Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka 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", Der Prozess, and Das Schloss, 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.
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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
The Trial is a novel written by Franz Kafka. One of Kafka's best-known works, it tells the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime revealed to neither him nor the reader. The terrifying tale of Joseph K, a respectable functionary in a bank, who is suddenly arrested and must defend his innocence against a charge about which he can get no information. A nightmare vision of the excesses of modern bureaucracy wedded to the mad agendas of twentieth-century totalitarian regimes.

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.
'...behind them all was New York, looking at Karl with the hundred thousand windows of its skyscrapers' Entering New York harbour, the young immigrant Karl Rossmann sees the Statue of Liberty, 'her arm with the sword stretched upward'. This forbidding introduction sets the tone for Kafka's narrative about an innocent European astray in an ultra-modern America that is both a fantasy and an object of social satire. Expelled by his family after seduction by a maidservant, Karl finds in America a series of surrogate families, but he continues to get into undeserved trouble and is forced to move on once again. Along the way Karl encounters extremes of wealth and poverty, experiences the cruelty of the American work ethic, and has glimpses of the criminal underworld, without losing the basic goodness and resourcefulness that enable him to survive the hazards of the New World. Full of incident, and blackly humorous, Kafka's first novel portrays American civilization with horrified fascination. This edition retains Kafka's distinctive style in a sensitive and natural new translation, together with a penetrating introduction and notes. 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.
This edition contains the English translation and the original text in German.

"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".
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