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Best Short Stories: A Dual-Language Book Paperback – Apr 1 1997

4.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (April 1 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486295613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486295619
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.1 x 21.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #71,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Students of German language and literature will welcome this dual-language edition of five stories by Franz Kafka (1883-1924). Considered one of the greatest modern writers, Kafka's work brilliantly explores the anxiety, futility and complexity of modern life. Along with original German texts, Stanley Appelbaum has provided accurate English translations on facing pages, affording students and ideal opportunity to read some of Kafka's finest in the original, to discover the passion and profundity of this extremely important figure in modern European literature, and to upgrade their German language skill at the same time.

About the Author

Franz Kafka was born to Jewish parents in Bohemia in 1883. Kafka s father was a luxury goods retailer who worked long hours and as a result never became close with his son. Kafka s relationship with his father greatly influenced his later writing and directly informed his Brief an den Vater (Letter to His Father). Kafka had a thorough education and was fluent in both German and Czech. As a young man, he was hired to work at an insurance company where he was quickly promoted despite his desire to devote his time to writing rather than insurance. Over the course of his life, Kafka wrote a great number of stories, letters, and essays, but burned the majority of his work before his death and requested that his friend Max Brod burn the rest. Brod, however, did not fulfill this request and published many of the works in the years following Kafka s death of tuberculosis in 1924. Thus, most of Kafka s works were published posthumously, and he did not live to see them recognized as some of the most important examples of literature of the twentieth century. Kafka s works are considered among the most significant pieces of existentialist writing, and he is remembered for his poignant depictions of internal conflicts with alienation and oppression. Some of Kafka s most famous works include The Metamorphosis, The Trial and The Castle.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The entire point of a dual language version is to compare the text. I realize you can't do facing pages on a Kindle but maybe alternating paragraphs would be good. What did this publisher do? The ENTIRE German version of each story, then the ENTIRE English version. The only reason I give it 2 stars is that it's still Kafka. Whoever thought this would be a good adaptation to the Kindle platform should be fired, and I regret spending my money on it. Dover is a really good print version publisher, and I have many of their books including a dual-language edition of some French poems - I expected more and am quite peeved. Save your money and dig up a used copy in the print version.
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Format: Paperback
I have used this book at our university in a German class (Introduction to German Literature) and in a Literature in Translation class. Students appreciated the duel langauge format. For my students of German, the facing translation aids in setting the context so that they can deal mor quickly with the German text. I would recommend this book for those with some German who are interested in Kafka's short fiction. I would have liked having the " Hunger Artist" in the collection as well as a German vocabulary section (as one finds in other Dover texts), but otherwise I found the book most helpful. The entire series offers excellent books at wonderful prices!
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Format: Paperback
This edition offers a sample of Kafka's best short stories with the original German and English translation on facing pages. It is a wonderful sort of "training wheels" for those who are ready to tackle German literature in the original.
The stories themselves are highly challenging. Kafka is regarded as a profit of modern alienation, but that doesn't capture the complexity of his thought. His masterpiece, The Metamorphosis, is here. In it Gregor Samsa awakes one morning to find he has turned into a giant bug. With that simple, but startling device, Kafka has a vehicle for exploring the inner dynamic of a family, and the mix of selfishness and altruism which informs our relationships with one another. On the surface, it would seem that Kafka is affirming the increasingly common notion that all altruism is really disguised selfishness - yet the story's bleakness suggests that Kafka himself knows that the vision is incomplete. This is the truth, he says. But is it the whole truth?
In another great story, In the Penalty Colony, Kafka presents us with a society that was once ordered around a great torturing device. The society is in the process of moving away from the torture device, and that would seem to be a good thing. But Kafka is more challenging than that. Does a vision of the world which imagines no role for suffering really speak to our deepest selves? We are repulsed by the old order, but the new order seems to be missing something.
So in one neat package, you can learn some German and struggle with a challenging vision of the world. That's a bargain, in my book!
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By A Customer on Feb. 14 2002
Format: Paperback
The most enjoyable aspect of language learning, for me, is the experience of reading literary masterpieces in the original. The side-by-side format is perfect for those intermediate students of German who would like something more substantial than the usual textbook fare. I would like to have seen more stories printed, or perhaps a second volume, but I do appreciate the variety available in this edition. The English translations tend to be more literal and wooden than the better all-English versions in print, but that is all the better. Once you've read Kafka in the original, you won't want to go back.
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Format: Paperback
I am not a huge fan of Kafka's style of writing but I did enjoy reading this book due to the side by side english and german wording. I found myself hopping back and forth to see how the German was translated into English. And, since my German is not perfect and Kafka writes with a complex sentence structure, the dual set up was perfect for me. These are some of Kafka's best stories, particularly the Metamorphisis.
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