Kafkaesque
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Kafkaesque : Stories Inspired by Franz Kafka

Edited by John Kessel , Edited by James Patrick Kelly

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The tourist shops of Prague sell dozens of items commemorating Franz Kafka. You can drink a latte in the Cafe Kafka, add sugar to it from a packet with Kafka's face on it, and then light your cigarette from a box of Kafka matches. Franz Kafka died in obscurity in 1924, publishing only a handful of bizarre stories in little-known literary magazines. Yet today he persists in our collective imaginations. Even those who have never read any of Kafka's fiction describe their tribulations with the Department of Motor Vehicles as being Kafkaesque. "Kafkaesque" explores the fiction of generations of authors inspired by Kafka's work. These dystopic, comedic, and ironic tales include T. C. Boyle's roadside garage that is a never-ending trial, Philip Roth's alternate history in which Kafka immigrates to America to date his aunt, Jorge Luis Borges's labyrinthine public lottery that redefines reality, Carol Emshwiller's testimony by the first female to earn the right to call herself a "man," and Paul Di Filippo's unfamiliar Kafka--journalist by day, costumed crime-fighter by night. Also included is Kafka's classic story "The Hunger Artist," appearing both in a brand-new translation and in an illustrated version by legendary cartoonist R. Crumb ("Fritz the Cat"). Additionally, each author discusses Kafka's writing, its relevance, its personal influence, and Kafka's enduring legacy.

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  • Paperback | 283 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 22.86mm | 317.51g
  • 01 Nov 2011
  • Tachyon Publications
  • San Francisco, CA
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1616960493
  • 9781616960490
  • 918,466

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Author Information

James Patrick Kelly is the Hugo, Nebula, and Italia award-winning author of "Burn," "Think Like a Dinosaur," and "Wildlife." He is a member of the faculty of the Stonecoast Creative Writing MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine. He has co-edited a series of anthologies with John Kessel, described by the "Encyclopedia of Science Fiction" as "each surveying with balance and care a potentially disputed territory within the field." Kelly is the technology columnist for "Asimov's Science Fiction" magazine and the publisher of the e-book 'zine "Strangeways." John Kessel is a Nebula, Sturgeon, and Locus award winner and the author of "Corrupting Dr. Nice," "Good News From Outer Space," and "The Pure Product." He teaches courses in science-fiction, fantasy, and fiction writing at North Carolina State University. His criticism has appeared in "Foundation," the "Los Angeles Times Book Review," the "New York Review of Science Fiction," and "Science Fiction Age."

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Review quote

"A delight to read. . . . The extremely varied and entertaining stories ["Kafkaesque"] contains help clarify Kafka's literary legacy." --"Czechposition "(October 2011)

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