by Mathias B. Freese
Genres: Literary Fiction, Holocaust Fiction, Short Stories
“…Freese’s haunting lament might best be explained (at least to me) by something Nathaniel Hawthorn wrote about Herman Melville’s endless search for answers to questions that perplexed him all his adult life. Melville was incessantly obsessed with what one might call the why of it all — life, death, metaphysical mysteries. Similar to Freese, Melville was repeatedly afflicted with a dark and depressive state of mind.” –Duff Brenna, Professor Emeritus, CSU, San Marcos
Praise for I Truly Lament:
I have read many books about the Holocaust as I find the subject very interesting from a psychological standpoint. I have to say though, that Mr. Freese has placed an entirely new twist on the subject. I will admit to being perplexed at first, having expected something a bit different. As the collection unfolded, I was drawn into the raw emotion. I particularly enjoyed the story, “Cantor Matyas Balogh.” Matyas found love so late in life, only to have it ripped from him. Freese does not just tell a tale, he creates a basis for reflection. I believe that he is completely correct when he states that someone can never truly understand the Holocaust. We can write about it, but the lasting impact on the people that survived can never be put into words. I Truly Lament is a remarkable collection that will leave the reader speechless. – Heather Osborne for Readers’ Favorite
At a social distance from me now, as exact and regulatory as a geometric theorem, I see the Jew as a thing rather than entity. He is foreign to me.
The Disenchanted Golem IN MY LATEST INCARNATION I was a golem for a few months in Poland. Invoked by the mumbo-jumbo Kabalistic rites of a Hasidic tzaddik, I was raised from nothing. Of course, Jews have no idea where I come from or how I exist when not on call. They know nothing of the fabric of my being. They believe, or at least this Hasid did, that prayer—and demands—bring me forth. Rubbish! My directive comes from a different source and one that’s not accountable to me.
I cannot explain my existence. I’m in the dark much like the rabbi. And when I wake to a call and go about my tasks, which are often to tear out legs and arms of Poles, in this instance, I find it a necessary evil of which I’m a significant part. I’d rather rest in soil from which I come, or at least that is the matter that forms my lumpish shape.
Going way back to 1492, Señor Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor who was of Jewish descent, cursed me for dismembering a fellow priest whom I’d beaten with a candelabrum until he curled up in a ball and died. Spry Torquemada fled from my presence and I lumbered after him, finally grabbing the wily old bastard by his caftan. I can’t speak, which is problematic, for I’ve seen or experienced so much about death and dying that I’ve a lot to say. Sometimes I would likeinterrogate the victim to see how he responds not only to his imminent death but to my physical presence: which is more terrifying?
Anyway, I scared the shit out of the Grand Inquisitor but let him live. I really don’t know why. Before I left his home I peed in his private chapel, the piss laced with mud and twigs, an earthy aromato it, like asparagus, essentially all the parts of my makeup. Basically I am mud.
I like to do a good job. Different golems act differently. We’re all of the same construction. Quite simply, as a golem I need no compass for finding a malicious Gentile. I just know his whereabouts and I intuitively seek him out—unnerving, if you’re a Gentile. Jews mistakenly think I act for them; well, yes and no, basically more no than yes. I’m an independent slayer, like the angel of death. I definitely don’t act out of religious reasons or because Jews need me at this time or another. It’s all so complicated as to my origins and purposes.
MATHIAS B. FREESE is a writer, teacher, and psychotherapist. His recent collection of essays, This Mobius Strip of Ifs, was the winner of the National Indie Excellence Award of 2012 in general non-fiction and a 2012 Global Ebook Award finalist. His I Truly Lament: Working Through the Holocaust was one of three finalists chosen in the 2012 Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest out of 424 submissions.
Connect With The Author:Giveaway:Win a print copy of I Truly Lament by Mathias B. Freese on the tour and giveaway!
This giveaway will run 12/3/14 – 12/31/14.
Open to residents of Canada, Australia, Great Britain, and the USA.