The Golem and the Jinni and the Psychology of the Unreal

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Inhuman creatures are a staple of fantasy. That’s a pretty obvious point. They play all sorts of roles in the fantastic narratives of fairy tales and novels. They exist off in worlds of their own.

It’s not common to delve deeper into these creatures. “The Golem and the Jinni” is, in a way, a thought experiment designed to examine the “truth” of these non-humans. What if a Golem and a Jinni (he trapped in human form) were trying to get by in turn-of-the-century New York? How would they feel? How would they act?

And, of course, one of the central totems of the best scifi and fantasy is to a new light upon our own world by seeing it from other eyes. Usually this is about the great acts of human history. But in this novel, the world being thrown into new light is utterly ordinary. These creatures, who are anything but ordinary, are faced with leading ordinary lives. What would they feel? How can they come to terms with just being ordinary?

How can any of us come to terms with being ordinary?

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