Year of publication: 2018
The Unhappiness of Being a Single Man
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Franz Kafka THE UNHAPPINESS OF BEING A SINGLE MAN Essential Stories Edited and translated from the German by Alexander Starritt Translator’s Preface IN ENGLISH, the word that usually follows ‘Kafkaesque’ is ‘nightmare’. Hardly the thing to make you think, ‘Hurray, a new translation. No Netflix for me tonight.’ And in truth, Kafka’s work is respected far more than it is loved. Potential book buyers sense that reading one of his novels might be unpleasantly similar to appearing in it: boring and painful at the same time. Like a circle of hell reserved for bureaucracy and anxiety dreams, where you fill in meaningless forms until the end of time, and then discover the pen is actually a beetle. That feeling only gets stronger when you flick to the back of The Castle and see how many pages there are. I can’t say I really disagree. There’s no question about how startling Kafka’s vision is, nor about how, despite the surrealism and the...