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October 13, 1995 - Image 89

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-10-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

and gallery

tle bit raw — raw human bodies,
details of bodies. I don't want to
make a complete human body. I
prefer to make parts."
"They aren't human people,
but remembrances of the body,"
he added. 'They have no soul, no
wish. The owner, the maker, has
to give a soul to them, give di-
rection, like a computer pro-
gram."
Sometimes Mr. Thury includes
wood, metal or other non-ceram-
ic elements in the works.
Golems of the Beginning con-
sists of three distorted sections of
a body that, if put together, would
almost form a full figure. Strips
of wood penetrate each sculpture,
forming shelves. A bottle of wine
is placed on one shelf; a feather
is on another.
Over the years, both Jewish
and gentile artists have been in-
spired by tales of the golem. The
story of Rabbi Loew's golem is re-
counted in The Miraculous Deeds
of Rabbi Loew with the Golem,
published by Judah Rosenberg
in 1909.
Also at the turn of the centu-
ry, Austrian playwright Rudolf
Lothar published his collection of
tales Der Golem, while novelist
Arthur Holitscher came out with
his play Der Golem. Probably the
best-known literary work on the
subject was Gustav Meyrink's
1915 Der Golem.
The first-known stage produc-
tion about the creature was in
1928, when Yiddish playwright
H. Leivick's Der Golem made its
debut in Moscow. A silent film
about the golem was shown in
Germany in 1920, while musical
renditions of the legend include
an opera by Eugen d'Albert, and
Joseph Achron's Golem Suite for
orchestra (1932).
Artist Levente Thury, whose
mother was Jewish and whose
father was Christian, said his in-
terest in golems was partially in-
spired by his family history. Most
of his Jewish relatives died in the
Holocaust.
"One of the reasons that I got
interested in the idea of the golem
is the fact that according to fam-
ily tradition, my mother's family
was related to Rabbi Loew," he
said.
"Not only that," he added, "an
ancestor of my father's was grant-
ed nobility by Emperor Rudolf II,
who was a friend of Rabbi Loew."
Mr. Thury has the actual decree
of the ennoblement in his pos-
session.
Rudolf, who ruled from 1576
to 1612, was interested in as-
trology, alchemy and the arts,
and he is known to have met at
least once with Rabbi Loew.
Mr. Thury's golems have been
exhibited in Hungary and else-
where in Europe, as well as in
the United States. Last year, his
work won first prize in Hun-
, I , fgary's Holocay.st.in ALA.coInpe-
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