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Amerika [NOOK Book]

Overview

Kafka's first and funniest novel, Amerika tells the story of the young immigrant Karl Rossmann who, after an embarrassing sexual misadventure, finds himself "packed off to America" by his parents. Expected to redeem himself in this magical land of opportunity, young Karl is swept up instead in a whirlwind of dizzying reversals, strange escapades, and picaresque adventures. Although Kafka never visited America, images of its vast landscape, dangers, and opportunities inspired this saga of the "golden land." Here ...
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Amerika

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Overview

Kafka's first and funniest novel, Amerika tells the story of the young immigrant Karl Rossmann who, after an embarrassing sexual misadventure, finds himself "packed off to America" by his parents. Expected to redeem himself in this magical land of opportunity, young Karl is swept up instead in a whirlwind of dizzying reversals, strange escapades, and picaresque adventures. Although Kafka never visited America, images of its vast landscape, dangers, and opportunities inspired this saga of the "golden land." Here is a startlingly modern, fantastic and visionary tale of America "as a place no one has yet seen, in a historical period that can't be identified," writes E. L. Doctorow in his new foreword. "Kafka made his first novel from his own mind's mythic elements," Doctorow explains, "and the research data that caught his eye were bent like light rays in a field of gravity."

The story of a young immigrant, who, after an embarrassing sexual misadventure, finds himself "packed off to America" by his parents.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307829467
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/10/2012
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,245,472
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka was born in 1883 in Prague, where he lived most of his life. During his lifetime, he published only a few short stories, including “The Metamorphosis,” “The Judgment,” and “The Stoker.” He died in 1924, before completing any of his full-length novels. At the end of his life, Kafka asked his lifelong friend and literary executor Max Brod to burn all his unpublished work. Brod overrode those wishes.

Biography

Franz Kafka was born in 1883 to a well-to-do middle-class Jewish family. His father, the self-made proprietor of a wholesale haberdashery business, was a domineering man whose approbation Franz continually struggled to win. The younger Kafka's feelings of inadequacy and guilt form the background of much of his work and are made explicit in his "Letter to His Father" (excerpted in this volume), which was written in 1919 but never sent.

Kafka was educated in the German language schools of Prague and at the city's German University, where in 1908 he took a law degree. Literature, however, remained his sole passion. At this time he became part of a literary circle that included Franz Werfel, Martin Buber, and Kafka's close friend Max Brod. Encouraged by Brod, Kafka published the prose collection Observations in 1913. Two years later his story "The Stoker" won the Fontaine prize. In 1916 he began work on The Trial and between this time and 1923 produced three incomplete novels as well as numerous sketches and stories. In his lifetime some of his short works did appear: The Judgment (1916), The Metamorphosis (1916), The Penal Colony (1919), and The Country Doctor (1919).

Before his death of tuberculosis in 1924, Kafka had charged Max Brod with the execution of his estate, ordering Brod to burn the manuscripts. With the somewhat circular justification that Kafka must have known his friend could not obey such an order, Brod decided to publish Kafka's writings. To this act of "betrayal" the world owes the preservation of some of the most unforgettable and influential literary works of our century.

Biography courtesy of BN.com

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    1. Date of Birth:
      July 3, 1883
    2. Place of Birth:
      Prague, Austria-Hungary
    1. Date of Death:
      June 3, 1924
    2. Place of Death:
      Vienna, Austria
    1. Education:
      German elementary and secondary schools. Graduated from German Charles-Ferdinand University of Prague.

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2001

    kafka's first book--pure genius

    I came across Kafka's first novel after i had finished his short fiction, which impressed me. this story isn't quite what i expected. while stilling holding onto the grimmness that is signature kafka, it manages to use humor in a way i hadn't seen kafka do in his shorter works. 'The Stoker', the story/chapter that begins the book is what Dickens would have done if he had been a better writer. Karl's adventures remind me of Huck Finn's, but without a Jim. Until the last chapter, where the story spirals away from what it had been into substandard work. No, it isn't kafka's best work, but it is still a great piece of art.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2009

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    Posted May 18, 2010

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