In addition to the title selection, considered by many critics Kafka's most perfect work, this collection includes "The Judgment," "In the Penal Colony," "A Country Doctor," and "A Report to an Academy." Stanley Appelbaum has provided excellent new English translation of the stories and a brief Note placing them within Kafka's oeuvre.
A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
• Explanations and discussions of the plot
• Question-and-answer sections
• Kafka biography
• List of characters and more
Dover Thrift Study Editions feature everything that students need to undertake a confident reading of a classic text, as well as to prepare themselves for class discussions, essays, and exams. A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
Featuring essays by Philip Roth, W. H Auden, and Walter Benjamin
“When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.” With this startling, bizarre, yet surprisingly funny first sentence, Franz Kafka begins his masterpiece, The Metamorphosis. It is the story of a young man who, transformed overnight into a giant beetlelike insect, becomes an object of disgrace to his family, an outsider in his own home, a quintessentially alienated man. A harrowing—though absurdly comic—meditation on human feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and isolation, The Metamorphosis has taken its place as one of the most widely read and influential works of twentieth-century fiction.
This Modern Library edition collects Stanley Corngold’s acclaimed English translation—long hailed as the gold standard by scholars and general readers alike—along with seven critical essays by writers including Philip Roth, W. H. Auden, and Walter Benjamin, background and contextual material, and a new Introduction from Corngold himself.
Although Kafka's first novel (begun in 1911 and never finished), can be read as a menacing allegory of modern life, it is also infused with a quite un-Kafkaesque blitheness and sunniness, brought to life in this lyrical translation that returns to the original manuscript of the book.
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
In her new translation of Kafka’s masterpiece, Susan Bernofsky strives to capture both the humor and the humanity in this macabre tale, underscoring the ways in which Gregor Samsa’s grotesque metamorphosis is just the physical manifestation of his longstanding spiritual impoverishment.
"The voice of Kafka in Letters to Milena is more personal, more pure, and more painful than in his fiction: a testimony to human existence and to our eternal wait for the impossible. A marvelous new edition of a classic text."
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.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
"In the Penal Colony" ("In der Strafkolonie") (also translated as "In the Penal Settlement") is a short story by Franz Kafka written in German in October 1914, revised in November 1918, and first published in October 1919. The story is set in an unnamed penal colony. Internal clues and the setting on an island suggest Octave Mirbeau's The Torture Garden as an influence. As in some of Kafka's other writings, the narrator in this story seems detached from, or perhaps numbed by, events that one would normally expect to be registered with horror. "In the Penal Colony" describes the last use of an elaborate torture and execution device that carves the sentence of the condemned prisoner on his skin before letting him die, all in the course of twelve hours. As the plot unfolds, the reader learns more and more about the machine, including its origin and original justification.
"In der Strafkolonie" ist eine Erzählung von Franz Kafka, die im Oktober 1914 entstand und 1919 veröffentlicht wurde. Einem Forschungsreisenden wird das Rechtssystem einer Strafkolonie vorgeführt. Es besteht darin, dass jeder Angeklagte unabhängig von seiner Schuld oder Unschuld von einem Apparat in minutiösem Ablauf stundenlang gefoltert und dann getötet wird. Den Apparat beschreibt Kafka als überdimensionalen Parlographen in der Funktionsweise eines Phonographen mit vibrierender Metallplatte und Nadel. Dieser Apparat ist der Hauptgegenstand der Erzählung, er repräsentiert die "Einheit von Schrift und Tod, von Ekstase und Thanatos".
Written in 1914 and published posthumously in 1925, Kafka's engrossing parable about the human condition plunges an isolated individual into an impersonal, illogical system. Josef K.'s ordeals raise provocative, ever-relevant issues related to the role of government and the nature of justice. This inexpensive edition of one of the 20th century's most important novels features an acclaimed translation by David Wyllie.
Look at Joseph K., a bank officer living in a country with a constitution. He wakes up one day with strange men in his apartment telling him he's under arrest. Why or for what offense, no one knows. The arresting officers themselves don't know and can't tell him. Even if he's under arrest, however, no one picks him up or locks him in jail. He can still go to his office, work, perform his customary daily chores, and do whatever he wants to do as he awaits his trial. But he is understandably anxious and worried. He is, after all, charged with an unknown but very grave offense. He has a criminal case. He is an accused. He is under arrest.
For this problem he consults so many. He gets a lawyer. His uncle comes to his aid. He talks with his lawyer's other client--also charged and under arrest like him. He consults other people, a painter (who is said to know the "Court"), some women, a priest, etc. about his case. But no one can tell him what the charge is and what his sentence will be. The "Examining Magistrate," the "Judges," the "Court," the proceedings/ trial, and even the "Law" itself--they all seem to be unsolvable enigmas.
"The Metamorphosis" (German: "Die Verwandlung", also sometimes translated as "The Transformation") is a novella by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915. It has been cited as one of the seminal works of fiction of the 20th century and is studied in colleges and universities across the Western world. The story begins with a traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, waking to find himself transformed (metamorphosed) into a large, monstrous insect-like creature. The cause of Samsa's transformation is never revealed, and Kafka never did give an explanation. The rest of Kafka's novella deals with Gregor's attempts to adjust to his new condition as he deals with being burdensome to his parents and sister, who are repulsed by the horrible, verminous creature Gregor has become.
"Die Verwandlung" ist eine im Jahr 1912 entstandene Erzählung von Franz Kafka, die in seinem Gesamtwerk eine herausragende Stellung einnimmt. Der Text wurde zunächst 1915 im Oktoberheft der Zeitschrift "Die Weißen Blätter" unter der Redaktion von René Schickele veröffentlicht. Die Erstausgabe in Buchform erschien im Dezember 1915 in der Reihe "Der jüngste Tag", herausgegeben von Kurt Wolff.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
A Hunger Artist explores the familiar Kafka themes of death, art, isolation, asceticism, spiritual poverty, futility, personal failure and the corruption of human relationships.
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.
"When we turn from Kafka's books to his letters we have a series of self-portraits desperate and courageous, always eager and warm in feeling; the self is lit by fantasy and, of course, by drollery. His candor is of the kind that flies alongside him in the air. He was a marvelous letter writer."
--V.S. Pritchett, The New York Review of Books
"These letters are like messages from the underground, from the dark side of the moon, presenting aspects of Kafka that would have died with his friends. We meet alternately Kafka the artist, friend, son, father figure, marriage counselor, literary critic, insurance official. . . . A full portrait, and a significant contribution to Kafka scholarship."
"An inside view of a writer who, perhaps more than any other novelist or poet in our century, stands at the center of our culture."
--Robert Alter, The New York Times Book Review
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The stories in this volume are "The Metamorphosis" (thought by many critics to be Kafka's most perfect work), "The Judgment," "In the Penal Colony," "A Country Doctor," and "A Report to an Academy." Along with the original German texts, Stanley Applebaum has provided accurate English translations on facing pages, affording students an ideal opportunity to read some of Kafka's finest stories in the original, to discover the passion and profundity of this extremely important figure in modern European literature, and to upgrade their German language skills.
Twelve of Kafka’s stories from the compilation Ein Landarzt (A Country Doctor) appear here, along with two tales from Ein Hungerkünstler (A Hunger Artist). Rilke's stories include "Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke" (The Ballad of Love and Death of Cornet Christoph Rilke), "Die Turnstunde" (The Gym Class), and Geschichten vom lieben Gott (Stories About the Good Lord).
Stanley Appelbaum has provided an introduction and informative notes to these stories, along with excellent new English translations on the pages facing the original German.
Left unfinished by Kafka in 1922 and not published until 1926, two years after his death, The Castle is the haunting tale of K.’s relentless, unavailing struggle with an inscrutable authority in order to gain access to the Castle. Scrupulously following the fluidity and breathlessness of the sparsely punctuated original manuscript, Mark Harman’s new translation reveals levels of comedy, energy, and visual power previously unknown to English language readers.
When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.
So begins The Metamorphosis, one of the most recognizable opening lines in literature. The story of Gregor Samsa, a young man who, after transforming overnight into a giant, beetle-like insect, becomes an object of disgrace to his family, an outsider in his own home, and a quintessentially alienated man. One of the most widely read and influential works of twentieth-century fiction, The Metamorphosis is a harrowing yet absurdly comic meditation on inadequacy, guilt, and isolation. A work in which, in the words of Vladimir Nabokov, “contrast and unity, style and matter, manner and plot are most perfectly integrated.”
Enriched Classics enhance your engagement by introducing and explaining the historical and cultural significance of the work, the author’s personal history, and what impact this book had on subsequent scholarship. Each book includes discussion questions that help clarify and reinforce major themes and reading recommendations for further research.
Read with confidence.
From its iconic opening scene, in which Gregor Samsa awakens to find himself transformed into an insect, to its heartbreaking conclusion, Kafka's novella remains a seminal work of magical realism. As Gregor navigates his new world, he begins to question the very meaning of his existence. One of the world's most widely read pieces of literature, THE METAMORPHOSIS is a tale of identity that continues to resonate with modern readers.
This collection of new translations brings together the small proportion of Kafka’s works that he thought worthy of publication. It includes Metamorphosis, his most famous work, an exploration of horrific transformation and alienation; Meditation, a collection of his earlier studies; The Judgement, written in a single night of frenzied creativity; The Stoker, the first chapter of a novel set in America and a fascinating occasional piece, The Aeroplanes at Brescia, Kafka’s eyewitness account of an air display in 1909. Together, these stories reveal the breadth of Kafka’s literary vision and the extraordinary imaginative depth of his thought.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
After Kafka's death in 1924 his friend and literary executor Max Brod edited the text for publication by Verlag Die Schmiede. The original manuscript is held at the Museum of Modern Literature, Marbach am Neckar, Germany. The first English language translation, by Willa and Edwin Muir, was published in 1937. In 1999, the book was listed in Le Monde's 100 Books of the Century and as No. 2 of the Best German Novels of the Twentieth Century.
"These letters are indispensable for anyone seeking a more intimate knowledge of Kafka and his fragmented world."
Strangers have come to the village of Emond's Field, located in Two Rivers, during the Bel Tine holiday. With theses strangers come stories of the outside world: tales of war and of a man who claims to be the Dragon Reborn, the one prophesized to save the world, and also to destroy it in his madness. For it is known that no man can channel the One Power without going horribly insane.
Irrational Man begins by discussing the roots of existentialism in the art and thinking of Augustine, Aquinas, Pascal, Baudelaire, Blake, Dostoevski, Tolstoy, Hemingway, Picasso, Joyce, and Beckett. The heart of the book explains the views of the foremost existentialists—Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Sartre. The result is a marvelously lucid definition of existentialism and a brilliant interpretation of its impact.
This is a story of desire taken to the edge of reason and beyond; of the frantic, clumsy dance steps of young love; and a gorgeous, street-level portrait of the world's greatest city. It's about the small, warm, human moments of everyday life...and the great surging forces that lie just under the surface. Scott McCloud wrote the book on how comics work; now he vaults into great fiction with a breathtaking, funny, and unforgettable new work.
Meet Victorian London’s most dynamic duo: Charles Babbage, the unrealized inventor of the computer, and his accomplice, Ada, Countess of Lovelace, the peculiar protoprogrammer and daughter of Lord Byron. When Lovelace translated a description of Babbage’s plans for an enormous mechanical calculating machine in 1842, she added annotations three times longer than the original work. Her footnotes contained the first appearance of the general computing theory, a hundred years before an actual computer was built. Sadly, Lovelace died of cancer a decade after publishing the paper, and Babbage never built any of his machines.
But do not despair! The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage presents a rollicking alternate reality in which Lovelace and Babbage do build the Difference Engine and then use it to build runaway economic models, battle the scourge of spelling errors, explore the wilder realms of mathematics, and, of course, fight crime—for the sake of both London and science. Complete with extensive footnotes that rival those penned by Lovelace herself, historical curiosities, and never-before-seen diagrams of Babbage’s mechanical, steam-powered computer, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage is wonderfully whimsical, utterly unusual, and, above all, entirely irresistible.
(With black-and-white illustrations throughout.)
From the Hardcover edition.
In a memoir of family bonding and cutting-edge physics for readers of Brian Greene’s The Hidden Reality and Jim Holt’s Why Does the World Exist?, Amanda Gefter tells the story of how she conned her way into a career as a science journalist—and wound up hanging out, talking shop, and butting heads with the world’s most brilliant minds.
At a Chinese restaurant outside of Philadelphia, a father asks his fifteen-year-old daughter a deceptively simple question: “How would you define nothing?” With that, the girl who once tried to fail geometry as a conscientious objector starts reading up on general relativity and quantum mechanics, as she and her dad embark on a life-altering quest for the answers to the universe’s greatest mysteries.
Before Amanda Gefter became an accomplished science writer, she was a twenty-one-year-old magazine assistant willing to sneak her and her father, Warren, into a conference devoted to their physics hero, John Wheeler. Posing as journalists, Amanda and Warren met Wheeler, who offered them cryptic clues to the nature of reality: The universe is a self-excited circuit, he said. And, The boundary of a boundary is zero. Baffled, Amanda and Warren vowed to decode the phrases—and with them, the enigmas of existence. When we solve all that, they agreed, we’ll write a book.
Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn is that book, a memoir of the impassioned hunt that takes Amanda and her father from New York to London to Los Alamos. Along the way, they bump up against quirky science and even quirkier personalities, including Leonard Susskind, the former Bronx plumber who invented string theory; Ed Witten, the soft-spoken genius who coined the enigmatic M-theory; even Stephen Hawking.
What they discover is extraordinary: the beginnings of a monumental paradigm shift in cosmology, from a single universe we all share to a splintered reality in which each observer has her own. Reality, the Gefters learn, is radically observer-dependent, far beyond anything of which Einstein or the founders of quantum mechanics ever dreamed—with shattering consequences for our understanding of the universe’s origin. And somehow it all ties back to that conversation, to that Chinese restaurant, and to the true meaning of nothing.
Throughout their journey, Amanda struggles to make sense of her own life—as her journalism career transforms from illusion to reality, as she searches for her voice as a writer, as she steps from a universe shared with her father to at last carve out one of her own. It’s a paradigm shift you might call growing up.
By turns hilarious, moving, irreverent, and profound, Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn weaves together story and science in remarkable ways. By the end, you will never look at the universe the same way again.
Praise for Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn
“Nothing quite prepared me for this book. Wow. Reading it, I alternated between depression—how could the rest of us science writers ever match this?—and exhilaration.”—Scientific American
“To Do: Read Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn. Reality doesn’t have to bite.”—New York
“A zany superposition of genres . . . It’s at once a coming-of-age chronicle and a father-daughter road trip to the far reaches of this universe and 10,500 others.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
From the Hardcover edition.
Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home was a pop culture and literary phenomenon. Now, a second thrilling tale of filial sleuthery, this time about her mother: voracious reader, music lover, passionate amateur actor. Also a woman, unhappily married to a closeted gay man, whose artistic aspirations simmered under the surface of Bechdel's childhood . . . and who stopped touching or kissing her daughter good night, forever, when she was seven. Poignantly, hilariously, Bechdel embarks on a quest for answers concerning the mother-daughter gulf. It's a richly layered search that leads readers from the fascinating life and work of the iconic twentieth-century psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, to one explosively illuminating Dr. Seuss illustration, to Bechdel’s own (serially monogamous) adult love life. And, finally, back to Mother—to a truce, fragile and real-time, that will move and astonish all adult children of gifted mothers.
The job of the skin is to keep it all in...
On the island of Here, livin's easy. Conduct is orderly. Lawns are neat. Citizens are clean shaven-and Dave is the most fastidious of them all. Dave is bald, but for a single hair. He loves drawing, his desk job, and the Bangles. But on one fateful day, his life is upended...by an unstoppable (yet pretty impressive) beard.
An off-beat fable worthy of Roald Dahl and Tim Burton, Stephen Collins' The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil is a darkly funny meditation on life, death, and what it means to be different--and a timeless ode to the art of beard maintenance.
“I can imagine few more enjoyable ways of thinking than to read this book.”—Sarah Bakewell, New York Times Book Review, front-page review Tackling the “darkest question in all of philosophy” with “raffish erudition” (Dwight Garner, New York Times), author Jim Holt explores the greatest metaphysical mystery of all: why is there something rather than nothing? This runaway bestseller, which has captured the imagination of critics and the public alike, traces our latest efforts to grasp the origins of the universe. Holt adopts the role of cosmological detective, traveling the globe to interview a host of celebrated scientists, philosophers, and writers, “testing the contentions of one against the theories of the other” (Jeremy Bernstein, Wall Street Journal). As he interrogates his list of ontological culprits, the brilliant yet slyly humorous Holt contends that we might have been too narrow in limiting our suspects to God versus the Big Bang. This “deft and consuming” (David Ulin, Los Angeles Times) narrative humanizes the profound questions of meaning and existence it confronts.
“Funny, painful, outrageous . . . Anya Ulinich is the David Sedaris of Russian-American cartoonists.”
Anya Ulinich turns her sharp eye toward the strange, often unmooring world of “grown-up” dating in this darkly comic graphic novel. After her fifteen-year marriage ends, Lena Finkle gets an eye-opening education in love, sex, and loss when she embarks on a string of online dates, all while raising her two teenage daughters. The Vampire of Bensonhurst, the Orphan, Disaster Man, and the Diamond Psychiatrist are just a few of the unforgettable characters she meets along the way. Evoking Louis C. K.’s humor and Amy Winehouse’s longing and anguish, and paying homage to Malamud and Chekhov, Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel is a funny and moving story, beautifully told.
Regarded as the father of Existentialism, Kierkegaard transformed philosophy with his conviction that we must all create our own nature; in this great work of religious anxiety, he argues that a true understanding of God can only be attained by making a personal "leap of faith."