Manual Kafka und ich (German Edition)

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Reiner Stach worked extensively on the definitive edition of Kafka's collected works before embarking on this three-volume biography. She has translated many other books from German, including biographies of Nietzsche and Einstein, and she holds a PhD in German literature from Princeton University.

Home Kafka. Add to Cart. More about this book. One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for Kafka : The Three Volume Biography.


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Kafka: The Decisive Years. Prologue [PDF].

Kafkas Werke (Kritische Ausgabe)

Despite the narrow time frame, this insightful book is likely to become a standard by which future biographies are measured. Shelley Frisch, Stach's heroic American translator, movingly reproduces his intended breadth and pace and tone. In this honest and honorable biography there is no trace of the Kafkaesque; but in it you may find a crystal granule of the Kafka who was.

It is common to say of biography that it sends you back to the work. Stach's book does this in spades, but, importantly for English readers, it also presents new aspects of the work in Shelley Frisch's superb and lucid translations.

Two new books attempt to capture the gaunt specter of modernism—and make him talk.

Between them, she and Stach have produced a superbly fresh imaginative guide to the strange, clear, metaphor-free world of Kafka's prose. He has a deep understanding of the world that Kafka came from and this is matched by an intelligence and tact about the impulse behind the work itself. An illuminating book built, like its subject's life, on small episodes rather than great, dramatic turning points.


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  • Essential for students and serious readers of Kafka. Thanks to a lucid translation, English-speaking readers can now share the German enthusiasm for this masterful portrait. Stach presents a full, nuanced treatment of Kafka's feelings about Jewishness. He is particularly adept in his depiction of Kafka's relationships with the women he loved. For almost seventy years, the work of Willa and Edwin Muir, a Scottish couple self-taught in German, has represented Kafka in English; the mystical Kafka we are long familiar with—and whom the Muirs derived from Max Brod—reflects their voice and vision.

    And it is because the Muirs toiled to communicate the incommunicable that Kafka, even in English, stands indisputably among the few truly indelible writers of the twentieth century—those writers who have no literary progeny, who are sui generis and cannot be echoed or envied.

    Yet any translation, however influential, harbors its own dissolution.

    5 ways for German learners to read Kafka - Angelika's German Tuition & Translation

    Literature endures; translation, itself a branch of literature, decays. This is no enigma. The permanence of a work does not insure the permanence of its translation—perhaps because the original remains fixed and unalterable, while the translation must inevitably vary with the changing cultural outlook and idiom of each succeeding generation. Then are the Muirs, in their various redactions, dated? Ought they to be jettisoned?

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    Both versions have been brought out by Schocken, an early publisher of Kafka. But this is not an argument that can be decided only on the ground of textual faithfulness. The issues that seize, grab, fall upon, overwhelm, or waylay translation are not matters of language in the sense of word-for-word.

    Nor is translation to be equated with interpretation; the translator has no business sneaking in what amounts to commentary.

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    Ideally, translation is a transparent membrane that will vibrate with the faintest shudder of the original, like a single leaf on an autumnal stem. Translation is autumnal: it comes late, it comes afterward. It is a narration of being and becoming. Josef K. But through the course of his entanglement with the web of the law he drifts sporadically from confusion to resignation, from bewilderment in the face of an unnamed accusation to acceptance of an unidentifiable guilt.

    The legal proceedings that capture K. Its impartiality is punishing: it tests no evidence; its judgment has no relation to justice. A room for flogging miscreants is situated in a closet in K. Wherever K. The lawyer is bedridden and virtually useless. He makes a point of displaying an earlier client who is as despairing and obsequious as a beaten dog. Behind a door standing open is the Law; a man from the country asks to be admitted. The doorkeeper denies him immediate entrance, and the man waits stoically for years for permission to go in.

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    He is led to a block of stone in a quarry, where he is stabbed, twice, in the heart—after feebly attempting to raise the knife to his own throat. Translations of the work supposing that all translations are indistinguishable from opinions are often only expressions of despair; understanding and misunderstanding may occur in the same breath.

    It was begun in , weeks after the outbreak of the First World War. Germany has declared war on Russia. The Muirs, following Brod, regulate the liberties taken in the original. To these they add their own. The Muirs pursue a dignified prose, unruffled by any obvious idiosyncrasy; their cadences lean toward a formality tinctured by a certain soulfulness. To illustrate, let me try a small experiment in contrast and linguistic ambition. A friend? A good man? Someone who sympathized?

    Someone who wanted to help? Was it one person only? Or was it mankind? Was help at hand? A good person? Someone who cared?

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    Was it just one person? Was it everyone? Beschreibung eines Kampfes; Description of a Struggle written between and , published Das Urteil; The Judgement written , published Die Verwandlung; Metamorphosis; The Transformation written , published In der Strafkolonie; In the Penal Colony written , published Der Bau; The Burrow written , published Der Process; The Trial written ; published Das Schloss; The Castle written , published Mark M.

    Anderson ed. Austrian Studies VII , ed. Iris Bruce and Mark H. Gelber eds. Stanley Corngold and Ruth V. Gross eds. Dodd ed.