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6 Reviews
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Addition
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...
Published on February 22, 2009 by Steiner

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0 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So unusual
Read this for a class, it generated a very interesting discussion. It is a very unusual style of writing and leads to interesting interpretation
Published 23 months ago by merle


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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Addition, February 22, 2009
By 
Steiner (Philadelphia) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The finished masterpiece, April 28, 2009
By 
Davis-Vautrin (New York, New York) - See all my reviews
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE MIND OF A MASTER, November 29, 2014
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That Franz Kafka is one of the great modern writers is a general truth. He was a perfectionist and left instructions that all his works be destroyed after his death, but people who understood his talent couldn't let that happen. "Amerika" was a manuscript left unfinished, but in 1927 his friend Max Brod published what he thought was a representation. In the years after there were various attempts to rework the manuscript, and now we have a new translation.

Kafka had not visited America, but there was so much information about America in Germany that he set out to compose his "American Novel." It is the story of a young man who is disowned by his family in Prague for an indescretion and forced to immigrate to America. Right away one knows that the novel is going to be unusual because the Statue of Liberty greets the young man with a sword rather than a torch.

Without going into all the social and political background, the story itself is spellbinding. There are turns in the plot that couldn't be imagined, and the darkness that Kafka weaves is chilling. From the mind of a master, this is a journey that is hard to forget.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Adventure, November 25, 2013
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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 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transhistorical Literature of Major Importance., August 6, 2013
By 
N. J. garrett (mill valley, ca) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Amerika: The Missing Person: A New Translation, Based on the Restored Text (Schocken Kafka Library) (Paperback)
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 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So unusual, February 27, 2013
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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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Amerika: The Missing Person: A New Translation, Based on the Restored Text (Schocken Kafka Library)
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