Amerika: The Man Who Disappeared (Paperback)

Amerika: The Man Who Disappeared By Franz Kafka, Michael Hofmann (Translated by), Horace Gregory (Afterword by) Cover Image
By Franz Kafka, Michael Hofmann (Translated by), Horace Gregory (Afterword by)
Not in stock. Usually arrives in 2-7 business days


Newly restored to the original text: for this new translation, Hofmann returned to Kafka’s manuscripts, restoring matters of substance and detail, and even the book’s original ending.

Michael Hofmann's startlingly visceral and immediate translation revives Kafka's great comedy, and captures a new Kafka, free from Prague and loose in the new world, a Kafka shot through with light in this highly charged and enormously nuanced translation. Kafka began the first of his three novels in 1911, but like the others, Amerika remained unfinished, and perhaps, as Klaus Mann suggested, "necessarily endless." Karl Rossman, the youthful hero of the novel, "a poor boy of seventeen," has been banished by his parents to America, following a scandal. There, with unquenchable optimism, he throws himself into adventure after misadventure, and experiences multiply as he makes his way into the heart of the country, to The Great Nature Theater of Oklahoma. In creating this new translation, Hofmann, as he explains in his introduction, returned to the manuscript version of the book, restoring matters of substance and detail. Fragments which have never before been presented in English are now reinstated including the book's original "ending."

The San Francisco Chronicle said Hofmann’s “sleek translation does a wonderful job” and The New York Times concurred:  “Anything by Kafka is worth reading again, especially in the hands of such a gifted translator as Hofmann.”

About the Author

Franz Kafka (1883–1924) was one of the most important writers of the twentieth century. His major novels include The TrialThe Castle, and Amerika.

The award-winning translator Michael Hofmann has translated works by Gert Hofmann, Franz Kafka, Heinrich von Kleist, and Joseph Roth for New Directions.

Horace Gregory was born and grew up in Milwaukee. He was a poet, critic, essayist, translator and biographer, who taught at Sarah Lawrence College for 26 years. He was a member of the National Academy-Institute of Arts and Letters and received the Bollingen Prize for poetry in 1965.

Praise For…

Anything by Kafka is worth reading again, especially in the hands of such a gifted translator as Hofmann.
— The New York Times Book Review

[Hofmann's] new translation is more successful in conveying ... a sense of Kafka's unfinished work.
— Veronika Tuckerova - Harvard Book Review

One can hardly fail to welcome Michael Hofmann's more accurate English text.
— Washington Post Book World

Hofmann's translation is invaluable....It achieves what translations are supposedly unable to do: it is at once 'loyal' and 'beautiful.'
— John Zilcosky - New Republic

Hofmann's slick, sleek translation does a wonderful job of keeping those competing forces in balance.
— The San Francisco Chronicle

Unpredictable and funny, as close to a Buster Keaton comedy as you can get.
— Jim Krusoe - Los Angeles Times Book Review

A stirring, singular work, now restored to its original beauty.
— John Ashbery

Michael Hofmann’s magnificent new translation restores its rightful place as one of Kafka’s most delightful and most memorable works.
— Charles Simic

Of all the recent re-translations of Kafka into English, this volume is the most noteworthy. It achieves what translations are supposedly unable to do; it is at once ‘loyal’ and ‘beautiful’—beautifully disorienting, beautifully confusing, beautifully cruel.
— John Zilcosky - The New Republic

Hofmann’s ability to overcome the obstacles presented by this particular work from Kafka marks this as the best translation.
— Kirkus Reviews

Product Details
ISBN: 9780811215695
ISBN-10: 0811215695
Publisher: New Directions
Publication Date: May 17th, 2004
Pages: 240
Language: English