October 25, 2021

Literature Journal

World literature news

Franz Kafka bibliography

ile:De Kafka Brief an den Vater 001.jpgFirst page of Kafka’s letter to his father

Franz Kafka, a German-language writer of novels and short stories, regarded by critics as one of the most influential authors of the 20th century, was trained as a lawyer and was employed by an insurance company, writing only in his spare time.

Contents

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Fiction[edit]

Novels[edit]

English titleOriginal German titleTranslations availableNotesCover first edition
The TrialDer Process (1925)Willa and Edwin Muir (1935);
Idris Parry (1994);
Breon Mitchell (1999);
David Wyllie (2003);
Richard Stokes (2005);
John Williams; (2008)
Mike Mitchell (2009)
Includes the parable
Before the Law
160x160px
The CastleDas Schloss (1926)Willa and Edwin Muir (1930);
Mark Harman (1998);
J. A. Underwood (2000);
Anthea Bell (2009)
published in two versions –
Max Brod’s 1926 edition and
a “definitive edition” in 1951
160x160px
Amerika
or The Man Who Disappeared;
Amerika: The Missing Person
Amerika or Der Verschollene (1927)Willa and Edwin Muir (1938);
Michael Hofmann (2004);
Mark Harman (2008)
Includes the short story
The Stoker” as first chapter
160x160px

Short stories[edit]

Template:Inc-lit

English titleOriginal German titleCollected in:
Shamefaced Lanky and Impure in Heart“Der Unredliche in seinem Herzen”Letters to Friends, Family, and Editors
Description of a Struggle
includes two dialogues originally published separately:
“Conversation with the Supplicant”
“Conversation with the Drunk”
“Beschreibung eines Kampfes”

“Gespräch mit dem Beter”
“Gespräch mit dem Betrunkenen”
Description of a Struggle,
The Complete Stories;
Both dialogues originally published in Hyperion (Munich, 1909);
a different version of “Conversation with the Supplicant”
appears in The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces
Wedding Preparations in the Country“Hochzeitsvorbereitungen auf dem Lande”The Complete Stories,
Dearest Father. Stories and Other Writings
The Judgment“Das Urteil”The Complete Stories,
The Sons,
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces
The MetamorphosisDie VerwandlungThe Complete Stories,
The Sons,
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces
The Stoker“Der Heizer”The Sons;
first chapter of Amerika
In the Penal Colony“In der Strafkolonie”The Complete Stories,
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces
The Village Schoolmaster (The Giant Mole)“Der Dorfschullehrer”
or Der Riesenmaulwurf
The Complete Stories,
The Great Wall of China
Blumfeld, an Elderly Bachelor“Blumfeld, ein älterer Junggeselle”Description of a Struggle,
The Complete Stories
The Warden of the Tomb (short play)Der GruftwächterDescription of a Struggle,
The Complete Stories
A Country Doctor“Ein Landarzt”The Complete Stories,
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces
The Hunter Gracchus“Der Jäger Gracchus”The Complete Stories,
Parables and Paradoxes,
The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China“Beim Bau der Chinesischen Mauer”The Complete Stories,
The Great Wall of China
A Report to an Academy“Ein Bericht für eine Akademie”The Complete Stories,
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces
The Refusal“Die Abweisung”Description of a Struggle,
The Complete Stories,
Parables and Paradoxes
A Hunger Artist“Ein Hungerkünstler”The Complete Stories,
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces
160x160px
Investigations of a Dog“Forschungen eines Hundes”The Complete Stories,
The Great Wall of China
A Little Woman“Eine kleine Frau”The Complete Stories,
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces
The Burrow“Der Bau”The Complete Stories,
The Great Wall of China
Josephine the Singer,
or The Mouse Folk
“Josefine, die Sängerin oder Das Volk der Mäuse”The Complete Stories,
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces

File:Kafka Betrachtung 1912.jpgFirst Edition of Betrachtung(Contemplation) (1912)

English titleGerman title
“Children on a Country Road”“Kinder auf der Landstraße”
“The Trees”“Die Bäume”
“Clothes”“Kleider”
“Excursion into the Mountains”“Der Ausflug ins Gebirge”
“Rejection”“Die Abweisung”
“The Street Window”“Das Gassenfenster”
“The Tradesman”“Der Kaufmann”
“Absent-minded Window-gazing”“Zerstreutes Hinausschaun”
“The Way Home”“Der Nachhauseweg”
“Passers-by”“Die Vorüberlaufenden”
“On the Tram”“Der Fahrgast”
“Reflections for Gentlemen-Jockeys”“Zum Nachdenken für Herrenreiter”
“The Wish to be a Red Indian”“Wunsch, Indianer zu werden”
“Unhappiness”“Unglücklichsein”
“Bachelor’s Ill Luck”“Das Unglück des Junggesellen”
“Unmasking a Confidence Trickster”“Entlarvung eines Bauernfängers”
“The Sudden Walk”“Der plötzliche Spaziergang”
“Resolutions”“Entschlüsse”
English titleOriginal German titleIncluded in:
A Dream“Ein Traum”The Complete Stories,
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces
Up in the Gallery“Auf der Galerie”The Complete Stories,
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces
A Fratricide“Der Mord / Ein Brudermord”The Complete Stories,
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces
The Next Village“Das nächste Dorf”The Complete Stories,
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces
A Visit to a Mine“Ein Besuch im Bergwerk”The Complete Stories,
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces
Jackals and Arabs“Schakale und Araber”The Complete Stories,
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces
The Bridge“Die Brücke”The Complete Stories,
The Great Wall of China
The Bucket Rider“Der Kübelreiter”The Complete Stories,
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces,
The Great Wall of China
The New Advocate“Der neue Advokat”The Complete Stories,
Parables and Paradoxes,
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces
An Old Manuscript“Ein altes Blatt”The Complete Stories,
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces
The Knock at the Manor Gate“Der Schlag ans Hoftor”The Complete Stories,
The Great Wall of China
Eleven Sons“Elf Söhne”The Complete Stories,
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces
My Neighbor“Der Nachbar”The Complete Stories,
The Great Wall of China
A Crossbreed“Eine Kreuzung”The Complete Stories,
The Great Wall of China
The Cares of a Family Man“Die Sorge des Hausvaters”The Complete Stories,
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces
A Common Confusion“Eine alltägliche Verwirrung”The Complete Stories,
The Great Wall of China
The Truth about Sancho Panza“Die Wahrheit über Sancho Pansa”The Complete Stories,
Parables and Paradoxes,
The Great Wall of China
The Silence of the Sirens“Das Schweigen der Sirenen”The Complete Stories,
Parables and Paradoxes,
The Great Wall of China
Prometheus“Prometheus”The Complete Stories,
Parables and Paradoxes,
The Great Wall of China
The City Coat of Arms“Das Stadtwappen”The Complete Stories,
Parables and Paradoxes,
The Great Wall of China
Poseidon“Poseidon”Description of a Struggle,
The Complete Stories,
Parables and Paradoxes
Fellowship“Gemeinschaft”Description of a Struggle,
The Complete Stories
At Night“Nachts”Description of a Struggle,
The Complete Stories
The Problem of Our Laws“Zur Frage der Gesetze”The Complete Stories,
Parables and Paradoxes,
The Great Wall of China
The Conscription of Troops“Die Truppenaushebung”Description of a Struggle,
The Complete Stories
The Test“Die Prüfung”Description of a Struggle,
The Complete Stories,
Parables and Paradoxes
The Vulture“Der Geier”Description of a Struggle,
The Complete Stories,
Parables and Paradoxes
The Helmsman“Der Steuermann”Description of a Struggle,
The Complete Stories
The Top“Der Kreisel”Description of a Struggle,
The Complete Stories
A Little Fable“Kleine Fabel”The Complete Stories,
The Great Wall of China
Home-Coming“Heimkehr”Description of a Struggle,
The Complete Stories
First Sorrow“Erstes Leid”The Complete Stories,
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces
The Departure“Der Aufbruch”Description of a Struggle,
The Complete Stories
Advocates“Fürsprecher”Description of a Struggle,
The Complete Stories
The Married Couple“Das Ehepaar”The Complete Stories,
The Great Wall of China
Give It Up!“Gibs auf2Description of a Struggle,
The Complete Stories
On Parables“Von den Gleichnissen”The Complete Stories,
Parables and Paradoxes,
The Great Wall of China
Before the Law“Vor dem Gesetz”The Complete stories,
Parables and Paradoxes,
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces;
part of The Trial
A Message from the Emperor“Eine kaiserliche Botschaft”The Complete Stories,
Parables and Paradoxes,
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces;
part of “The Great Wall of China”
“Peking and the Emperor”“Der Kaiser von Peking”Parables and Paradoxes
“The Great Wall
and the Tower of Babel”
“Die Chinesische Mauer
und der Turmbau von Babel”
Parables and Paradoxes
“Paradise”“Das Paradies”Parables and Paradoxes
“The Tower of Babel”“Der Turm zu Babel”Parables and Paradoxes
“The Pit of Babel”“Der Schacht von Babel”Parables and Paradoxes
“Abraham”“Abraham”Parables and Paradoxes
“Mount Sinai”“Der Berg Sinai”Parables and Paradoxes
“The Building of the Temple”“Der Tempelbau”Parables and Paradoxes
“The Animal in the Synagogue”“Das Tier in der Synagoge”Parables and Paradoxes
“The Watchman”“Der Wächter”Parables and Paradoxes
“The Coming of the Messiah”“Das Kommen des Messias”Parables and Paradoxes
“The Sirens”“Die Sirenen”Parables and Paradoxes
“Leopards in the Temple”“Leoparden in Tempel”Parables and Paradoxes
“Alexander the Great”“Alexander der Grosse”Parables and Paradoxes
“Diogenes”“Diogenes”Parables and Paradoxes
“The Building of a City”“Der Bau einer Stadt”Parables and Paradoxes
“The Imperial Colonel”“Der Kaiserliche Oberst”Parables and Paradoxes
“The Emperor”“Der Kaiser”Parables and Paradoxes
“In the Caravansary”“In der Karawanserei”Parables and Paradoxes
“The Cell”“Die Zelle”Parables and Paradoxes
“The Invention of the Devil”“Die Erfindung des Teufels”Parables and Paradoxes
“The Savages”“Die Wilden”Parables and Paradoxes
“The Green Dragon”“Der Grüne Drache”Parables and Paradoxes
“The Tiger”“Der Tiger”Parables and Paradoxes
“Couriers”“Kuriere”Parables and Paradoxes
“A Chinese Puzzle”“Ein Geduldspiel”Parables and Paradoxes
“Robinson Crusoe”“Robinson Crusoe”Parables and Paradoxes
“The Spring”“Die Quelle”Parables and Paradoxes
“The Hunger Strike”“Die Unersättlichsten”Parables and Paradoxes
“My Destination”“Das Ziel”Parables and Paradoxes

Non-fiction[edit]

Template:Inc-lit

Diaries and notebooks[edit]

TitleOriginal German titleTranslatorsNotes
Diaries 1910–1923Tagebücher 1910–19231910–1913 Joseph Kresh
1914–1923 Martin Greenberg
Originally published in two volumes
The Blue Octavo NotebooksErnst Kaiser and
Eithne Wilkins
included in
Dearest Father. Stories and Other Writings

Letters[edit]

Kafka wrote hundreds of letters to family and close female friends, including his father, his fiancée Felice Bauer, and his youngest sister Ottla.

TitleOriginal German titleTranslatorsNotes
Letter to His FatherBrief an den VaterErnst Kaiser and
Eithne Wilkins
Included in The Sons and
Dearest Father. Stories and Other Writings
Letters to FeliceBriefe an Felice und andere
Korrespondenz aus der Verlobungszeit
James Stern and
Elisabeth Duckworth
Includes Kafka’s letters to Grete Bloch
Letters to MilenaBriefe an MilenaPhilip BoehmIncludes Milena’s letters to Max Brod,
four essays by her and an obituary for Kafka
Letters to OttlaBriefe an Ottla und die FamilieRichard and Clara WinstonIncludes letters to Kafka’s parents, sister Ottla, postcards, and drawings
Letters to Friends, Family, and EditorsBriefe 1902–1924Richard and Clara WinstonIncludes a selection from the slips
of paper Kafka used to communicate
in the last few weeks of his life
when he was advised not to speak

Essays[edit]

TitleOriginal German titleNotesIncluded in:
The Aeroplanes At BresciaDie Aeroplane in BresciaReport on the air show at BresciaThe Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces
The First Long Train JourneyDie erste lange EisenbahnfahrtWritten by Kafka and Max BrodThe Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces
Review of HyperionEine entschlafene ZeitschriftReview of the literary magazineThe Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces
Review of A Novel about YouthEin Roman der JugendReview of Felix Sternheim’s
Die Geschichte des jungen Oswald
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces
On Kleist’s “Anecdotes”Über Kleist’s AnekdotenReview of a collection of Heinrich Kleist‘s anecdotesThe Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces

Work-related writings[edit]

TitleYearIncluded in:
The Scope of Compulsory Insurance
for the Building trades
1908Franz Kafka: The Office Writings
Speech on the Occasion of the Inauguration
of the Institute’s New Director
1909Franz Kafka: The Office Writings
Fixed-Rate Insurance Premiums for
Small Farms Using Machinery
1909Franz Kafka: The Office Writings
Inclusion of Private Automobile “Firms”
in the Compulsory Insurance Program
1909Franz Kafka: The Office Writings
Appeal against Risk Classification
of Christian Geipel & Sohn,
Mechanical Weaving Mill in Asch
1910Franz Kafka: The Office Writings
Measures for Preventing Accidents
from Wood-Planing Machines
1910Franz Kafka: The Office Writings
On the Examination of Firms
by Trade Inspectors
1911Franz Kafka: The Office Writings
Workmen’s Insurance and Employers:
Two Articles in the Tetschen Bodenbacher Zeitung
1911Franz Kafka: The Office Writings
Petition of the Toy Producers’ Association
in Katharinaberg, Erzgebirge
1912Franz Kafka: The Office Writings
Risk Classification Appeal by Norbert Hochsieder,
Boarding House Owner in Marienbad
1912Franz Kafka: The Office Writings
Letters to the Workmen’s Accident
Insurance Institute in Prague
1912–15Franz Kafka: The Office Writings
Criminal Charge against Josef Renelt for
the Illegal Withholding of Insurance Fees
1913Franz Kafka: The Office Writings
Second International Congress on
Accident Prevention and First Aid in Vienna
1913Franz Kafka: The Office Writings
Accident Prevention in Quarries1914Franz Kafka: The Office Writings
Jubilee Report: Twenty-Five Years of the
Workmen’s Accident Insurance Institute
1914Franz Kafka: The Office Writings
Risk Classification and Accident
Prevention in Wartime
1915Franz Kafka: The Office Writings
A Public Psychiatric Hospital
for German-Bohemia
1916Franz Kafka: The Office Writings
“Help Disabled Veterans! An Urgent
Appeal to the Public”
1916/1917Franz Kafka: The Office Writings

Editions and collections[edit]

Works and first publications in German[edit]

Only a few of Kafka’s works were published during his lifetime: the story collections Template:Lang (Contemplation) and Template:Lang (A Country Doctor), and individual stories (such as “Template:Lang” (“The Metamorphosis”)) in literary magazines. He prepared the story collection Template:Lang (A Hunger Artist) for print, but it was not published until after his death. Kafka’s unfinished works, including his novels Template:LangTemplate:Lang and Template:Lang (also known as Template:NowrapThe Man Who Disappeared), were published posthumously, mostly by his friend Max Brod, who ignored Kafka’s wish to have the manuscripts destroyed. Brod also published letters, diaries and aphorisms.

Many of Kafka’s works have uncertain dates of writing and/or were written over long periods of time. In such cases the year the writing of the work began is used. Year and place of the first publication is shown. For many works the German text is available, for several works also an English translation. It is linked in columns “de” (short for “deutsch”, German) and “en” (short for English).

Standard English titleGerman titleLiteral English titledeenGenreDate of writingDate of first publicationPlace of publicationCoverRemarks
Amerika or Template:NowrapAmerika or
Template:Nowrap
Americadenovel19121927Leipzig75pxtitle Amerika by Brod, contains “Der Heizer” (“The Stoker“)
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdenovel19141925Berlin75pxalso spelled in German as Der Prozess and Der Prozeß
Template:SortTemplate:SortThe Castledenovel19221926Leipzig75pxalso spelled in German as Das Schloß
Contemplation
also known as Meditation
Betrachtungdestory collection1904–19121912Leipzig75pxsome stories from 1908 in Hyperion
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory collection19191919Leipzig75px
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory collection19221924Prague75px
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory collection19181931Berlin
Template:SortTemplate:Sortplay1916–19171958New Yorkin Description of a Struggle
Template:Nowrap
including “Conversation with the Supplicant”,”Conversation with the Drunk”
Template:Nowrap” including “Gespräch mit dem Beter”,”Gespräch mit dem Betrunkenen”UrteilBeterBetrunkenerstory19041909Munichdialogues first in Hyperion
Wedding Preparations in the Country“Hochzeitsvorbereitungen auf dem Lande”destory1907–19081954Londonan incomplete work intended to be a novel
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory19091909 SeptemberPraguefirst in Bohemia
The First Long Journey by Rail (Prague-Zurich)story1912May 1912in HerderblätterTemplate:NowrapRichard und Samuel: Eine kleine Reise durch mitteleuropäische Gegenden
Template:SortTemplate:SortThe Verdictdestory1912 22–23 September1913Leipzigin the literary yearbook Arkadia
Template:SortTemplate:SortThe Transformationdeenstory19121915Leipzig75pxin Die Weißen Blätter
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory19131927Leipzigin Amerika
Before the Law“Vor dem Gesetz”deenstory19141915Praguein the independent Jewish weekly Selbstwehr, in Ein Landarzt, in Der Process
In the Penal ColonyTemplate:Sortdeenstory19141919Leipzig
Template:Sort
(“The Giant Mole”)
Template:Sortdestory1914–19151931Berlinin Beim Bau der Chinesischen Mauer
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory19151958New Yorkin Description of a Struggle
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory19171931Berlinin Beim Bau der Chinesischen Mauer
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory19171931Berlinin Beim Bau der Chinesischen Mauer
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory19171931Berlinin Beim Bau der Chinesischen Mauer
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdeenstory19171917Praguein Der Jude
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdeenstory19171917Praguein Der Jude
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory19171931Berlinin Beim Bau der Chinesischen Mauer
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory19171931Berlinin Beim Bau der Chinesischen Mauer
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory19171931Berlinin Beim Bau der Chinesischen Mauer
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory19171931Berlinin Beim Bau der Chinesischen Mauer
Template:SortTemplate:SortAt the building of the Chinese Walldeenstory19181931Berlinin Beim Bau der Chinesischen Mauer
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory19181931Berlinin Beim Bau der Chinesischen Mauer
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdeenstory19191919Leipzigin Ein Landarzt
Template:SortTemplate:Sort“An old page” or “An old leaf”destory19191920Leipzigin Ein Landarzt
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory19201931Berlinin Beim Bau der Chinesischen Mauer
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory19201931Berlinin Beim Bau der Chinesischen Mauer
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory1931Berlinin Beim Bau der Chinesischen Mauer
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory19201931Berlinin Beim Bau der Chinesischen Mauer
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory19201936in collection Beschreibung eines Kampfes
Template:SortTemplate:SortThe Rejectionstory19201970Frankfurttitle by Brod, same as a different earlier story by Kafka
Template:SortTemplate:Sortde (1921)de (1931)story19211921Pragin Prager Presse
Template:Sort
(“A Fasting Artist”,
“A Starvation Artist”)
Template:Sortdeenstory19221922Praguein Die neue Rundschau, then in Ein Hungerkünstler
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory1921–19221922Leipzigin periodical Genius
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory19231931Berlinin Beim Bau der Chinesischen Mauer
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory1923–19241924Praguein Prager Tagblatt, then in Ein Hungerkünstler
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory1923–19241924in Ein Hungerkünstler
Template:SortTemplate:Sortdestory19231924Praguein Prager Presse, then in Ein Hungerkünstler
Franz Kafka’s DiariesTagebücherdiary1910–19231948New York
Template:SortTemplate:SortOxford Octavo Notebooksnotebook1917–19191954New Yorkalso known as The Eight Octavo Notebooks
Letter to His FatherBrief an den Vaterdeletter1919 November1966New York
Letters to FeliceBriefe an Feliceletter collection1912–19171967Frankfurt am Main
Letters to OttlaBriefe an Ottla und die FamilieLetters to Ottla and to the familyletter collection1909–19241974Frankfurt am Mainincludes some letters to his parents and other family members
Letters to MilenaBriefe an Milenaletter collection1920–231952Frankfurt am Main
Letters to Family, Friends, and EditorsBriefe 1902–1924letter collection1900–241959New Yorkmost of the letters are to Brod
Zürau Aphorisms, TheDie Zürauer Aphorismen or Betrachtungen über Sünde, Hoffnung, Leid und den wahren WegReflections on Sin, Hope, Suffering, and the True Waydeaphorisms1917–181931CologneTitle by Brod

English translations[edit]

Kafka often made extensive use of a characteristic particular to the German language allowing for long sentences that sometimes can span an entire page. Kafka’s sentences then deliver an unexpected impact just before the full stop—that being the finalizing meaning and focus. This is achieved due to the construction of certain sentences in German which require that the verb be positioned at the end of the sentence. Such constructions are difficult to duplicate in other languages, so it is up to the resourceful translator to provide the reader with the same (or at least equivalent) effect found in the original text.Template:Sfn German’s more flexible word order is not the only problem translating German into other languages. German also lacks an informal language register, uses modal connectives, and syntactic structures which can be translated in more than one way.Template:Sfn Kafka did not write in standard High German, but rather in a Praguean German heavily influenced by the Yiddish and Czech languages.Template:Sfn This has led philosophers Deleuze and Guattari to describe Kafka’s linguistic style as “deterritorialized“, characterized by a “withered vocabulary” and an “incorrect syntax”.Template:Sfn

German sentences also have a different syntactic structure. Unlike English, German is a verb-final language, which places the main verb of a verb string (e.g., “transformed” in “had been transformed”) at the end of a phrase. The difference can be seen in the contrast between the original German version of the first sentence in Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis”:File:Kafka 1′.pngDependency tree illustrating the difference in syntax between the first sentence of Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” in translation by Ian Johnston and in the original German

Template:ClearAls Gregor Samsa eines Morgens aus unruhigen Traumen erwachte fand er sich in seinem Bett zu einem ungeheuren Ungeziefer verwandelt. (Original)As Gregor Samsa one morning from restless dreams awoke, found he himself in his bed into an enormous vermin transformed. (literal word for word translation)Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn

Another virtually insurmountable problem facing translators is how to deal with the author’s intentional use of ambiguous idioms and words that have several meanings which result in writings difficult to precisely translate.Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn One such instance is found in the first sentence of “The Metamorphosis”.Template:Sfn English translators have often sought to render the word Ungeziefer as “insect”; in today’s German it means vermin. It is sometimes used colloquially to mean “bug” – a very general term, unlike the scientific sounding “insect”. Kafka had no intention of labeling Gregor, the protagonist of the story, as any specific thing, but instead wanted to convey Gregor’s disgust at his transformation. Translators have chosen numerous inexact and unsatisfactory ways to represent “[zu einem] ungeheuren Ungeziefer”, unable to convey the repetition of the first two syllables and the equal four syllables of the two words in German:

  • “gigantic insect” (Muir, 1948)
  • “monstrous vermin” (Corngold, 1972, Neugroschel, 1993/1995, Freed, 1996)
  • “giant bug” (Underwood, 1981)
  • “monstrous insect” (Pasley, 1992)
  • “enormous bug” (Appelbaum, 1996)
  • “monstrous cockroach” (Hofmann, 2007)

Another example is Kafka’s use of the German noun Verkehr in the final sentence of The Judgment. Literally, Verkehr means intercourse and, as in English, can have either a sexual or non-sexual meaning; in addition, it is used to mean transport or traffic. The sentence can be translated as: “At that moment an unending stream of traffic crossed over the bridge”.Template:Sfn What gives added weight to the obvious double meaning of ‘Verkehr’ is Kafka’s confession to Brod that when he wrote that final line, he was thinking of “a violent ejaculation”.Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn

Selected publications in English[edit]

TitleGenreTranslatorPublisherDate of publicationPlace of publicationRemarks
The CastlenovelWilla and Edwin MuirTemplate:Nowrap1930London
The Great Wall of ChinaTemplate:NowrapTemplate:NowrapMartin Secker1933London
The TrialnovelWilla and Edwin MuirVictor Gollancz1937London
AmericanovelWilla and Edwin MuirTemplate:Nowrap1938United States
The Diaries Of Franz KafkadiariesJoseph KreshMartin Greenberg and Hannah ArendtTemplate:Nowrap1963
AmerikanovelMark HarmanTemplate:Nowrap2008United States
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Piecesstory collectionWilla and Edwin MuirSchocken Books1948United States
Dearest Father. Stories and Other WritingslettersErnst Kaiser and Eithne WilkinsTemplate:Nowrap1954United States
Description of a Strugglestory collectionTania and James SternSchocken Books1958United States
Template:Nowrapstory collectionClement Greenberg, Ernst Kaiser & Eithne Wilkins, Willa & Edwin MuirTania & James SternSchocken Books1961United States
The Complete Storiesstory collectionWilla & Edwin MuirTania & James SternSchocken Books1971United States
Letters to Family, Friends, and EditorslettersRichard and Clara WinstonSchocken Books1977United States
The Sonsstory collectionSchocken Books1989United States
The Zürau AphorismsaphorismsMichael HofmannSchocken Books2006United States

Schocken editions[edit]

TitleYearTranslatorsNotes
The Great Wall of China. Stories and Reflections1946Willa and Edwin Muir
The Penal Colony: Stories and Short Pieces1948Willa and Edwin Muir
Dearest Father. Stories and Other Writings1954Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins
Description of a Struggle1958Tania and James Stern
Parables and Paradoxes1961Clement Greenberg; Richard and Clara Winston;
Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins;
Willa and Edwin Muir; Tania and James Stern
Bilingual edition
The Complete Stories1971Willa and Edwin Muir;
Tania and James Stern
Reprinted in 1995
with a foreword by John Updike
I Am a Memory Come Alive1974Martin Greenberg and Hannah Arendt;
Joseph Kresh; Gerald Onn;
Willa and Edwin Muir; Tania and James Stern;
Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins
Autobiographical writings selected
from diaries, letters, and aphorisms
The Sons1989Willa and Edwin MuirTranslations revised and updated
by Arthur Wensinger
The Metamorphosis, In the Penal Colony,
and Other Stories
1995Willa and Edwin MuirIncludes all the stories
published in Kafka’s lifetime
The Zürau Aphorisms2006Michael Hofmann; Geoffrey Brock

Other editions[edit]

TitleYearPublisherTranslatorsNotes
The Basic Kafka1979Pocket BooksWilla and Edwin Muir
Tania and James Stern
Richard and Clara Winston
A selection from Kafka’s
short stories, diaries, and letters.
The Penguin Complete
Novels of Franz Kafka
1983Penguin BooksWilla and Edwin MuirIncludes The Trial,
The Castle, and Amerika;
republished by Vintage in 1999
Metamorphosis and Other Stories2007Penguin ClassicsCollection of Kafka’s works
Franz Kafka: The Office Writings2008Princeton University PressEric Patton; Ruth HeinA selection of Kafka’s professional writings
Kafka’s Greatest Stories2010VookEnhanced with video providing historical background on Kafka’s life and influences.)
Essential Kafka: Rendezvous with Otherness2011AuthorhouseEnhanced with video providing historical background on Kafka’s life and influences.)

Collaborations[edit]

English titleOriginal German titleWritten with:Notes
Richard and SamuelRichard und SamuelMax BrodIntended to be a novel; only the first chapter was completed.[1]