By Franz Kafka
Newly restored to the unique textual content: for this new translation, Hofmann back to Kafka’s manuscripts, restoring issues of substance and element, or even the book’s unique ending.
Michael Hofmann's startlingly visceral and quick translation revives Kafka's nice comedy, and captures a brand new Kafka, loose from Prague and unfastened within the new global, a Kafka shot via with mild during this hugely charged and tremendously nuanced translation. Kafka begun the 1st of his 3 novels in 1911, yet just like the others, Amerika remained unfinished, and maybe, as Klaus Mann recommended, "necessarily endless." Karl Rossman, the younger hero of the radical, "a negative boy of seventeen," has been banished via his mom and dad to the United States, following a scandal. There, with unquenchable optimism, he throws himself into event after misadventure, and reviews multiply as he makes his manner into the guts of the rustic, to the good Nature Theater of Oklahoma. In developing this new translation, Hofmann, as he explains in his advent, lower back to the manuscript model of the booklet, restoring issues of substance and element. Fragments that have by no means earlier than been offered in English at the moment are reinstated together with the book's unique "ending."
The San Francisco Chronicle acknowledged Hofmann’s “sleek translation does a superb task” and The manhattan Times concurred: “Anything by way of Kafka is worthy interpreting back, in particular within the arms of the sort of talented translator as Hofmann.”
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Extra info for Amerika: The Man Who Disappeared (New Restored Text Translation)
I should stay by this man, thought Karl, I may not find a better friend in a hurry. ‘And now you’ve lost your suitcase. Not to mention the umbrella,’ and the man sat down on the chair, as though Karl’s predicament was beginning to interest him. ’ ‘Think all you like,’ said the man, and scratched vigorously at his short, thick, black hair. ‘But you should know the different ports have different morals. ’ ‘Then I’d better go back up right away,’ said Karl and tried to see how he might leave. ‘You’re staying put,’ said the man, and gave him a push in the chest, that sent him sprawling back on the bed.
Karl reached into his secret pocket, which he had no fear of revealing to the eyes of these gentlemen, and pulled out his passport which he opened and laid out on the table, by way of an introduction. The chief cashier seemed unimpressed by the document, flicking it aside with two fingers, whereupon Karl, as though this formality had been satisfactorily concluded, pocketed his passport once more. ‘I should like to say’ he began, ‘that in my opinion the stoker here has been the victim of an injustice.
In addition to its dramatic aspect, there is lyricism in the way the prose will sometimes strike an almost random note that reverberates powerfully in the reader’s mind. Cruelty, sex and homesickness are most often sounded, but there are also moments of dense, almost inexplicable peace: In the empty lanes one occasionally saw a policeman on a horse, motionless, or the carriers of flags and banners spanning the whole street, or a workers’ leader surrounded by colleagues and shop stewards or an electric tramcar, which hadn’t managed to flee in time, and was now standing there dark and empty, with the driver and conductor sitting on the platform.