Franz Kafka's final novel tells the haunting tale of a man known only as K. and of his relentless, unavailing struggle with an inscrutable authority in order to gain entrance to the Castle. Although Kafka seemed to consider The Castle a failure, critics, in wrestling with its enigmatic meaning, have recognized it as one of the great novels of our century.
Unfinished at Kafka's death in 1924, the manuscript of The Castle was edited for publication by Kafka's friend and literary executor, Max Brod. Both Brod's edition and the English-language translation of it that was prepared by Willa and Edwin Muir in 1930 have long been considered flawed.
This new edition of Kafka's terrifying and comic masterpiece is the product of an international team of experts who went back to Kafka's original manuscript and notes to create an edition that is as close as possible to the way the author left it. The Times Literary Supplement hailed their work, saying that it will "decisively alter our understanding of Kafka and render previous editions obsolete."
Mark Harman's brilliant translation closely follows the fluidity and breathlessness of the sparsely punctuated original manuscript, revealing levels of comedy, energy, and visual power that have not been previously accessible to
W. H. Auden likened Kafka to Dante, Shakespeare, and Goethe as the single most important writer of his age. Here, in this new edition, is a Kafka for the twenty-first century.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
They are perhaps the most famous literary instructions never followed: "Dearest Max, my last request: Everything I leave behind me ... in the way of diaries, manuscripts, letters (my own and others'), sketches, and so on, [is] to be burned unread...." Thankfully, Max Brod did not honor his friend Franz Kafka's final wishes. Instead, he did everything within his power to ensure that Kafka's work would find publication--including making some sweeping changes in the original texts. Until recently, the world has known only Brod's version of Kafka, with its altered punctuation, word order, and chapter divisions. Restoring much of what had previously been expunged, as well as the fluid, oral quality of Kafka's original German, Mark Harman's new translation of The Castle is a major literary event.
One of three unfinished novels left after Kafka's death, The Castle is in many ways the writer's most enduring and influential work. In Harman's muscular translation, Kafka's text seems more modern than ever, the words tumbling over one another, the sentences separated only by commas. Harman's version also ends the same way as Kafka's original manuscript--that is, in mid-sentence: "She held out her trembling hand to K. and had him sit down beside her, she spoke with great difficulty, it was difficult to understand her, but what she said--." For anyone used to reading Kafka in his artificially complete form, the effect is extraordinary; it is as if Kafka himself had just stepped from the room, leaving behind him a work whose resolution is the more haunting for being forever out of reach.From the Publisher:
"The new Schocken edition of The Castle represents a major and long-awaited event in English-language publishing. It is a wonderful piece of news for all Kafka readers who, for more than half a century, have had to rely on flawed, superannuated editions. Mark Harman is to be commended for his success in capturing the fresh, fluid, almost breathless style of Kafka's original manuscript, which leaves the reader hanging in mid-sentence."
--Mark M. Anderson, Columbia University
"The Castle, published here for the first time in 1930, was the first Kafka to arrive in America. After the war, Hannah Arendt remarked that The Castle might finally be comprehensible to the generation of the forties, who had had the occasion to watch their world become Kafkaesque. What will the generation of the nineties make of The Castle, now that its full message has arrived? Here is the masterpiece behind the masterpiece."
--Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, Haverford College
"Sparkles with comedy, with zest, and with a fresh visual power, which in the Muir translation were indistinct or lost. This is not just a new, brilliantly insightful, sensitive, and stylish translation, it is a new Castle, and it is a pleasure to read."
--Christopher Middleton, University of Texas at Austin
"This is the closest to Kafka's original novel and intention that any translation could get, and what is more, it is eminently readable. With this exceptional translation, the time for a new Kafka in English has finally come."
--Egon Schwartz, Washington University, St. Louis
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Schocken, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0805241183
Book Description Schocken, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0805241183
Book Description Schocken, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110805241183
Book Description Schocken. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0805241183 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1312962