Date of this Version
UReCA: The NCHC Undergraduate Journal of Research and Creative Activity, 2021, pages 150-151
A poetic short story titled My Mother's Golem with an abstract/artist's statement by Amanda VanNierop in UReCA: The NCHC Undergraduate Journal of Research and Creative Activity, 2021, pages 150-151.
This piece was composed for the 2020 Inspired By Showcase, where it received first place for undergraduate written work. The competition asked students to create a piece of art reflective of the themes in Michael Chabon’s novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.
Over time, the Golem has taken on varying symbolism both in and out of Jewish culture. To titular character Joe Kavalier, the Golem represents escape. Freedom. And, of course, protection. I wanted to express these central themes of the Golem in this piece, from the perspective of a daughter who is being told two things: literally, that she suffers from generational depression, and metaphorically, that she is her own mother’s Golem. In this piece, I also wanted to express the idea of escape being limited. The mother can escape her feelings by bringing a companion to life, but this escape is finite—the daughter grows up to feel what the mother did. In a way, the cycle begins again.