I know a woman, a very deluded woman, who believes in the natural wisdom of children. To her, they are oracles who speak and act in holy innocence, free of the failures that accrue to us like clay as we grow older, the acclimatizations and indoctrinations, equivocations and cynicisms. Our children could repair the entire world, she says, if only we would let them, if only we would listen. She says this as, through the open window, we can hear the shrieks of her own boy and girl, the latest skirmish in their war.
We're afraid for our children, of course. We worry that this time, in this generation, we really have gone too far: The monsters we've created will run amok at last, loose among the children. So we create stories in which the innocence of children, their blamelessness, is their saving grace. Once upon a time we pitted them against slavering wolves in spinsters' dresses, and crooked witches with empty cauldrons. Then we wrote tales in which they had to escape the earth itself, after we, their guilty forerunners, transformed it and bent it to our will, with only the best of intentions.
I know why we tell these stories. They have power to give us solace, and even plan a way forward. But sometimes escapism can shade into self-delusion, a moral failure to tell the truth. The monsters we have built will not be toppled by innocence. I look at my own children, and I pray that they will fight the monsters and win. But I also wonder about the monsters that they themselves will create in the attempt.
Helene Wecker is an US-American writer. She worked for advertising and communication agencies before deciding to study creative writing at the Columbia University. Her first novel, The Golem and The Jinni, was published in 2013. Its sequel is scheduled for 2018.
Helene Wecker (2016), Golem and a Little Girl. Article in the Exhibition Catalogue GOLEM.
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Chapter 5 - Horror and Magic: Selected Texts (4)
The Golem in Berlin
by Peter Schäfer
The Golem Lives On
With Texts by Martina Lüdicke, Anna-Dorothea Ludewig, Louisa Hall and Caspar Battegay
With Texts by Emily D. Bilski and Martina Lüdicke
With Texts by Emily D. Bilski, Christopher Lyon, Rita Kersting, Jorge Gil and David Musgrave
With Texts by Martina Lüdicke, Peter Schäfer, and Harold Gabriel Weisz Carrington
Horror and Magic
With Texts by Martina Lüdicke, Karin Harrasser, Cathy S. Gelbin, Helene Wecker and Anna Augustin
Out of Control
With Texts by Emily D. Bilski, Arno Pařík, Marc Estrin and Charlotta Kotik
With Texts by Joshua Cohen, Tracy Bartley, Cosima Wagner
Golem Catalog Online
Selected texts from our catalog
Golem Catalog – Print Version
The full version of our catalog is available in German.
Exhibition catalogs, the JMB Journal, book series, and more
All About ...
Trailer, views of the exhibition, and more
23 Sep 2016 to 29 Jan 2017