Saturday, April 16, 2011

Monsters! The Golem

I think Golems are one of the most forgotten of the monsters.  Unless of course you are well versed in fantasy.  but really they are used all the time with out people realizing that they are using a golem.

The Golems are a signuture part of jewish folk lore.  They are found in the Talmud describing the way in which Adam was created by God.  there are a few mentions of Jewish Magicians created Golems but it is not till the Middle ages that the monster gets "fleshed" out.  at this time all Golems are made from mud.  They are made by their creator for a purpose once that purpose was fulfilled the golem would turn back to mud.  The Golem was animated by inscribing the hebrew word for truth on the creatures forehead, and he is destroyed by erasing one letter which changed the word from truth to the Hebrew word for death.

There are stories of the golem protecting jewish families from Anti semetic Emperors who endorced the killing of jews and even a more modern tale about how one protected a family from Nazis. These stories very in thier endings.  Some times the Monster fulfills his purpose and he is turned back to dust, other times He desides that he likes being alive and destroys the family that created him.

The point of the golem is that they are an artificial life.  No longer is the golem only created out of clay but can be created out of just about anything.  Flesh was probably the first change.  Because while some may say that  Mary Shelly came up with something completely new. it wasn't.  Frankenstein's monster is created by man, and given life without the act of God.  He does become vastly more intelligent but really the golems of Jewish folk lore weren't always dumb brutes.

The Golem took another evolutionary change with the play RUR, which is also where we get the word robot. Interestingly enough these first robots were not made of circuits and metal they were created with some kind of synthetic flesh.  they of course eventually decide they are done being slaves and rise up and kill the human race.

and of course at this point it should be clear what i am going to say is the current manifestation of the golem.

See pretty much any of our stories that are character verses technology are stories of character vs the golem. technology is created by man to help with any number of tasks.  They are simple things with the knowledge to do simple tasks.  however eventually artificial life and intelligence become smart and turns on its master.  That is the fear any way.  And that is what makes this plot like so scary.

So there you have it modern golems- The creation of human hands.

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