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Amerika: The Missing Person: A New Translation, Based on the Restored Text (Schocken Kafka Library) Paperback – Deckle Edge, August 16, 2011


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Amerika: The Missing Person: A New Translation, Based on the Restored Text (Schocken Kafka Library) + The Trial: A New Translation Based on the Restored Text + Franz Kafka: The Complete Stories
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Product Details

  • Series: Schocken Kafka Library
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Schocken (August 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805211616
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805211610
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“We are not too far wrong to see in Karl Rossmann the explorer who maps the internal territory for the later Kafka hero Joseph K. of The Trial. It is a natural segue, after all, from the youth who lives to placate to the adult with the inescapable sense of guilt. In fact, we could propose Kafka as an artist in a lifelong search of the most accommodating conceit for his vision. Karl is the earliest of his eponymous heroes, all of them essentially one tormented soul whose hallucinatory landscape keeps changing.”
—E. L. Doctorow
 
“More than eighty years after his death from tuberculosis at age forty, Kafka continues to defy simplifications, to force us to consider him anew. That’s the effect of Mark Harman’s new translation of Amerika.”
Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Franz Kafka was born in 1883 in Prague, where he lived most of his life. During his lifetime, he published only a few short stories, including “The Metamorphosis,” “The Judgment,” and “The Stoker.” He died in 1924, before completing any of his full-length novels. At the end of his life, Kafka asked his lifelong friend and literary executor Max Brod to burn all his unpublished work. Brod overrode those wishes.

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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