A superb new translation by Michael Hofmann of some of Kafka's most frightening and visionary short fiction
Strange beasts, night terrors, absurd bureaucrats and sinister places abound in this collection of stories by Franz Kafka. Some are less than a page long, others more substantial; all were unpublished in his lifetime. These matchless short works range from the gleeful miniature horror 'Little Fable' to the off-kilter humour of 'Investigations of a Dog', and from the elaborate waking nightmare of 'Building the Great Wall of China' to the creeping unease of 'The Burrow', where a nameless creature's labyrinthine hiding place turns into a trap of fear and paranoia.
Review quote: previous edition:
A superb translation... alerts us to the strangeness of Kafka's world - often funnier or happier than we give it credit for - without using the word "Kafkaesque", which should be retired as it now means little more than "frustratingly bureaucratic". Kafka's world is richer, and more rewarding than that. – Guardian, Nick Lezard
Hofmann, with his taste for mischief, makes Kafka, often translated in a buttoned-up key, a writer capable of blending old-fashioned literary parlance and contemporary media-speak... the modern touches also emphasise the timelessness of Kafka's themes, the horror of institutions being just one of them. – Financial Times, Anna Aslanyan
Kafka's posthumously published short fiction cry out for a critical exegesis... newly translated by Michael Hofmann, the stories collected in The Burrow mingle dark comedy with a proto-surrealist intent to unsettle...excellent new translations – New Statesman, Ian Thomson
Franz Kafka (Author) Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was born of Jewish parents in Prague. Several of his story collections were published in his lifetime and his novels, The Trial, The Castle, and Amerika, were published posthumously by his editor Max Brod.
Michael Hofmann (Translator) Michael Hofmann is a translator and the author of several books of poetry and criticism. Penguin publish his translations of Franz Kafka, Hans Fallada, Irmgard Keun and Jakob Wassermann.