Walpurgisnacht by Gustav Meyrink / ISBN 9781873982501 / 167-page paperback from Dedalus European Classics
"Phantasmagorical prose, energetically translated, marvelously evokes past and present, personal and political, a devastated world."--The Times
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.
Gustav Meyrink (1868-1932) found worldwide critical and commercial acclaim with his first novel The Golem (1915), which prior to the Dedalus Meyrink program has been the only work available in English. It established his reputation as the master of the occult and the grotesque. Dedalus published a new translation of The Golem in 1995, and the first English translations of The Green Face, Walpurgisnacht, The Angel of the West Window, The White Dominican, The Opal (and other stories) which were followed by The Dedalus Meyrink Reader.