The story itself, Kafka's most famous, hardly needs describing - a travelling salesman, Gregor Samsa, wakes up one morning to find he has been transformed into an enormous bug - but Faber Finds is offering something rare, the very first English translation which has been out of print for over sixty years. This pioneering translation by A. L. Lloyd ...
The story itself, Kafka's most famous, hardly needs describing - a travelling salesman, Gregor Samsa, wakes up one morning to find he has been transformed into an enormous bug - but Faber Finds is offering something rare, the very first English translation which has been out of print for over sixty years. This pioneering translation by A. L. Lloyd was first published in 1937. A. L. Lloyd was multi-talented: ethnomusicologist, journalist, radio and television broadcaster, and translator.In this his centenary year (2008) Faber Finds is celebrating him in his first and last roles. His major work, "Folk Song in England", is being reissued as are his "Lorca" and "Kafka" translations. As well as both being published in 1937 both were firsts; has anyone else had Spanish and German translations published in the same year? It should also be mentioned that A. L. Lloyd was a lifelong communist. It is a delicious irony therefore that one of the first reviews of the "Kafka" was by Evelyn Waugh in the short-lived "Night and Day"; it was a good one too.
Publishers Weekly, 2003-09-22 Kuper has adapted short works by Kafka into comics before, but here he tackles the most famous one of all: the jet-black comedy that ensues after the luckless Gregor Samsa turns into a gigantic bug. The story loses a bit in translation (and the typeset text looks awkward in the context of Kuper's distinctly handmade drawings). A lot of the humor in the original comes from the way Kafka plays the story's absurdities absolutely deadpan, and the visuals oversell the joke, especially since Kuper draws all the human characters as broad caricatures. Even so, he works up a suitably creepy frisson, mostly thanks to his drawing style. Executed on scratchboard, it's a jittery, woodcut-inspired mass of sharp angles that owes a debt to both Frans Masereel (a Belgian woodcut artist who worked around Kafka's time) and MAD magazine's Will Elder. The knotty walls and floors of the Samsas' house look like they're about to dissolve into dust. In the book's best moments, Kuper lets his unerring design sense and command of visual shorthand carry the story. The jagged forms on the huge insect's belly are mirrored by folds in business clothes; thinking about the debt his parents owe his employer, Gregor imagines his insectoid body turning into money slipping through an hourglass. Every thing and person in this Metamorphosis seems silhouetted and carved, an effect that meshes neatly with Kafka's sense of nightmarish unreality. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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