Metamorphosis, A Hunger Artist, in the Penal Colony, and Other Stories

ISBN-10: 1935238825
ISBN-13: 9781935238829
Edition: 2009
List price: $14.95
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Description: Franz Kafka (1883-1924), whose writings attracted relatively little attention in his own lifetime, has long been recognized as one of the most famous, distinctive, and influential voices in modern world literature. His "Erzählungen" (stories), which  More...

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Book details

List price: $14.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Richer Resources Publications
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 150
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.396
Language: English

Franz Kafka (1883-1924), whose writings attracted relatively little attention in his own lifetime, has long been recognized as one of the most famous, distinctive, and influential voices in modern world literature. His "Erzählungen" (stories), which are famously enigmatic, have prompted and continue to prompt a wide variety of critical debates from any number of literary schools and have stimulated interpretative adaptations of many different kinds by actors, painters, photographers, and film makers. Kafka's fictions typically present an unusual, sometimes surreal story, in a deliberately flat prose, so that there is a wrenching gap between the weirdness, tension, humour, or horror of the events described and the apparently calm surface of the language. It is a style which at once pressures the reader to discover some allegorical structure at work in the tale, while at the same time frustrating all attempts to impose such an interpretative scheme. Hence, Kafka's stories, which for this reason some have called "parables," tend to remain in the reader's imagination as vivid puzzling challenges and are very difficult to forget. The strange world Kafka depicts in his stories has given rise to the adjective Kafkaesque, which Merriam Webster defines as "having a nighmarishly complex, bizarre, or illogical quality." This new collection of stories translated by Ian Johnston includes a selection of Kafka's best known and most popular stories, "Metamorphosis," "In the Penal Colony," "A Hunger Artist," "A Report for An Academy," "The Great Wall of China," "Jackals and Arabs," "Before the Law," "Up in the Gallery," "A Country Doctor," "The Hunter Gracchus," and "An Imperial Message."

Franz Kafka was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, of middle-class Jewish parents. He apparently suffered a great deal of psychological pain at a young age at the hands of his domineering father. He took a law degree at the German University of Prague, then obtained a position in the workman's compensation division of the Austrian government. Always neurotic, insecure, and filled with a sense of inadequacy, Kafka's writing is a search for personal fulfillment and understanding. He wrote very slowly and deliberately, publishing very little in his lifetime. At his death he asked a close friend to burn his remaining manuscripts , but the friend refused the request. Instead the friend arranged for publication Kafka's longer stories, which have since brought him worldwide fame and have influenced many contemporary writers. Kafka's stories are nightmarish tales in which a helpless central character's every move is controlled by heartless, impersonal forces. An example is his 1938 psychological thriller, "The Metamorphosis." The story centers around a salesman named Gregor, who wakes up one morning and finds he is no longer a man but a giant insect. In today's increasingly complex, technological, and bureaucratic societies, Kafka has found a growing audience of sympathetic readers who understand the feeling of powerlessness Kafka's heroes experienced.

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