Publication Date: February 14, 2006
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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.
Geofrrey Brock is an American poet and translator. His first book of poems, Weighing Light, received the New Criterion Poetry Prize and appeared in 2005. His awards include a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Cullman Center Fellowship from the New York Public Library. He is also a leading translator of Italian poetry and prose, having brought into English major works by Cesare Pavese, Umberto Eco, Roberto Calasso, and others. His translation of Pavese's poetry, Disaffections, received the PEN Center USA Translation Award and the MLA's Lois Roth Award, and his translation of Eco's The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana received the American Translators Association Lewis Galantiere Award.