Franz Kafka (3 July 1883 – 3 June 1924) was a German-language writer of novels and short stories, regarded by critics as one of the most influential authors of the 20th century. Kafka strongly influenced genres such as existentialism. Most of his works, such as "Die Verwandlung" ("The Metamorphosis"), "Der Prozess" ("The Trial"), and "Das Schloss" ("The Castle"), are filled with the themes and archetypes of alienation, physical and psychological brutality, parent–child conflict, characters on a terrifying quest, labyrinths of bureaucracy, and mystical transformations. Kafka was born into a middle-class, German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In his lifetime, most of the population of Prague spoke Czech, and the division between Czech- and German-speaking people was a tangible reality, as both groups were strengthening their national identity. The Jewish community often found itself in between the two sentiments, naturally raising questions about a place to which one belongs. Kafka himself was fluent in both languages, considering German his mother tongue. Kafka trained as a lawyer and, after completing his legal education, obtained employment with an insurance company. He began to write short stories in his spare time. For the rest of his life, he complained about the little time he had to devote to what he came to regard as his calling. He regretted having to devote so much attention to his "Brotberuf" ("day job", literally "bread job"). Kafka preferred to communicate by letter; he wrote hundreds of letters to family and close female friends, including his father, his fiancée Felice Bauer, and his youngest sister Ottla. He had a complicated and troubled relationship with his father that had a major effect on his writing. He also suffered conflict over being Jewish, feeling that it had little to do with him, although critics argue that it influenced his writing.

Table of Contents:
- The Metamorphosis
- A Country Doctor
- A Hunger Artist
- A Report for an Academy
- An Imperial Message
- Before the Law
- In the Penal Colony
- Jackals and Arabs
- The Great Wall of China
- The Hunter Gracchus
- The Trial
- Up in the Gallery
'Someone must have been telling tales about Josef K. for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested.' A successful professional man wakes up one morning to find himself under arrest for an offence which is never explained. The mysterious court which conducts his trial is outwardly co-operative, but capable of horrific violence. Faced with this ambiguous authority, Josef K. gradually succumbs to its psychological pressure. He consults various advisers without escaping his fate. Was there some way out that he failed to see? Kafka's unfinished novel has been read as a study of political power, a pessimistic religious parable, or a crime novel where the accused man is himself the problem. One of the iconic figures of modern world literature, Kafka writes about universal problems of guilt, responsibility, and freedom; he offers no solutions, but provokes his readers to arrive at meanings of their own. This new edition includes the fragmentary chapters that were omitted from the main text, in a translation that is both natural and exact, and an introduction that illuminates the novel and its author. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Franz Kafka's diaries and letters suggest that his fascination with America grew out of a desire to break away from his native Prague, even if only in his imagination. Kafka died before he could finish what he like to call his "American novel,: but he clearly entitled it Der Verschollene ("The Missing Person") in a letter to his fiancee, Felice Bauer, in 1912. Kafka began writing the novel that fall and wrote until the last completed chapter in 1914, but in wasn't until 1927, three years after his death, that Amerika--the title that Kafka's friend and literary executor Max Brod gave his edited version of the unfinished manuscript--was published in Germany by Kurt Wolff Verlag. An English translation by Willa and Edwin Muir was published in Great Britain in 1932 and in the United States in 1946.

Over the last thirty years, an international team of Kafka scholars has been working on German-language critical editions of all of Kafka's writings, going back to the original manuscripts and notes, correcting transcription errors, and removing Brod's editorial and stylistic interventions to create texts that are as close as possible to the way the author left them.

With the same expert balance of precision and nuance that marked his award-winning translation of The Castle, Mark Harman now restores the humor ad particularity of language in his translation of the critical edition of Der Verschollene. Here is the story of young Karl Rossman, who, following an incident involving a housemaid, is banished by his parents to America. With unquenchable optimism and in the company of two comic-sinister companions, he throws himself into misadventure, eventually heading towards Oklahoma, where a career in the theater beckons. Though we can never know how Kafka planned to end the novel, Harman's superb translation allows us to appreciate, as closely as possible, what Kafka did commit to the page.


From the Hardcover edition.
"La metamorfosis" ("Die Verwandlung", en su título original en alemán) es un relato de Franz Kafka, publicado en 1915 y que narra la historia de Gregor Samsa, un comerciante de telas que vive con su familia a la que él mantiene con su sueldo, quien un día amanece convertido en un enorme insecto (aparentemente, una cucaracha, aunque no se identifica claramente en el texto). En ocasiones el título es traducido como "La transformación". Esto se debe a que en cualquier diccionario de alemán, la voz "Verwandlung" corresponde a "cambio", "transformación", "conversión", "reducción", "mutación", y solo como "Metamorfosis" cuando apunta al lenguaje de la mitología clásica. De hecho, la palabra en alemán para denominar Metamorfosis, es "Metamorphose", término que registra claramente su equivalencia y que le haría prescindir de la voz Verwandlung para su traslación idiomática. Esto supone además, la existencia de otro sustantivo con valor semántico independiente. Por ello, y además, optar por la palabra metamorfosis podría significar elegir un sustantivo muy concreto y atinente a cierto sector de la literatura, como es en este caso, la griega. De ahí en adelante "pueden cometerse errores hermenéuticos peculiares y sesgados, como valorizar la obra por su carácter de 'fantástica transmutación' o 'suceso extraordinario', tan propios de las artes escritas en Grecia, pero impropias en la narrativa Kafkiana". Fue incluida en la serie Great Books of the 20th Century ("Grandes libros del siglo XX"), publicada por Penguin Books.
01. F.Scott Fitzgerald - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 02. O.Henry - The Gift of the Magi 03. Mark Twain - On The Decay of the Art of Lying 04. Sun Tzu - The Art of War 05. E.A. Poe - The Raven 06. Kahlil Gibran - The Madman 07. W.W. Jacobs - The Monkey's Paw 08. Anonymous - Aladdin 09. The Founding Fathers - The Declaration of Independence 10. Plato - The Apology of Socrates 11. Lord Alfred Tennyson - Charge of the Light Brigade 12. T.S. Eliot - The Waste Land 13. William Dean Howells - Wild Flowers of the Asphalt 14. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels - The Communist Manifesto 15. E.A. Poe - The Pit and the Pendulum 16. F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Offshore Pirate 17. Leo Tolstoy - A Letter to a Hindu 18. Washington Irving - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow 19. Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Kubla Khan 20. F. Scott Fitzgerald - Camel's Back 21. Bram Stoker - The Judge's House 22. Lao Tzu - Tao Te Ching 23. Plato - The Allegory of the Cave 24. Oscar Wilde - The Happy Prince 25. Oscar Wilde - The Nightingale and the Rose 26. William Blake - Songs of Innocence 27. Patrick Henry - Give Me Liberty 28. H.G. Wells - The Magic Shop 29. Saki - The Music on the Hill 30. Herman Melville - Bartleby the scrivener 31. Mark Twain - The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County 32. Clement Clarke Moore - Twas the Night Before Christmas 33. Bret Harte - The Luck of Roaring Camp 34. O.Henry - The Caballero's Way 35. T.S. Eliot - The Love Song of J. Alfred Profrock 36. Immanuel Kant - Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment? 37. Jack London - To Build a Fire 38. Edgar Allan Poe - The Fall of the House of Usher 39. Henry Ford - The Terror of the Machine 40. G.K. Chesterton - The Blue Cross 41. Charles Perrault - Cinderella 42. Anton Chekhov - Difficult People 43. D.H. Lawrence - The Prussian Officer 44. Fyodor Dostoevsky - The Dream of A Ridiculous Man 45. Franz Kafka - The Judgement 46. James Joyce - The Dead 47. Saki - The Unrest Cure 48. John Muir - Steep Trails 49. Anton Chekhov - Lady with a Dog 50. Anton Chekhov - The Wife
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