From the internationally acclaimed author of The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony comes one of the most significant books in recent years on a writer of perennial interest–a virtuoso interpretation of the work of Franz Kafka.
What are Kafka’s fictions about? Are they dreams? Allegories? Symbols? Countless answers have been offered, but the essential mystery remains intact. Setting out on his own exploration, Roberto Calasso enters the flow, the tortuous movement, the physiology of Kafka’s work to discover why K. and Josef K.–the protagonists of The Castle and The Trial–are so radically different from any other character in the history of the novel, and to determine who, in the end, is K. The culmination of Calasso’s lifelong fascination with Kafka’s work, K. is also an unprecedented consideration of the mystery of Kafka himself.
About the Author
Roberto Calasso is also the author of "The Forty-Nine Steps" and "Literature and the Gods." He lives in Milan and is the publisher of Adelphi.
Carlo Collodi (1826--1890) is the pen name of Carlo Lorenzini. He worked as a journalist before publishing "The Adventures of Pinocchio "in" "1883. Translated into more than ninety languages, "Pinocchio" has never been out of print.
Umberto Eco is an Italian philosopher and novelist, best known for his novel "The Name of the Rose" ("Il nome della rosa") and his many essays.
Geoffrey Brock is a poet and translator. His translations have received "Poetry"'s John Frederick Nims Memorial Prize, the ATA's Lewis Galantiere Award, the PEN Center USA Translation Award, the MLA's Lois Roth Award, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Translation Prize, the Academy of American Poets' Raiziss/de Palchi Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He teaches in the University of Arkansas Programs in Creative Writing and Translation in Fayetteville, where he lives with his wife, the writer Padma Viswanathan, and their children.
“For such a writer [as Kafka], Calasso is the ideal critic.” –The New Yorker
“No one could bring more intelligence and cultural range to a fresh encounter with Kafka [than] the erudite and sophisticated Calasso. . . . His prose is a marvel, and K. makes for an exhilarating adventure.” –Frederick Crews, The New York Review of Books
“Engaging. . . . As good an account of the strangeness of Kafka’s world and the reason for its bizarre coherence as anyone has offered.” –The New Republic
“Translucent and revelatory. . . . It’s a measure of Calasso’s accomplishment that his readings feel familiar, as though his erudition were inside us. . . . His tone, while epic, is also welcoming.” –The New York Times Book Review