This collection brings together the stories that Kafka allowed to be published during his lifetime. To Max Brod, his literary executor, he wrote: Of all my writings the only books that can stand are these.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
I have only one request," Kafka wrote to his publisher Kurt Wolff in 1913. "'The Stoker,' 'The Metamorphosis,' and 'The Judgment' belong together, both inwardly and outwardly. There is an obvious connection among the three, and, even more important, a secret one, for which reason I would be reluctant to forego the chance of having them published together in a book, which might be called The Sons."Seventyfive years later, Kafka's request isgranted, in a volume including these three classic stories of filial revolt as well as his own poignant "Letter to His Father," another "son story" located between fiction and autobiography. A devastating indictment of the modern family, The Sons represents Kafka's most concentrated literary achievement as well as the story of his own domestic tragedy.Grouped together under this new title and in newly revised translations, these texts the like of which Kafka had never written before and (as he claimed at the end of his life) would never again equal take on fresh, compelling meaning.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Franz Kafka's diaries and letters suggest that his fascination with America grew out of a desire to break away from his native Prague, even if only in his imagination. Kafka died before he could finish what he like to call his "American novel,: but he clearly entitled it Der Verschollene ("The Missing Person") in a letter to his fiancee, Felice Bauer, in 1912. Kafka began writing the novel that fall and wrote until the last completed chapter in 1914, but in wasn't until 1927, three years after his death, that Amerika--the title that Kafka's friend and literary executor Max Brod gave his edited version of the unfinished manuscript--was published in Germany by Kurt Wolff Verlag. An English translation by Willa and Edwin Muir was published in Great Britain in 1932 and in the United States in 1946.
Over the last thirty years, an international team of Kafka scholars has been working on German-language critical editions of all of Kafka's writings, going back to the original manuscripts and notes, correcting transcription errors, and removing Brod's editorial and stylistic interventions to create texts that are as close as possible to the way the author left them.
With the same expert balance of precision and nuance that marked his award-winning translation of The Castle, Mark Harman now restores the humor ad particularity of language in his translation of the critical edition of Der Verschollene. Here is the story of young Karl Rossma, who, following an incident involving a housemaid, is banished by his parents to America. With unquenchable optimism and in the company of two comic-sinister companions, he throws himself into misadventure, eventually heading towards Oklahoma, where a career in the theater beckons. Though we can never know how Kafka planned to end the novel, Harman's superb translation allows us to appreciate, as closely as possible, what Kafka did commit to the page.
From the Hardcover edition.
These diaries cover the years 1910 to 1923, the year before Kafka’s death at the age of forty. They provide a penetrating look into life in Prague and into Kafka’s accounts of his dreams, his feelings for the father he worshipped and the woman he could not bring himself to marry, his sense of guilt, and his feelings of being an outcast. They offer an account of a life of almost unbearable intensity.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Complete Stories brings together all of Kafkas stories, from the classic tales such as The Metamorphosis, In the Penal Colony, and A Hunger Artist to shorter pieces and fragments that Max Brod, Kafkas literary executor, released after Kafkas death. With the exception of his three novels, the whole of Kafkas narrative work is included in this volume.
Franz Kafka wrote this letter to Hermann Kafka in November 1919; he was then thirty-six years old. Max Brod relates that Kafka actually gave it to his mother to hand to his father, hoping that it might renew a relationship that had disintegrated into tension and frustration on both sides. Kafka's probing of the abyss between them spared neither his father nor himself, and his cry for acceptance has an undertone of despair. He could not help seeing the lack of understanding between father and son as another moment in the universal predicament depicited in so much of his work. Probably realizing the futility of her son's gesture, his mother did not deliver the letter, but returned it to Kafka instead. Kafka died five years later, in 1924, of tuberculosis.
"These magnificent letters, meticulously set up and annotated, show us aspects of Kafka that were only hinted at in earlier collections and help us trace his development from unhappy young law student and insurance administrator to novelist and short-story writer of originality and genius." --Publishers Weekly "When we turn from Kafka's books to his letters we have a series of self-portraits desperate and courageous, always eager and warm in feeling; the self is lit by fantasy and, of course, by drollery. His candor is of the kind that flies alongside him in the air. He was a marvelous letter writer." --V.S. Pritchett, The New York Review of Books "These letters are like messages from the underground, from the dark side of the moon, presenting aspects of Kafka that would have died with his friends. We meet alternately Kafka the artist, friend, son, father figure, marriage counselor, literary critic, insurance official. . . . A full portrait, and a significant contribution to Kafka scholarship." --Smithsonian Magazine "An inside view of a writer who, perhaps more than any other novelist or poet in our century, stands at the center of our culture." --Robert Alter, The New York Times Book Review
Beginning with their introduction in the eleventh century, and ending with their widespread abandonment in the seventeenth, Marc Morris explores many of the country's most famous castles, as well as some spectacular lesser-known examples. At times this is an epic tale, driven by characters like William the Conqueror, King John and Edward I, full of sieges and conquest on an awesome scale. But it is also by turns an intimate story of less eminent individuals, whose adventures, struggles and ambitions were reflected in the fortified residences they constructed. Be it ever so grand or ever so humble, a castle was first and foremost a home.
To understand castles - who built them, who lived in them, and why - is to understand the forces that shaped medieval Britain.
Written in 1914, The Trial is one of the most important novels of the twentieth century: the terrifying tale of Josef K., a respectable bank officer who is suddenly and inexplicably arrested and must defend himself against a charge about which he can get no information. Whether read as an existential tale, a parable, or a prophecy of the excesses of modern bureaucracy wedded to the madness of totalitarianism, Kafka's nightmare has resonated with chilling truth for generations of readers. This new edition is based upon the work of an international team of experts who have restored the text, the sequence of chapters, and their division to create a version that is as close as possible to the way the author left it.
In his brilliant translation, Breon Mitchell masterfully reproduces the distinctive poetics of Kafka's prose, revealing a novel that is as full of energy and power as it was when it was first written.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)Franz Kafka's imagination so far outstripped the forms and conventions of the literary tradition he inherited that he was forced to turn that tradition inside out in order to tell his splendid, mysterious tales. Scrupulously naturalistic on the surface, uncanny in their depths, these stories represent the achieved art of a modern master who had the gift of making our problematic spiritual life palpable and real.This edition of his stories includes all his available shorter fiction in a collection edited, arranged, and introduced by Gabriel Josipovici in ways that bring out the writer's extraordinary range and intensity of vision.Translated by Willa and Edwin Muir
The aphorism eludes definition: it can appear to be a random jotting or a more polished observation. Whether arbitrary fragment or crystalline shard, an aphorism captures the inception of a thought. Franz Kafka composed aphorisms during two periods in his life. A series of 109 was written between September 1917 and April 1918, in Zürau, West Bohemia, while Kafka was on a visit to his sister Ottla, hoping for a brief respite following the diagnosis of the tuberculosis virus that would eventually claim his life. They were originally published in 1931, seven years after his death by his friend and literary executor Max Brod, under the title Betrachtungen über Sünde, Hoffnung, Leid, und den wahren Wag (Reflections on Sin, Hope, Suffering, and the True Way). The second sequence of aphorisms, numbering 41, originally appeared as entries in Kafka’s diary from January 6 to February 29, 1920. They, too, were published posthumously, under the title “Er”: Aufzeichnungen aus dem Jahr 1920 (“He”: Reflections from the Year 1920). Kafka’s aphorisms are fascinating glimpses into the lure and the enigma of the form itself. From the Hardcover edition.
In no other work does Franz Kafka reeal himself as in Letters to Milena, which begins as a business correspondence but soon develops into a passionate but doomed epistolary love affair. Kafka's Czech translator, Milena Jesenska was a gifted and charismatic twenty-three-year-old who was uniquely able to recognize Kafka's complex genius and his even more complex character. For the thrity-six-year-old Kafka, she was "a living fire, such as I have never seen." It was to Milena that he revealed his most intimate self and, eventually, entrusted his diaries for safekeeping.
"The voice of Kafka in Letters to Milena is more personal, more pure, and more painful than in his fiction: a testimony to human existence and to our eternal wait for the impossible. A marvelous new edition of a classic text." --Jan Kott