Amerika: The Man Who Disappeared (New Restored Text by Franz Kafka

By Franz Kafka

Newly restored to the unique textual content: for this new translation, Hofmann back to Kafka’s manuscripts, restoring issues of substance and aspect, or even the book’s unique ending.

Michael Hofmann's startlingly visceral and speedy translation revives Kafka's nice comedy, and captures a brand new Kafka, unfastened from Prague and free within the new global, a Kafka shot via with mild during this hugely charged and significantly nuanced translation. Kafka all started the 1st of his 3 novels in 1911, yet just like the others, Amerika remained unfinished, and maybe, as Klaus Mann instructed, "necessarily endless." Karl Rossman, the younger hero of the radical, "a bad boy of seventeen," has been banished through his mom and dad to the United States, following a scandal. There, with unquenchable optimism, he throws himself into event after misadventure, and reviews multiply as he makes his approach into the guts of the rustic, to the good Nature Theater of Oklahoma. In developing this new translation, Hofmann, as he explains in his creation, again to the manuscript model of the e-book, restoring issues of substance and aspect. Fragments that have by no means sooner than been awarded in English are actually reinstated together with the book's unique "ending."

The San Francisco Chronicle stated Hofmann’s “sleek translation does a superb task” and The long island Times concurred:  “Anything by way of Kafka is worthy studying back, in particular within the arms of this sort of proficient translator as Hofmann.”

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Additional resources for Amerika: The Man Who Disappeared (New Restored Text Translation)

Sample text

Simply pressing a hand down on that could turn the whole ship against them, and fill its corridors with their enemies. ’ At that moment, as though it had been a cue for someone behind the door, there was a knock. The servant glanced at the captain, who nodded. So the servant went over to the door and opened it. Outside, in an old frogged coat, stood a man of medium build, not really suited, to go by his appearance, to working with machines, and yet – this was Schubal. If Karl hadn’t known it from looking at everyone’s eyes, which showed a certain satisfaction – from which even the captain himself was not exempt – he must have learned it from the stoker who, to his alarm, tensed his arms and clenched his fists, as though that clenching was the most important thing to him, something for which he would willingly give all the life in his body.

Nowhere in Kafka is this gulf greater than in The Man Who Disappeared, with its pantomime vividness and gusto. ’ It’s an almost parodically meticulous transcription of an action, very nearly as modest as Kingsley Amis’s ideal novel sentence, ‘He put out his cigarette and left the room,’ except for its quotient of joy and its deliberate slowness. A lot of The Man Who Disappeared consists of direct speech – and Kafka’s characters like to talk, in Seamus Heaney’s line, ‘like a book of manners in the wilderness’ – interspersed with descriptions of gesture.

It was really high time to stop. Much more of it and the two of them might easily find themselves slung out of the office. The captain was a good man and he might at that very moment have some particular grounds, so Karl thought, to show himself to be a fair master, but for all that he wasn’t a musical instrument to be played into the ground – which was precisely how the stoker was treating him, albeit from a soul that was illimitably indignant. So Karl said to the stoker: ‘You’ll have to explain it all much more clearly and simply, the captain can’t respond to what you’re telling him now.

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