Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Aimless Reading: The K's, Part 1 (Franz Kafka)


The Trial
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Kafka, Franz
The Trial


When I pulled this off the shelf, I thought to myself, huh, that's not the edition I read. I wondered if perhaps I had lost the original and bought this one to replace it. I looked back at the shelf. The original was sitting right there. Now I was even more confused. I had no recollection of having bought this particular copy of the book.

According to a little sticker on the back, I bought it Talking Leaves in January of 2003 for $13.00. I have to remember to not take those stickers off the books I buy there -- they serve as a useful record of my purchases.

I think I was done teaching at that point, but it's possible that I used it for one of my final classes at UB. The sticker would seem to indicate that that is the case -- it lists the book as a course adoption for English 201, which I taught many times during graduate school. I have a vague recollection of teaching the book and then showing the Orson Welles film based on it to a class full of indifferent faces.

The only other possibility is that I bought because it was a new translation. Somehow I doubt that. I love Kafka, but not in a scholarly way.

from The Trial

Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested. His landlady, Frau Grubach, had a cook who brought him breakfast each day around eight, but this time she didn't appear. That had never happened before. K. waited a while longer, watching from his pillow the old woman who lived across the way, who was peering at him with a curiosity quite unusual for her; then, both put out and hungry, he rang. There was an immediate knock at the door and a man he'd never seen before in these lodgings entered. He was slender, yet solidly built, and was wearing a fitted black jacket, which, like a traveler's outfit, was provided with a variety of pleats, pockets, buckles buttons and a belt, and thus appeared eminently practical, though his purpose remained obscure. "Who are you?" asked K., and immediately sat halfway up in bed

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