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Konundrum: Selected Prose of Franz Kafka

Konundrum: Selected Prose of Franz Kafka

By Franz Kafka
Translated by Peter Wortsman

“Kafka’s survey of the insectile situation of young Jews in inner Bohemia can hardly be improved upon: ‘With their posterior legs they were still glued to their father’s Jewishness and with their wavering anterior legs they found no new ground.’ There is a sense in which Kafka’s Jewish question (‘What have I in common with Jews?’) has become everybody’s question, Jewish alienation the template for all our doubts. What is Muslimness? What is femaleness? What is Polishness? These days we all find our anterior legs flailing before us. We’re all insects, all Ungeziefer, now.”—Zadie Smith

“[Kafka’s] stories are dreamlike, allegorical, symbolic, parabolic, grotesque, ritualistic, nasty, lucent, extremely personal, ghoulishly detached, exquisitely comic, numinous, and prophetic.”—The New York Times

In this new selection and translation, Peter Wortsman mines Franz Kafka's entire opus of short prose—including works published in the author's brief lifetime, posthumously published stories, journals, and letters—for narratives that sound the imaginative depths of the great German-Jewish scribe from Prague. It is the first volume in English to consider his deeply strange, resonantly humane letters and journal entries alongside his classic short fiction and lyrical vignettes. "Transformed" is a vivid re-translation of one of Kafka's signature stories, "Die Verwandlung", commonly rendered in English as "The Metamorphosis". Composed of short, black comic parables, fables, fairy tales, and reflections, Konundrum also includes classic stories like "In the Penal Colony", Kafka's prescient foreshadowing of the nightmare of the twentieth-century, refreshing the writer's mythic storytelling powers for a new generation of readers.

Please note that Rare/Out-of-Print titles are very limited in stock.

384 pages
Random House, 2016
6 x 1.1 x 7.5 inches
ISBN 9780914671510
Short Story 

$18.00 $18.00