the new translation
The new Schocken translation is being hailed as a major scholarly,
literary and publishing event. Writes Mark Anderson of Columbia University:
"The new Schocken edition of Frank Kafka's last novel, The
Castle , represents a major and long-awaited event in English-language
publishing... and a wonderful piece of news for all Kafka readers
who, for more than half a century, have had to rely on flawed, superannuated
This new translation is of particular interest to our readers. Mark
Harman, the translator, contends that The
Castle deeply reflects Kafka's new-found preoccupation with
his Jewish identity and with the questions that confronted Jewish
intellectuals of his generation: "What does it mean to be a Jew when
one has inherited little by way of Jewish heritage from one's parents?
How should one relate to the dominant culture so blindly adulated
by one's parents? In what language should Jews write?"
This groundbreaking translation marks the beginning of Schocken's
ambitious project to reissue all of Kafka's works based on the restored
text in the German critical editions. Recently released, The
Castle is based on the first volume of this restored text
which corrected numerous transcription errors in the earlier editions
and removed all of Max Brod's editorial and stylistic intervention.
Thus, for the first time, English-speaking readers can read Kafka's
haunting novel as he left it.
In honor of this occasion, New York City is dedicating the month of
March to the celebration of Kafka's literary legacy. The first event,
a literary evening at Town Hall, is co-sponsored by the PEN American
Center with Schocken Books/Random House, the Czech Center (NY), the
Goethe House, and the Austrian Cultural Institute.