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The Complete Stories

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Overview

The Complete Stories brings together all of Kafka’s stories, from the classic tales such as “The Metamorphosis,” “In the Penal Colony,” and “A Hunger Artist” to shorter pieces and fragments that Max Brod, Kafka’s literary executor, released after Kafka’s death. With the exception of his three novels, the whole of Kafka’s narrative work is included in this volume. 

This volume contains all of Kafka's longer stories including Metamorphosis, In the Penal Colony as...

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The Complete Stories

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Overview

The Complete Stories brings together all of Kafka’s stories, from the classic tales such as “The Metamorphosis,” “In the Penal Colony,” and “A Hunger Artist” to shorter pieces and fragments that Max Brod, Kafka’s literary executor, released after Kafka’s death. With the exception of his three novels, the whole of Kafka’s narrative work is included in this volume. 

This volume contains all of Kafka's longer stories including Metamorphosis, In the Penal Colony as well as his shorter fiction.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[Kafka] spoke for millions in their new unease; a century after his birth, he seems the last holy writer, and the supreme fabulist of modern man’s cosmic predicament.”
—from the Foreword by John Updike
 
“The distinction Kafka, or his heroes, draw between this world and the world does not imply that there are two different worlds, only that our habitual conceptions of reality are not the true conception.”
—W. H. Auden
 
“An important book, valuable in itself and absolutely fascinating. The stories are dreamlike, allegorical, symbolic, parabolic, grotesque, ritualistic, nasty, lucent, extremely personal, ghoulishly detached, exquisitely comic, numinous, and prophetic.”
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805210552
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/28/1995
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 87,102
  • Product dimensions: 5.21 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.02 (d)

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
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2004

    A masterpiece of many fragmented masterpieces

    This book contains many masterpieces of modern literature. The Kafka story is like everything else about Kafka unique, of its own kind. It is on the one hand an abstract telling, and on the other a parable . It goes into the details of life but always in a surprising way that brings us to a world ridden with anxiety and fear. It is strange and somehow moves us far away from ourselves to a greater kind of detachment and alienation than we have ever known. And yet it is filled with wonder , wonder and a beauty difficult to understand. One should read this work with a Bible in one's hand in order to know that there is a world to hold on to in which our deepest human longings have answer not only with a scream but with a prayer.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2014

    I thought I was getting the complete stories. Instead I only got

    I thought I was getting the complete stories. Instead I only got 19 pages.  What a rip-off!    Do not buy this edition of the book.  

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted August 12, 2009

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    Posted January 19, 2009

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    Posted October 10, 2009

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    Posted September 5, 2010

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    Posted December 27, 2008

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    Posted January 8, 2009

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    Posted December 28, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2009

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