly novel. By opening the hagiographic content and structure to that of the courtly novel, the text has moved a significant step further away from cult to fictional literature Kiening The generic hybridity reflects the opposition of chivalry and clergy that is outlined in the story.
Gregorius is the product of an incestuous relationship between his parents, who were brother and sister. After having left behind a life that was destined by his adoptive father, an abbot, to be spent within the spiritual community of a cloister, Gregorius begins a knightly career. Then, unwittingly, he commits incest himself with his mother.
Therefore, the story is in essence one of many medieval adaptations and expansions on the classical tale of Oedipus Archibald; Huber. However, Gregorius is involved not only in one, but in two illicit relationships. As Walter Haug has pointed out, this represents one of the greatest challenges of the plot and the way it is structured in the German version. Besides the puzzling question about the nature of his sin, the point of special interest here is how Gregorius deals with it.
He decides that his extreme behaviour demands extreme punishment, and he voluntarily chains himself to a stone in the middle of the ocean. His bodily consumption consists only of a little water. Thus is Gregorius portrayed as an ascetic. Ascetics are fundamentally creators of vision- ary images, activities, and spaces. They use the body with all its different senses, allowing it to be gripped by the process and to become conduits for the powerful images and emotions involved.
Well-known paradigms for this type of saint are the so-called Stylites, those ascetics following the example of the Syrian Symeon Stylites, who supposedly spent forty years standing atop a stone column in the desert. Largier is interested in the fact that this type of isolation from the world leads to the production of new, imaginary, artificial worlds.
These are commonly known as visions or demonic temptations. Largier analyzes the connection between asceticism and imaginary worlds as a cultural-historical phenomenon. Gregorius, on the contrary, is clearly a sinner involved in an act of penitence. However, like Symeon resting almost motionless on his column in the desert, Gregorius is confined to a physically small and isolated space. It really makes no difference that the desert is replaced by its opposite elemental environment, the ocean.
It is physically torturous and unbearable, but rich in emotional experiences. As Scott E. Both scholars seem to follow the conventional view that an ascetic is attempting to mortify the flesh, instead of aiming to stimulate its sensitivity. During this whole time he was nourished by the biblical wisdom of God.
The passage reveals exactly the connections between text, imagination, and holiness to which Largier refers when he speaks of a rhetorical application of the senses in asceticism. It is by no means accidental that the metaphors used for his skin and bones — thorns and linen — hint of objects associated with the suffering body of Jesus on the cross. This pious man is undoubtedly involved in the practice of imitatio Christi. Ultimately, this also leads to his elevation as rightful leader of the entire Christian world.
In the end, for suffering and surviving so long, Gregorius is ultimately granted a reprieve and made pope. While no sin is so great that it cannot be pardoned, the assumption would be false that every sin is ultimately assured forgiveness. This becomes manifest in the differing ways they relate body to space. To be sure, Mann had no intention of writing a historically based medieval narrative. As in all his novels dealing with historical or mythical themes, he set out instead to establish a dialogue between the past and present.
His references to the Middle Ages serve to illuminate modernity, and vice versa. The most important point of contention has been an intentional transfer of religious to fictional motivation. Yet scholars still have difficulty coming to terms with the religious dimension of the book. It is worth remembering that the potential tensions between literary and religious discourses have always been an element of hagiographic writing.
More important seems the question: what was it about the Christian concepts of pen- ance and forgiveness that seem to have inspired the modern author, and how does a sinner the size of a hedgehog fit into the scheme of holy bodies? In the medieval text the liquid is described simply as water. Er war satt.
In a sophisticated style, he even combines detailed de- scriptions of bodily functions with religious poetry. It is not by coincidence that this somewhat off-putting ascetic, dripping fluid out of his mouth, reminds one of a full, freshly nursed baby. Its effect, however, is just the opposite. Should one conclude from this description of an eremitic lifestyle that in order to become a saint it is necessary to revert to an infantile condition? The previously quoted passage seems to support this perception. His peculiar choices modify the interpretation of physi- cality concerning the relationship between body and space that was outlined earlier and presents a different condition for experiencing transcendence.
Religious discourse re- mains a strong subtext throughout the modern version.
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