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Amerika: The Missing Person Hardcover – November 18, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Schocken; New edition (November 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805242112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805242119
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #838,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Mark Harman’s translation of The Castle

“Semantically accurate to an admirable degree, faithful to Kafka’s nuances, responsive to the tempo of his sentences and to the larger music of his paragraph construction. For the general reader or for the student, it will be the translation of preference for some time to come.”
--J. M. Coetzee, The New York Review of Books

“There is a great deal to applaud in Harman’s translation. It gives us a much better sense of Kafka’s uncompromising and disturbing originality as a prose master than we have heretofore had in English.”
--Robert Alter, The New Republic

“A major and long-awaited event in English language publishing [and] a wonderful piece of news for all Kafka readers, who, for more than half a century, have had to rely on flawed, superannuated editions. Harman is to be commended for his success in capturing the fresh, fluid, almost breathless style of Kafka’s original manuscript.”
--Professor Mark M. Anderson, Department of Germanic Languages, Columbia University

About the Author

Franz Kafka was born in Prague in 1883 and died of tuberculosis in a sanatorium near Vienna in 1924. He worked most of his adult life at the Worker Accident Insurance Company for the Kingdom of Bohemia in Prague. Only a few of his writings were published during his lifetime; most appeared posthumously.

Mark Harman, a native of Dublin who has written extensively about modern German and Irish literature, is a professor of German and English at Elizabeth College in Elizabeth, Pennsylvania. His translation of The Castle received the Modern Language Association's first Lois Roth Award in 1998.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Steiner VINE VOICE on February 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Mark Harman's new translation of Kafka's 'Amerika' is both stark and nuanced. This is an invaluable supplement to the body of work that constitutes Kafka's work in that it includes numerous fragments and variations. 'Amerika' is the product of Kafka's fierce imagination-he has thrown Karl Rossmann into a real though still surrealistic environment where the stark realities of modern life are as real and oppressive as they are in our nightmares. After being thrown out by his uncle, Rossmann is forced to become an elevator attendant at a hotel, where he is cast into the arbitrary world of labor and servitude. This is a neglected masterpiece from the great Kafka. Harman has produced an accomplished translation of a deeply perplexing and vibrant text.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Davis-Vautrin on April 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Although considered by many to have been left unfinished by the author, it is unclear why such a conclusion should prevail. This is the touching story of an innocent, "the missing person", who progresses through a series of exiles, each taking the protagonist into stranger and crueler surroundings, and with each the protagonist becoming more distant, more... missing... until, at last (and truly this is not giving away any critical plot line), he joins the Theater of Oklahoma, where absolutely everyone is welcome: a neater and more fitting finale there could not be. Each episode with its own cast of unique characters, captured beautifully in this translation that renders both the humor and sadness, the brutal reality and dreamy implausibility, the impossible simultaneity of levels which is Kafka's genius without equal. But in this book, composed in his youth, we see the author perhaps at his warmest, his healthiest, depicting what may be the quintessential American experience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Trent Bradley on November 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoy his descriptions of space and sound. The book captures the alienation of living in America in a poignant manner.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By N. J. garrett on August 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This the central expose' of "Modernism". Extremes needn't be contrived; they show themselves at every window & stage.
This collection contains alienation at Ground Zero. Even the animals know things are unlikely to turn out well
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0 of 7 people found the following review helpful By merle on February 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Read this for a class, it generated a very interesting discussion. It is a very unusual style of writing and leads to interesting interpretation
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