The Trial (Penguin Modern Classics)

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9780141182902: The Trial (Penguin Modern Classics)

A gripping work of psychological horror, in its depiction of bureaucracy run amok Franz Kafka's The Trial skirts the line between fantasy and reality. This Penguin Classics edition is translated from the German with an introduction by Idris Parry.

'Somebody must have laid false information against Josef K., for he was arrested one morning without having done anything wrong.' From this first sentence onwards, Josef K. is on trial for his right to exist. 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. Maintaining an atmosphere of unease throughout, this chilling, thought-provoking novel, more than any other, is infinitely perceptive about the nature of terror and the absurd meaninglessness and futility of human life.

Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was a Czech-born German-speaking insurance clerk who despised his job, preferring to spend his time writing. Nevertheless, Kafka published little during his lifetime, and ordered his closest friend to burn the mass of unpublished manuscripts - now familiar to us as some of the most influential novels and short stories of the twentieth century - after his death. Kafka's novels, all available in Penguin Modern Classics, include The Trial, The Castle, and Amerika.

If you enjoyed The Trial, you might like Kafka's The Castle, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'This compelling, prophetic novel anticipates the insanity of modern bureaucracy and the coming of totalitarianism'

Daily Telegraph

'It is the fate and perhaps the greatness of [The Trial] that it offers everything and confirms nothing'

Albert Camus

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Review:

"Kafka's 'legalese' is alchemically fused with a prose of great verve and intense readability."
--James Rolleston, professor of Germanic languages and literatures, Duke University
"Breon Mitchell's translation is an accomplishment of the highest order that will honor Kafka far into the twenty-first century."
--Walter Abish, author of How German Is It

"This short novel has passed into far more than classical literary status.... In more than one hundred languages, the epithet "kafkaesque' attaches to the central images, to the constants of inhumanity and absurdity in our times.... In this diffusion of the kafkaesque into so many recesses of our private and public existence, "The Trial "plays a commanding role."
--From the Introduction by George Steiner
"Here we are taken to the limits of human thought. Indeed, everything in this work is, in the true sense, essential. It states the problem of the absurd in its entirety."
--Albert Camus

"'[I]t seemed as though the shame was to outlive him.' With these words "The Trial "ends. Kafka's shame then is no more personal than the life and thought which govern it and which he describes thus: 'He does not live for the sake of his own life, he does not think for the sake of his own thought. He feels as though he were living and thinking under the constraint of a family . . . Because of this unknown family . . . he cannot be released.'"
--Walter Benjamin

"Breon Mitchell's translation is an accomplishment of the highest order that will honor Kafka far into the twenty-first century."
--Walter Abish, author of "How German Is It"

[I]t seemed as though the shame was to outlive him. With these words The Trial ends. Kafka s shame then is no more personal than the life and thought which govern it and which he describes thus: He does not live for the sake of his own life, he does not think for the sake of his own thought. He feels as though he were living and thinking under the constraint of a family . . . Because of this unknown family . . . he cannot be released.
Walter Benjamin
Breon Mitchell s translation is an accomplishment of the highest order that will honor Kafka far into the twenty-first century.
Walter Abish, author of How German Is It"

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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