The Trial

The Trial

By (author) Franz Kafka , Translated by Idris Parry

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A terrifying psychological trip into the life of one Joseph K., an ordinary man who wakes up one day to find himself accused of a crime he did not commit, a crime whose nature is never revealed to him. Once arrested, he is released, but must report to court on a regular basis-an event that proves maddening, as nothing is ever resolved. As he grows more uncertain of his fate, his personal life--including work at a bank and his relations with his landlady and a young woman who lives next door--becomes increasingly unpredictable. As K. tries to gain control, he succeeds only in accelerating his own excruciating downward spiral.

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  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 128 x 194 x 14mm | 158.76g
  • 29 Jun 2000
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • London
  • English
  • 1. A., Reprint 2000.
  • 0141182903
  • 9780141182902
  • 9,660

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Author Information

Franz Kafka (1883-1924) Czech-born German-speaking writer whose posthumously published novels express the alienation of 20th century man.

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Review text

Following closely this year's new version of The Castle, here is another in a series of retranslations based on "restored texts" assembled from Kafka's original manuscripts and notes. Mitchell's translation also proposes to replace an earlier one (by Willa and Edwin Muir) said to have been unduly influenced by the efforts of Kafka's friend and literary executor Max Brod to "improve" the former's chaotic unfinished manuscripts. The Trial (1924) - whose cryptic portrayal of a bank clerk interrogated for an undisclosed offense has become perhaps the dominant image of modernist "absurdity" - holds up well in a version characterized by long, crowded paragraphs and virtually incantatory accusatory repetitions that confer equal emphasis on the novel's despairing comedy and aura of unspecific menace. Admirers of Kafka's fiction will not want to miss it. (Kirkus Reviews)

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