The Man who Disappeared (Amerika)

Overview


Entering New York harbor, the young immigrant Karl Rossmann sees the Statue of Liberty, "her arm with the sword stretched upward." This forbidding introduction sets the tone for Kafka's narrative about an innocent European astray in an ultra-modern America that is both a fantasy and an object of social satire. Full of incident and blackly humorous, Kafka's first novel portrays American civilization with horrified fascination, in a biting satire which gives fresh meaning to the term "Kafkaesque." Ritchie ...
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The Man who Disappeared: (America)

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Overview


Entering New York harbor, the young immigrant Karl Rossmann sees the Statue of Liberty, "her arm with the sword stretched upward." This forbidding introduction sets the tone for Kafka's narrative about an innocent European astray in an ultra-modern America that is both a fantasy and an object of social satire. Full of incident and blackly humorous, Kafka's first novel portrays American civilization with horrified fascination, in a biting satire which gives fresh meaning to the term "Kafkaesque." Ritchie Robertson's sensitive and natural translation is both faithful to Kafka's style and highly readable. Moreover, this is the only edition to provide a full introduction and explanatory notes. The introduction explains why Kafka set the novel in America, a country he had never visited, what his sources of information were, and how he distorts his fictional America for satirical purposes. The notes incorporate the most recent Kafka scholarship to illuminate difficult parts of the text. In addition, a Biographical Preface provides an account of Kafka's life. The book also includes an up-to-date bibliography and a chronology.

About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199601127
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/4/2012
  • Series: Oxford World's Classics Series
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,391,014
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Franz Kafka

Ritchie Robertson is Taylor Professor of German at Oxford University and co-director of the Oxford Kafka Research Center.

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.

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