The Castle: A New Translation Based on the Restored Text by Franz Kafka
In 1999 Mark Harman was awarded the first Lois Roth Award for a Translation of a Literary Work by the Modern Language Association of America (MLA). The citation by the panel of judges read as follows:
"Mark Harman has produced a worthy successor to the long-established 1930 translation by Edwin Muir and Willa Muir. While maintaining high standards of literal accuracy and employing an English that is contemporary in its vocabulary and idiom, he has also fashioned a style that expressively re-creates Kafka's unsettling blend of the mundane and the unnerving, the wryly comic and the obliquely menacing. Harman's syntax in particular, with its controlled and grammatically subversive use of comma splices, captures the narrative's progressive mood of disorientation and bafflement. Mark Harman's translation has recharged the imaginative energy and impact of Kafka's novel, ensuring that its influence in English-speaking countries will in the next century be as powerful as it has been in this."
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 At the end of his life, Kafka asked his lifelong friend and literary executor Max Brod to burn all his unpublished work.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.
Mark Harman holds a Ph.D. from Yale University and has taught German and Irish literature at Oberlin and Dartmouth. In addition to writing scholarly essays on Kafka and other modern authors, he has edited and co-translated Robert Walser Rediscovered: Stories, Fairy-Tale Plays, and Critical Responses and has translated Soul of the Age: Selected Letters of Hermann Hesse, 1891-1962. He teaches literature at the University of Pennsylvania.
Date of Birth:
July 3, 1883
Date of Death:
June 3, 1924
Place of Birth:
Place of Death:
German elementary and secondary schools. Graduated from German Charles-Ferdinand University of Prague.
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