In AMERICA Kafka's key obsessions appear and reappear; his desire to avoid power by transforming himself into something small or disappearing altogether, and his belief in the infinite ambiguity of life and art. The gaps in the novel are unimportant - had Kafka filled them we would simply have begun to notice other gaps elsewhere. . . AMERICA tells the story of Karl Rossmann, a young innocent in America, banished there by his father because he had been seduced by a servant girl. Superficially it bears little resemblance to THE CASTLE or THE TRIAL and yet, with typical obstinacy, its world of ships, hotels and offices grows stranger and stranger, more comic and bewildering, the more realistically it is described.
About the Author
The son of a well-to-do merchant, FRANZ KAFKA was born in Prague in 1883 and died of tuberculosis in a sanatorium near Vienna in 1924. After earning a law degree in 1906, he worked most of his adult life at the Workers Accident Insurance Company for the Kingdom of Bohemia in Prague. Only a small portion of his writings were published during his lifetime; most of them, including the three unfinished novels, AMERIKA, THE TRIAL, and THE CASTLE, were published posthumously.
"No other voice has borne truer witness to the dark of our times" -- George Steiner "He is the greatest German writer of our time. Such poets as Rilke or such novelists as Thomas Mann are dwarfs or plaster saints in comparison to him" * Vladimir Nabokov *