Tips where most don’t look – Gustav Meyrink
I am Gustav Meyrink. It is now 1892 and I am 24 years old. I stand in the middle of the room on the table with a gun in my hand, and seriously think – "Why live?" If you are very focused on something, then you are sure to miss the most important thing. I became a banker, realized as a writer, practiced yoga, and made the most of my time in prison. And it’s all thanks to Life After Death, but it’s not what you think. So. I, Gustav Meyrink, am a cult figure and iconic figure. And no one remembers me.
Gustav is with us…
A mystical weekend is when Gustav Meyrink, a famous banker, writer and translator, tells everything about himself in the first person… that he remembers after his life. We dedicate this weekend to one of the most mysterious success stories. How the Golem, the author of this blog, comes to life, on the 150th anniversary of his birth, Meyrinka fulfills his will – he writes on behalf of a forgotten mystic banker.
Gustav Meyrink and his “I Live"
Above my tombstone you can see just one word – "I live." But even if I “live”, then certainly not in the memory of my descendants. There is a museum not far from my burial place, but if you ask about me there, you will stumble upon emptiness. Librarians and museum workers rarely talk about me. The Germans and Austrians still cannot decide where I come from. The confusion and lack of excursions to my tombstone is due to a simple circumstance – no one remembers me.
Don’t believe? If you are in Germany, ask the locals who Meyrink is. And if you happen to visit Austria, you can find out there too … more precisely, make sure that no one knows anything about me, and if they did, they don’t remember or remember poorly.
By whom and where Gustav Meyrink is forgotten
I am not remembered in the city where I lived long enough and was famous, by the way.
The Germans do not remember me, considering me an Austrian writer. And the Austrians, in turn, do not know me very well either, and they think that I am German. In the Soviet Union, my books were banned. But in the late nineties of the last century, the ban lost force. That’s how they found out about me lately. And by the way, some of the current ones know me even better than my countrymen. And some current writers, immersed in my literary works, probably feel at home there. How else to explain the fact that they write off my characters without asking, straighten them a little, and then solve their housing problems, moving them into their works.
Gustav Meyrink is dissatisfied with the fact that his current
My stories and novels are not for everyone. This is what some researchers say. That’s for sure. Definitely not for those who say so. Although in your time, in the 21st century, this is more advertising than a sentence of oblivion. But I did write a lot for people who can see, not look. And he left clues for the attentive reader that you will not notice if you are not ready.
What I, Gustav Meyrink, Wasn’t Ready For
I myself was certainly not ready for the fact that your Bulgakov, for example, considering the tips as gifts, would accept them and immortalize them with himself.
If you have not read me, but read Bulgakov, then you will easily recognize my character with a Czech surname that is funny to you. Namely, Mr. Bzdinka from Walpugrian Night. It is easy to read in Archibald Archibaldovich, the director of the restaurant at the Griboyedov house. Which your Bulgakov successfully screwed into his mystical novel The Master and Margarita.
What is success
Some call it a measure of success when you are imitated, copied with a little change. Especially with you, recently, in the 21st century, when copyright has become almost a convention. Those authors who are copied by everyone are considered successful, by slightly changing the angle or rearranging the commas in the sentence. Parodies are also a successful genre, when you cannot create something of your own, then you distort someone else’s. But if it’s fun, then so be it. I smiled when I listened to the Master and Margarita. Aloud next to the place of my burial, a Russian student was reading this novel to me. I wonder if he read Bulgakov to me? It’s a pity not to ask in any way … I don’t know how your Bulgakov is, did he catch at least one joke from me? .. but I’m not talking about that .. I wanted to tell about my childhood.
Then, as a youngster, of course, I didn’t think about all this. I, in your language, “pumped adaptability”, that is, I tried to get used to it. To different…
How Gustav Meyrink survived what he worried about a lot
I was born in the winter, January 19, 1868, in Vienna. Illegal. In fact, if you try very hard and collect bit by bit information about me, read my novels, stories and add 1 and 1, then everything is not so mysterious. Yes, and I have no direct relation to mysticism. Oddities and accidents accompanied my life simply because I could see, notice the details of life. Later I learned to use observation as a tool. I collected characters and put them into plot frames that were always mirror images of reality. But, since there were more than one mirror, a foggy haze of rumors and conjectures formed around my person.
I am a bastard
However, as a child, I fully observed and felt what it was like to be a child born out of wedlock. The external tension that society created put pressure on me and I did not like it. Because it was difficult to observe the details of life behind the general pressure. And I grew up, as if behind the glass of public judgments, kept the defense and could not prove myself.
But some observations are still preserved in my eternal memory.
Gustav Meyrink recalls how he got used to and what
– Just don’t pout. It’s always like this in a new place, you’ll get used to it! Well, everything .. everything .. I ran. She never had time. Due to the fact that we often moved, our relationship did not have time to really form. As if life on the road and work in the theater are two circumstances that, with a dense layer of fuss, drown out something very important that takes time. For example, mom’s hugs, a bedtime story .. I don’t know exactly what it is, but the fuss did not allow me to understand … therefore, the relationship with my mother was very cool.
Mom ran away to shoot. And I focused all my attention on not crying, remembering her:
"You’ll get used to it."
It’s easy to say – you’ll get used to it …
A beautiful actress, my mother, knew how to say this word in such a way that I almost believed it. And when it began to seem to me that I was already almost used to it, I seemed to be falling off the hook of adaptation and not fully believing the previous time, as if trying to jump into this run, reach out, breathe out and believe … get used to it. But it didn’t work.
Would you get used to it?
Experiences – Moving again. New day. New high school. New City, Munich. And I, Gustav Meyrink, am getting used to it again. To the strange faces of my classmates. Right now they are surrounding me. This moment is the worst. Pause before the first question. Every new city is different. Only the questions and myself remain unchanged.
-Who are you? is the first question
It is often asked by bullies who always prefer to know everything about everyone. As if it makes their lives safer. Here’s how you would answer the question "Who are you?". If I were older, I could start thinking about philosophical breadth, without which the answer would not be complete enough. But I answered very simply. Trying not to give the answer a new wave of questions.
– I’m Gustav.
Now it will begin … yes, indeed, the choir, where I know every part:
-Where do you live?
– Where did you come from?
-Who is my mom?
-Who is the father?
After this question, I, as always, want to fall into the ground. I want to become a speck of dust or just die. Just not to stand here and not feel this terrible longing …
I still can’t get used to it
Of course, I have a father – Minister of State Karl Varnbüller von Hemmingen. But, I’m standing, the crowd surrounds me, and I can’t open my mouth to utter these crackling sounds!
Austro-Hungarian minister Carl von Hemmingen-Varnbuhler. My father:
In my head, every combination of consonants and deaf sounds of his name explodes with crackers, and a seal is on my lips! I myself have a huge seal. And it says "bastard child," "bastard."
So I usually pray
But with age, you still have to answer questions. At least one: “Who am I?”. I took my mother’s surname as a pseudonym. Having slightly modified it, I am Gustav Meyrink.
Also, I’m Gustav Meyrink, but that doesn’t mean I’m Jewish.
The observation of literary scholars who study my biography and work allowed me to hide behind the mask of a mystical banker with Jewish roots.
Moreover, these roots were not noticed directly in my mother. They did not even come out from under the regrown roots of her dyed hair. Their nature lies in my novels and stories, according to literary critics. And they sprout more and more noticeably against the background of the theme of Jewry, which often comes up in my works.
But does that make me Jewish?
I am not a Jew. But society has always attributed to me an aura of mystery, a connection with magic, and some researchers now add sidelocks as well.
Kind writers have never seen the expanse of a lake with poisoned water, where a fish inside with a saltpeter worm is forced to float belly up over the surface of the water. The nature of her behavior is not in the fact that she is related to the sealiter and this cannot be hidden, just the ecological situation of the environment around is such that the lake is polluted. And since it is larger than fish on the surface and fish inside, and not vice versa, the lake affects its life, fate, well-being, family and cause-and-effect relationships. And not vice versa.
So, the theme of Jewry is like a lake. Do you understand?
Not all the sand of the Arabian lands has yet fallen off the sandals of the ancient dehydrated Jews, whom the self-confident Moses led through the minimalist expanses of the desert. Not everyone has yet learned how to hide sidelocks under a wig, and not even everyone has yet understood why Jews stand out so much from other peoples. The story that you know well was then in full swing, and being in the thick of things, you never think that all this will turn into jokes through the centuries, which, for example, you have been so fond of lately.
In any case, Jewish or not, my father did not recognize me and I lived with my mother.
We moved a lot. Roles in the theater changed, landscapes outside the window and schools. I remember exactly that I managed to study in three cities: Hamburg, Munich and Prague.
Gustav Meyrink and his duels without death
– Bastard! – They’re screaming at me. And it’s not a school anymore. This is Prague. I’m in my early twenties and already a successful banker. But when I hear that word… did you hear? He shouted "Bastard" … that well-known taste of longing reappears in his mouth.
– You’re crazy! Tomorrow at 5:00 am at the black tower. Your choice of weapon…
The duel took place. All remained alive. Someday I’ll write a story about the living dead. They will eat to the music – mushrooms, marinated. There will be a lot of laughter, and then a strange hunchback will appear and say something like this: “One second from another is always separated by a border. But it is not in time, but in our thinking. After all, the boundaries form cells-networks. And we throw it on life and think that this network is time. We squeeze ourselves into invented cells, we count – one, two. three…
How Gustav Meyrink learned why to live
Well, I’ll write this later, about the dead. Unless, of course, it will be .. then. Because it is now 1892, I am 24 years old. I stand in the middle of the room with a pistol in my hand on the table and seriously think – “Why live? Maybe there is no life at all, but there are only cells, borders and longing from the fact that I am someone else’s bastard everywhere … again this taste in my mouth.
Everything. I count to five – one, two, three …
You hear? is someone knocking on the door? Not? But definitely – someone is rummaging around in the hallway next to my door.
-Who else is there? – they won’t even let you shoot yourself calmly. I decided to check. The gun isn’t going anywhere. Me too. I got off the table and picked up the book. Strange…someone slipped a cheap pamphlet under the door. On the cover, the title reads "Life After Death".
Gustav Meyrink accepts Life After Death as a gift
Funny and very timely. The events of 1892, my childhood experiences and the taste in my mouth condensed into the deepest spiritual crisis. And in our time there were no antidepressants, as you have, there were no rehabilitation clinics. Ship ropes, weapons and sharp razors were strong. They don’t call them dangerous for nothing.
In general, this is the same year when, in the captivity of the crisis and loneliness, I decided to commit suicide. His relationship with his mother never got better. So before I killed myself, I wrote her a long letter. It seemed to be a classic. But I didn’t know then that it would become a classic. It just seemed like an option.
Where did "life after death" come from?
The unknown person who planted the book, I have since called the "internal pilot". Literary critics believe that this is where the time of oddities began in my life, and, probably, in my work.
No one is attentive to a person until he does some strange thing or, conversely, does not. Until you pick up a gun and stand on the table, you’re just a loser. Sad bastard.
Gustav Meyrink on weirdness: drop the pitchfork and get away from the water
It is always easier for people to mystify and exaggerate than to leave a blank spot in history alone. The story itself doesn’t really matter. It is important that everything is known. That’s how bully boys thought in some schools. It seemed to them that the more they knew about everyone, the safer they were.
You have complete transparency thanks to the Internet. On social media, you follow each other, and marketers collect your data and use it to sell you things you don’t need. Are you safe in your information village?
So that book saved my life? No, no. It’s just that someone very generous gave me the opportunity to start over. And it happens all the time, every second. You just need to not oversleep the moment. And from scratch ask yourself: “Who am I really? Without stamps without borders? And then you can hope that you will hear the right answer. Without it, there is no life.”
For those who read to the end – a bonus. This is not the first time Meyrink has possessed a journalist. A similar thing happened to the author of the program "Reference point" on radio Finam.fm. Don’t believe? Listen to yourself!