Leipzig: Kurt Wolff Verlag, 1916. First Edition of the Vienna born writer's first novel; an expressionistic masterpiece of mysticism and the occult. A fine copy in the publisher's binding; signed by the author on the front free endpaper. The golem as an effigy with magical powers largely dates from the middle ages, and most stories concern a 16th century rabbi from Prague and the golem's power to protect, and even avenge Jews. In this novel, the golem is a symbolic device used by Meyrink to convey a paranoid's nightmare of life in the Prague ghetto of the late 19th century. Despite the rich backdrop of its setting, the novel is not particularly a story of Jewish mysticism. A contemporary of Kafka, Meyrink was a pioneer in expressionistic writing, considered by many to be among the finest of 20th century supernatural writers. This novel is rare, especially when signed.