The Judgment, Metamorphosis, In the Penal Colony, A Report to the Academy, A Country Doctor, The Burrow, Investigations of a Dog or On Substance, Hunger Artist, Josephine the Songstress or The Mouse Folk; Josef K.!, The Messenger & Nocturnal Deliberations
-a newly expanded Second Edition (9 Stories & 3 Novel Excerpts) with a Postscript on the Translator's Art.
This translation of Kafka has a dual purpose, for starters it intends to provide English readers with a much better translation: that Kafka's prose should find a more fitting analogy in modern (American) English whereby it should come to life to a greater degree, and that his underlying philosophy—and I say philosophy in the greater sense—thus, should be grasped more readily. The second purpose is to explore issues regarding translation per se: what is the proper role of the translator and why is it that the vast majority of translations tend to leave the typical reader perplexed and, quite frankly, dissatisfied? The stories and excerpts included in this second edition have been carefully chosen to really bring the reader to the core issues that make manifest Kafka’s literary genius.
This book also contains a short postscript on the art of translation that argues against the current modus operandi of translation theory, indeed, it goes so far as to quote from Kafka's diaries—on his state of mind in composing—as well as from Schleiermacher and early Roman translators on the responsibility of the translator to capture the spirit of the work in an imaginative manner. Kafka was struggling in his writings with matters that go beyond the normal concerns and my intention in this translation is to remain true to Kafka’s aims. Thus, this translation may prove valuable not only for the general readership but likewise for those who wish to study the intricacies of translation of text that deals with the most important matters. All the same, one should never neglect the humorous side and the joy to be discovered in having the last laugh.