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The Man who Disappeared: (America) (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Franz Kafka , Ritchie Robertson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

12 April 2012 Oxford World's Classics
'...behind them all was New York, looking at Karl with the hundred thousand windows of its skyscrapers'

Entering New York harbour, the young immigrant Karl Rossmann sees the Statue of Liberty, 'her arm with the sword stretched upward'. This forbidding introduction sets the tone for Kafka's narrative about an innocent European astray in an ultra-modern America that is both a fantasy and an object of social satire. Expelled by his family after seduction by a maidservant, Karl finds in America a series of surrogate families, but he continues to get into undeserved trouble and is forced to move on once again. Along the way Karl encounters extremes of wealth and poverty, experiences the cruelty of the American work ethic, and has glimpses of the criminal underworld, without losing the basic goodness and resourcefulness that enable him to survive the hazards of the New World.

Full of incident, and blackly humorous, Kafka's first novel portrays American civilization with horrified fascination. This edition retains Kafka's distinctive style in a sensitive and natural new translation, together with a penetrating introduction and notes.

ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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The Man who Disappeared: (America) (Oxford World's Classics) + A Hunger Artist and Other Stories (Oxford World's Classics) + The Trial (Oxford World's Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (12 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199601127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199601127
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 12.5 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Ritchie Robertson is the author of the Very Short Introduction to

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read two other excellent translations of this, Kafka's first novel, The Man Who Disappeared, but the present one, this new Oxford version, is the version to get if you want have the very best access to the original. This has a clarity beyond the other two, the Muir and Hofmann translations, because it seems to reveal Kafka's comic genius most accurately: the odd subtle details and sardonic word use. I read the Hofmann translation travelling to work on the underground, immersed in the novel's science fiction-like cataloguing of the new technological America, but this Oxford translation, in comparison, on the same journey, seems to bring out Kafka's gift for description and eye for detail. Maybe this is in part a matter of familiarisation but it feels a more subtle read. Richie Robinson has taken pains to communicate the transitions and and word choices of Kafka's sentences, giving them a sense for this reader at least that is closer to Kafka's agile tragic mind. An incomparable novel.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Different than I expected 27 Aug 2013
By Alison
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was a bit of a page turner. I thought it a bit like a Dickins book. I may be stupid because the cynical humour went over my head, I didn't find any.
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