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The Trial: A New Translation Based on the Restored Text (The Schocken Kafka Library) Paperback – May 25, 1999
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--James Rolleston, professor of Germanic languages and literatures, Duke University
"Breon Mitchell's translation is an accomplishment of the highest order that will honor Kafka far into the twenty-first century."
--Walter Abish, author of How German Is It
From the Inside Flap
In his brilliant translation, Breon Mitchell masterfully reproduces the distinctive poetics of Kafka's prose, revealing a novel that is as full of energy and power as it was when it was first written.
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Existential anxt may have come and gone. But Kafka's imagery lives on.
This is one instance where asking if the writing is poor or great is meaningless.
Is there violence? If bang bang your dead violence: No. If deeply alienating psychic violence: Yes in aces and spades.
Is there sexual content? Soft porn bodice ripper? No - Existential torment imagery? Yes
How is it narrated? From inside a deep echo chamber by a psychic spider trapped in a glass jar with smooth sides.
New translation smooth as oposed to previous clunky version.
Indeed, "The Trial" is the epitome of this adjective used to describe the haunting novels of Franz Kafka.
Breon Mitchell's translation is fantastic as it expands and clarifies the first version by the Muirs. A lengthy translators preface is included, written by Mitchell, explaining the reasoning for this new translation based on the German definitive edition. Various examples of the text (in German) are also used in the explanations of the hows and whys.
On to the story itself. Josef K. awakens one more to find that he's been arrested. He doesn't know why and is never told. His daily life is allowed to go on over the course of the year the novel takes place, while trying to understand what is happening. Throughout this process Josef begins to sink further into paranoia and guilt, with the fate of his life in the balance....
This is a deep and dense novel, with various interpretations. It's scary to realize that this could actually happen (perhaps not on this scale) and that's one of things Kafka excels at. Taking the everyday mundane and catapulting it into the realm of the absurd and nightmarish..
The leftover fragments of "The Trial" are also included after the story, adding further insight into this tragic story. It's also worth it to pick up the Muir's translation, to see the differences, and to have the original english version to keep.
A must read.
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P.S. The Castle bought on Book Depository doesn’t have deckle edges, so I think it is a binding error.