“The Opal (and other stories)” by Gustav Meyrink

"The Opal (and other stories)" by Gustav Meyrink

"These tales — sci-fi, ghost stories, gothic fables, oriental allegories — were written in the first decade of the century and are now translated for the first time. They make a magnificent introduction to the bizarre genius of Meyrink, which combined the sharp Bohemian scepticism of his contemporary Kafka with the mordant humour and outreach of Swift.

Meyrink's short stories epitomised the non-plus-ultra of all modern writing. Their magnificent colour, their spine-chilling and bizarre inventiveness, their aggression, their succinctness of style, their overwhelming originality of ideas, which is so evident in every sentence and phrase that there seems to be no lacunae; all this captivates me, and seems to me to provide the proper antidote to all the adjectival prose and shallow, false romanticism of the immediate preceding generation."