Amerika

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 1996 - Fiction - 299 pages
18 Reviews
Translated by Willa and Edwin Muir
Foreword by E. L. Doctorow
Afterword by Max Brod
 
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 novel from his own mind's mythic elements," Doctorow explains, "and the research data that caught his eye were bent like rays in a field of gravity."

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getAbstract Buchzusammenfasungen
Kafkas erster Roman: Amerika ist der unbekannteste von Kafkas Romanen und wohl auch der am wenigsten kafkaeske – der Begriff steht für die eigentümlich absurde, oft
irreale und bedrohliche Stimmung in Kafkas Werken. Amerika ist eher von einer leichten, hoffnungsvollen Erzählweise geprägt, durch die das Kafkaeske nur hin und wieder durchscheint: Ein 16-Jähriger wird von seinen Eltern nach Amerika geschickt und muss sich dort eine Existenz aufbauen. Durch sonderbare Zufälle findet er seinen reichen Onkel, der ihn fördert. Doch unglückliche Umstände, Ungerechtigkeiten und die eigene Gutgläubigkeit stürzen den Jungen in zunehmend ausweglose Situationen. Er wird zum Opfer und Spielball seiner Umwelt, und alle Anstrengungen, sein Schicksal in die Hand zu nehmen, bleiben erfolglos. Franz Kafkas Roman ist Fragment geblieben. Dennoch lohnt sich die Lektüre dieses ungewöhnlichen Werks.
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Review: Amerika

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A parody of Horatio Alger, very much like Nathanael West's A Cool Million. A young boy arrives at Ellis Island, and must pull himself up by his bootstraps. His uncle, a US Senator, takes him in ... Read full review

Contents

The Stoker
3
Uncle Jacob
38
A Country House Near New York
55
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

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.

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