20th Century Trial (Penguin twentieth century classics)

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9780140186222: 20th Century Trial (Penguin twentieth century classics)

From the first sentence onwards, Josef K. is on trial for his very existence in a novel which is infinitely perceptive about the nature of terror. Idris Parry introduces his new translation, based on the accurate German text established by Malcolm Pasley, with an essay in which he points to the autobiographical elements in "The Trial", in particular Kafka's broken engagement to Felice Bauer.

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Review:

A terrifying psychological trip into the life of one Joseph K., an ordinary man who wakes up one day to find himself accused of a crime he did not commit, a crime whose nature is never revealed to him. Once arrested, he is released, but must report to court on a regular basis--an event that proves maddening, as nothing is ever resolved. As he grows more uncertain of his fate, his personal life--including work at a bank and his relations with his landlady and a young woman who lives next door--becomes increasingly unpredictable. As K. tries to gain control, he succeeds only in accelerating his own excruciating downward spiral.

From the Inside Flap:

Written in 1914, The Trial is one of the most important novels of the twentieth century: the terrifying tale of Josef K., a respectable bank officer who is suddenly and inexplicably arrested and must defend himself against a charge about which he can get no information. Whether read as an existential tale, a parable, or a prophecy of the excesses of modern bureaucracy wedded to the madness of totalitarianism, Kafka's nightmare has resonated with chilling truth for generations of readers.
But until this edition, English-speaking readers have been able to read Kafka's masterpiece only in a translation of the 1925 German edition that was edited by Kafka's friend and literary executor, Max Brod, from an unfinished manuscript. Both Brod's edition and its 1937 translation by Willa and Edwin Muir have long been considered flawed.
This new edition is based upon the widely acclaimed work of an international team of experts who have restored the text, the sequence of chapters, and their division to create a version that is as close as possible to the way the author left it.
In his brilliant translation, Breon Mitchell masterfully reproduces the distinctive rhythms and wordplays of Kafka's prose, revealing a novel that is as full of energy and power as it was when it was first written.

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