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Karl Rossman has been banished by his parents to America, following a family scandal. There, with unquenchable optimism, he throws himself into the strange experiences that lie before him as he slowly makes his way into the interior of the great continent.
Although Kafka's first novel (begun in 1911 and never finished), can be read as a menacing allegory of modern life, it is also infused with a quite un-Kafkaesque blitheness and sunniness, brought to life in this lyrical translation that returns to the original manuscript of the book.
'The condemned man looked so doggishly submissive, it really seemed as if one might allow him to roam the slopes freely, and only needed to whistle when it was time for the execution, and he would come.' Kafka transformed the possibilities of the short story, his unique imagination giving his dark tales a sense of dream-like logic and unreality, in which their horrors are humorous and unease pervades. In these two stories, a traveller is shown the workings of an elaborate machine with a bloody purpose, and a son awakens unimagined resentments in his father.
This book includes In the Penal Colony and The Judgement.
A terrifying psychological trip into the life of one Joseph K., an ordinary man who wakes up one day to find himself accused of a crime he did not commit, a crime whose nature is never revealed to him. Once arrested, he is released, but must report to court on a regular basis--an event that proves maddening, as nothing is ever resolved. As he grows more uncertain of his fate, his personal life--including work at a bank and his relations with his landlady and a young woman who lives next door--becomes increasingly unpredictable. As K. tries to gain control, he succeeds only in accelerating his own excruciating downward spiral.
A superb new translation by Michael Hofmann of some of Kafka's most frightening, strange and visionary short fictionAfter Franz Kafka's death, in perhaps the most important of all acts of literary disobedience, his executor refused to agree to Kafka's wish that his great mass of unpublished fiction be destroyed. This fiction included not only The Castle and The Trial but also the amazingly varied, chilling and ingenious short works collected in The Burrow and Other Stories. These tales, some little more than a page, others much more substantial, are among the greatest works of Central European literature. They vary from the tiny and horrifying 'Little Fable' to the elaborate waking nightmares of 'Building the Great Wall of China' and the title story 'The Burrow', where an unidentified creature describes its creation of an endlessly elaborate burrow to protect itself from unidentified enemies, but with every trap or tunnel only creating further terrors and uncertainty.
'If I think about it, and I have the time and inclination and capacity to do so, we dogs are an odd lot.'How does a dog see the world? How do any of us? In this playful and enigmatic story of a canine philosopher, Kafka explores the limits of knowledge. Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
In May 2005 Penguin will publish 70 unique titles to celebrate the company's 70th birthday. The titles in the Pocket Penguins series are emblematic of the renowned breadth of quality of the Penguin list and will hark back to Penguin founder Allen Lane's vision of good books for all.
The Castle is the story of K., the unwanted Land Surveyor who is never to be admitted to the Castle nor accepted in the village, and yet cannot go home. As he encounters dualities of certainty and doubt, hope and fear, and reason and nonsense, K.'s struggles in the absurd, labyrinthine world where he finds himself seem to reveal an inexplicable truth about the nature of existence. Kafka began The Castle in 1922 and it was never finished, yet this, the last of his three great novels, draws fascinating conclusions that make it feel strangely complete.
Drawing directly on original manuscripts, this collection comprises the major short stories published after Kafka's death. It includes The Great Wall of China, Blumfeld, An Elderly Bachelor, Investigations of a Dog and his great sequences of aphorisms, with fables and parables on subjects ranging from the legend of Prometheus to the Tower of Babel. Allegorical, disturbing and possessing a dream-like clarity, these writings are quintessential Kafka.