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Best Short Stories: A Dual-Language Book (Dover Dual Language German) First Paperback Edition Edition

14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0486295619
ISBN-10: 0486295613
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Best Short Stories: A Dual-Language Book (Dover Dual Language German) + Selected Folktales/Ausgewählte Märchen: A Dual-Language Book (Dover Dual Language German) + Five Great German Short Stories: A Dual-Language Book (Dover Dual Language German)
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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation)
Original Language: German
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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Dual Language German
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; First Paperback Edition edition (April 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486295613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486295619
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Dean Stroud on May 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have used this book at our university in a German class (Introduction to German Literature) and in a Literature in Translation class. Students appreciated the duel langauge format. For my students of German, the facing translation aids in setting the context so that they can deal mor quickly with the German text. I would recommend this book for those with some German who are interested in Kafka's short fiction. I would have liked having the " Hunger Artist" in the collection as well as a German vocabulary section (as one finds in other Dover texts), but otherwise I found the book most helpful. The entire series offers excellent books at wonderful prices!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By B. A. Pecenka on April 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am not a huge fan of Kafka's style of writing but I did enjoy reading this book due to the side by side english and german wording. I found myself hopping back and forth to see how the German was translated into English. And, since my German is not perfect and Kafka writes with a complex sentence structure, the dual set up was perfect for me. These are some of Kafka's best stories, particularly the Metamorphisis.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "mdsfnelson" on February 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
The most enjoyable aspect of language learning, for me, is the experience of reading literary masterpieces in the original. The side-by-side format is perfect for those intermediate students of German who would like something more substantial than the usual textbook fare. I would like to have seen more stories printed, or perhaps a second volume, but I do appreciate the variety available in this edition. The English translations tend to be more literal and wooden than the better all-English versions in print, but that is all the better. Once you've read Kafka in the original, you won't want to go back.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Sammy Jo on June 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
This edition offers a sample of Kafka's best short stories with the original German and English translation on facing pages. It is a wonderful sort of "training wheels" for those who are ready to tackle German literature in the original.
The stories themselves are highly challenging. Kafka is regarded as a profit of modern alienation, but that doesn't capture the complexity of his thought. His masterpiece, The Metamorphosis, is here. In it Gregor Samsa awakes one morning to find he has turned into a giant bug. With that simple, but startling device, Kafka has a vehicle for exploring the inner dynamic of a family, and the mix of selfishness and altruism which informs our relationships with one another. On the surface, it would seem that Kafka is affirming the increasingly common notion that all altruism is really disguised selfishness - yet the story's bleakness suggests that Kafka himself knows that the vision is incomplete. This is the truth, he says. But is it the whole truth?
In another great story, In the Penalty Colony, Kafka presents us with a society that was once ordered around a great torturing device. The society is in the process of moving away from the torture device, and that would seem to be a good thing. But Kafka is more challenging than that. Does a vision of the world which imagines no role for suffering really speak to our deepest selves? We are repulsed by the old order, but the new order seems to be missing something.
So in one neat package, you can learn some German and struggle with a challenging vision of the world. That's a bargain, in my book!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Kinsey on February 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
Let's face it.

Whether you're a native German speaker or an Anglophone reading a translation, slogging through some of Franz Kafka's work is like wading through a swamp: great for your "language muscles" but leaving you with a sense of unease over what the journey was all about. Kafka loved to write l-o-n-g sentences full of circumlocutions, and was especially unkind to verbs, which he far too often relegated to the very end of his weighty sentences. Add to that a truly tortured psyche, an occasional double entendre, and one story which is a single much-too-long paragraph relieved only by semi-colons, and you have, well, a translator's nightmare.

Mr. Appelbaum rises masterfully to the occasion. His renderings of Kafka's old-fashioned, intricate word structures are modern, stylistically deft, and easier to read than the original. His very brief introduction makes it clear he knows a lot more about Kafka than he's letting on. A translator this good deserved a bio somewhere in the book but, regretably, the publisher (Dover) provides none. I was left wondering almost as much about him as about Kafka. That's not nice.

The typographers deserved some recognition too, which they did not receive. The reader can nearly always run his finger straight from the words on the left (German) page to the right (English translation). I really don't know how they accomplished this feat, since German invariably takes an hour to say what English says in half that time.

Nice job!
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By novadm on January 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kafka is unlike any other writer - and being able to read his stories in both German and English at the same time has helped me to understand that there really are turns in the plot that make abolutely no sense. A completely unique stream of consciousness. Very good translation, the copy was in excellent condition. Seller described and shipped as promised.
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Best Short Stories: A Dual-Language Book (Dover Dual Language German)
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