Someone must have been telling tales about Josef K. for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested.'A successful professional man wakes up one morning to find himself under arrest for an offence which is never explained. The mysterious court which conducts his trial is outwardly co-operative, but capable of horrific violence. Faced with this ambiguous authority, Josef K. gradually succumbs to its psychological pressure. He consults various advisers without escaping his fate. Was there some way out that he failed to see? Kafka's unfinished novel has been read as a study of political power, apessimistic religious parable, or a crime novel where the accused man is himself the problem.One of the iconic figures of modern world literature, Kafka writes about universal problems of guilt, responsibility, and freedom; he offers no solutions, but provokes his readers to arrive at meanings of their own. This new edition includes the fragmentary chapters that were omitted from the main text, in a translation that is both natural and exact, and an introduction that illuminates the novel and its author.
an enduring classic
By telefunken - November 7, 2002
Well, I've just finished reading The Trial for the sixth, maybe even eighth time, and as usual my brain is buzzing with all the unanswered questions and unspoken quandaries that this book embeds in the reader's mind. An aside - this is the first time I have read this particular translation, having read the Muir's work before. Perhaps this translation is a bit livelier, and the chapters, or sequences, are grouped a bit differently, but the general experience of reading and digesting this book was much the same as with the Muir's version. One caution, if you are a first time reader do not read the introduction first. The author gives away much too much of the story and ending in the introduction. Now, back to the book itself. As "they" say, the mark of a true classic is that you can reread the book several times and always find it fresh. This is most certainly the case with The Trial. I always struggle with the question of K.'s innocence. The reader is told,... read more
Oh, I am just so mad!
By David Scott Goen "dsgoen" - June 21, 2002
I giving the book 5 stars, because it's a really good read. Not having read any other translation, I must take other reviewer's word that it compares well. Read the other reviews, they are correct about this books quality.Now, here's why I am mad. I read the introduction. Then I read the translator's notes. The translator is quite full of himself and his cleverness. Thus he points out the sections where he was particularly clever. In doing so, he gives away the plot, the ending of the novel, and why we should think about it the way he translated it, and not trust earlier transactions. This should have been an afterward, not before the text. I reviewed the plot, including the ending, before reading the text. This somewhat ruined the experience for me. Skip the translator's notes, and you'll have a fine edition of Kafka's influntial novel.
The meaning of Kafkaesque..
By Charles Pinney - April 17, 2000
Kafkaesque: Impenetrably oppresive or nightmarish, as in the fiction of Franz Kafka.Indeed, "The Trial" is the epitome of this adjective used to describe the haunting novels of Franz Kafka.Breon Mitchell's translation is fantastic as it expands and clarifies the first version by the Muirs. A lengthy translators preface is included, written by Mitchell, explaining the reasoning for this new translation based on the German definitive edition. Various examples of the text (in German) are also used in the explanations of the hows and whys.On to the story itself. Josef K. awakens one more to find that he's been arrested. He doesn't know why and is never told. His daily life is allowed to go on over the course of the year the novel takes place, while trying to understand what is happening. Throughout this process Josef begins to sink further into paranoia and guilt, with the fate of his life in the balance....This is a deep and dense novel, with various... read more
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