Amerika: The Man Who Disappeared: The New Translation by Michael Hofmann

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9780811215138: Amerika: The Man Who Disappeared: The New Translation by Michael Hofmann

Newly restored to the original text: Franz Kafka's Amerika: The Man Who Disappeared at last has the translator it deserves.

Michael Hofmann's startlingly visceral and immediate translation revives Kafka's great comedy, and captures a new Kafka, free from Prague and loose in the new world, a Kafka shot through with light in this highly charged and enormously nuanced translation. Kafka began the first of his three novels in 1911, but like the others, Amerika remained unfinished, and perhaps, as Klaus Mann suggested, "necessarily endless." Karl Rossman, the youthful hero of the novel, "a poor boy of seventeen," has been banished by his parents to America, following a scandal. There, with unquenchable optimism, he throws himself into adventure after misadventure, and experiences multiply as he makes his way into the heart of the country, to The Great Nature Theater of Oklahoma. In creating this new translation, Hofmann, as he explains in his introduction, returned to the manuscript version of the book, restoring matters of substance and detail. Fragments which have never before been presented in English are now reinstated including the book's original "ending."

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About the Author:

For his translations, acclaimed poet Michael Hofmann has won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, the Dublin International IMPAC Award, the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Prize, the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize, the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize, and The Schlegel-Tieck Prize (four times). He is the highly acclaimed translator of, among others, Kafka, Brecht, and Joseph Roth.

Franz Kafka (1883–1924) was one of the most important writers of the twentieth century. His major novels include The Trial, The Castle, and Amerika.

For his translations, acclaimed poet Michael Hofmann has won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, the Dublin International IMPAC Award, the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Prize, the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize, the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize, and The Schlegel-Tieck Prize (four times). He is the highly acclaimed translator of, among others, Kafka, Brecht, and Joseph Roth.

Review:

A century after his birth he seems the last holy writer, and the supreme fabulist of modern man's cosmic predicament. -- John Updike, The New Yorker

His writings are the beautiful and fantastic prolegomena to Buddhism which he never chose to formulate. -- Aldous Huxley

Kafka never wrote a more accurate picture of Central Europe than in his novel Amerika. -- Eleanor Clark, The Griffin

This fantasy of a New World, so full of a childlike genius...this strange book—Amerika. -- Thomas Mann

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