Amerika: The Man Who Disappeared
Michael Hofmann's startlingly visceral and immediate translation revives Kafka's great comedy, and captures a new Kafka, free from Prague and loose in the new world, a Kafka shot through with light in this highly charged and enormously nuanced translation. Kafka began the first of his three novels in 1911, but like the others, Amerika remained unfinished, and perhaps, as Klaus Mann suggested, "necessarily endless." Karl Rossman, the youthful hero of the novel, "a poor boy of seventeen," has been banished by his parents to America, following a scandal. There, with unquenchable optimism, he throws himself into adventure after misadventure, and experiences multiply as he makes his way into the heart of the country, to The Great Nature Theater of Oklahoma. In creating this new translation, Hofmann, as he explains in his introduction, returned to the manuscript version of the book, restoring matters of substance and detail. Fragments which have never before been presented in English are now reinstated including the book's original "ending."The San Francisco Chronicle said Hofmann's "sleek translation does a wonderful job" and The New York Times concurred: "Anything by Kafka is worth reading again, especially in the hands of such a gifted translator as Hofmann."
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able already America arms asked Karl balcony better Brunelda captain corridor course cried curtain dark Delamarche Delamarche's door dormitory Edwin Muir everything eyes face Fanny floor Franz Kafka front gentleman Giacomo Green guests hand happened Head Cook Head Porter Head Waiter heard hurry Kafka Karl didn't Karl felt Karl Rossmann Karl saw Karl thought Karl's laugh leave lift lift-boy listen looked Mack Max Brod MICHAEL HOFMANN morning mother never night once perhaps pocket policeman Pollunder Pollunder's probably pulled pushed question quietly Renell replied Karl Robinson round Schubal seemed servant sleep sofa someone stairs standing stay steps stoker stood stopped street student suitcase sure telephone tell Theatre of Oklahoma Therese things thought Karl took trumpets turned uncle under-porters visiting card waiting walked window woman words