Walpurgisnacht might probably be considered Meyrink's most pessimistic, apocalyptic vision of the inevitable destruction of the world, of the weaknesses and foolishness of humankind.
The word "Walpurgisnacht" has its folklore roots in the concept that the night of April 30th is an evil night, one when old values are destroyed and replaced by new ones. But, in the mind of Meyrink no new values will bring salvation to the world. The novel was published in 1917, and the setting is the city of Prague during WWI. The main characters are Zrcadlo (the mirror) the solitary man who forces people to look into their own souls, and Dr. Thaddaeus the only survivor of a spiritual alchemy, the only character capable of facing his sould and taking a new direction in his life.
In his contempt for established religion, Meyrink brings forth the concept of Aweysha. Anyone who is not able to hear his own soul becomes an "aweysha," a living body whose soul has moved into another living being, a dead mirror where strange demons come and go, a wandering corpse. Defying the concept of "free will," Meyrink holds that anything a person does against his will comes from "aweysha."
Myerink was influenced by Jewish mysticism and found in the experience of the "innermost I" the salvation of the soul: "the innermost I is the source of joy, and who does not worhsip it is a servant of hell." Unfortunately, his mystical experience integrates the good and the evil alike, downgrading the soul to low moral standards.
This novel is a reflection of personal despair, a desperate search for a transcendent reality that will surpass mysticism into the esoteric.