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Betrachtung
 
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Franz Kafka
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Betrachtung

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3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  531 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Contemplation, Kafka's first published book (1913), was one of the few to appear in his lifetime. Composed of eighteen short prose poems, the book as a whole displays the full range of Kafka's compact metaphorical style. In this new translation, Blahut has been faithful to the original German while rendering it in a fresh, contemporary English. This edition is complimented ...more
68 pages
Published 1994 by Faber & Faber (first published 1912)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Fernando
Mar 28, 2016 Fernando rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Siempre me atrajo profundamente la literatura del primer Kafka. Este pequeño librito que publica a fines de 1912 con la ayuda de Max Brod le hará dar un pequeño paso inicial en su carrera, que es de las más importantes que nos dio la literatura mundial y que disfrutamos aún en nuestros días.
Tan pronto fue publicado su libro, le llevó a su prometida, Felice Bauer, una copia del mismo, abrumado por una mezcla de medida alegría y sentidas disculpas por los pequeños defectos que contenía el volumen
...more
Cecily
This collection of very short pieces is sometimes called Meditation, and under that name, is sometimes included in Metamorphosis.

These pieces are generally lighter than many of his works, though the recurring themes of loneliness, unease, judgement and watching are all present.

This review is really a collection of jottings for reference; don't expect great insights!

Children on a Country Road

A charming picture of carefree children, playing and exploring. Not at all Kafkaesque.

Unmasking a Confiden
...more
Hákon Gunnarsson
This little book surprised me a lot. Before today I had only read Kafka's The Metamorphosis, and have, like many others, mostly associated him with works dealing with doom and gloom. As a result some works by other writers have been called Kafkaesque if they are "gloomy" enough.

Well, this little collection by Franz Kafka is very far from being Kafkaesque in that way. Some of the stories are light in tone, playful, and funny. I'm not saying that they are all great. I think that some are definitly
...more
Bailey Alexander
Franz Kafka. Why not, reminds me of living in Bohemia, which we did, for a year. Compared to living in Bucharest; Prague felt quiet and fine, like it's local author, specifically his book called Meditations. A work of words so fragile you feared they just might fade off the page the minute you turn to the next.

Lesser known than his more famous work; The Metamorphisis and The Trial yet this book called Meditation, 18 contemplations in fact, is so slight, each reads like an idea, written so spari
...more
Nuno
Dec 11, 2012 Nuno rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I swear to God, this man is, definitely, my soulmate.
Toon Pepermans
Mar 16, 2017 Toon Pepermans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
sometimes reminded me of Robert Walser
Max Levitin
Jan 15, 2010 Max Levitin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Max by: present from briolin
18 коротких рассказов маэстро слова. Это первая книга Франца в биографии, сразу же показывет всю Метафорическую мощь заложенную в его сознании. Эта книга запомнится мне как первая прочитанная на иностранном языке =)
Haverly
Aug 22, 2010 Haverly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this in Prague, and the stories and illustrations really "took me back" to the feeling I had while in that magical city.
Petra
Jul 07, 2016 Petra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-classics
Short writings that are basically the definition of "Kafkaesque "
Nicole
May 06, 2013 Nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. It was like someone snuck into my mind and wrote down the nonsense I try to prented isn't there.
Ant
Oct 02, 2014 Ant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read a lot of Kafka but if I understand the term Kafkaesque correctly, then this small collection of sketches are anything but. Written at an early time before he had embarked on any of his major writings, this collection of nostalgic, sometimes melancholy observations & meditations are fresh, innocent & richly poetic. Written with a great deal of sensitivity to detail, they can be difficult at times to read. I found my mind wandering off the page often when one of his many bea ...more
Stephen Ryan
Mar 16, 2016 Stephen Ryan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
That’s how it will be, except that there you will stand in stark reality, each very day and from that day forward, with a body and a real head, that’s to say a forehead too, for you to beat upon with your hand.

This is Kafka’s first published book, a slim collection of “short stories.” The title means “meditation” or perhaps “contemplation,” and that’s really what’s here, not short stories. I read the translation by Malcolm Pasley, included in The Metamorphosis & Other Stories, published as
...more
L.B.
Jan 18, 2017 L.B. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
18 relatos son tan pocos debido a que estaba teniendo un buen rato hasta que llegue a la última página; quería mucho más.
En 1912 Kafka pública Contemplación, un libro con 18 — ¡la vida es injusta! Quería leer un poco más. — relatos: - Niños en un camino de campo
- Desenmascaramiento de un embaucador
- El paseo repentino
- Resoluciones
- La excursión a la montaña
- Desdicha del soltero
- El comerciante
- Contemplación, distraída en la ventana
- Camino de casa
- Transeúntes
- Compañero de viaje
- Vestidos
- E
...more
Simon
Mar 26, 2012 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The edition I have calls the book Meditation, from the description of the book on good reads it is the same book.

Meditation by Franz Kafka (Vitalis)

This slim volume was given to me as a present
about two or three years ago by Bender after his
trip to Prague, while he was in London.
How it took me this long to find the 2 hours or
so needed to read it is beyond me.
That said it was Kafka's first book published
originally in 1912 and is a collection of short
stories and sketches all of which could b
...more
Madalena
Apr 02, 2016 Madalena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
I haven't read much of Kafka yet, but he is conquering my heart at every word I lay eyes on.

I still think I am not mature enough to understand his ideas; beyond the beautiful and well constructed metaphors. I get most of them, sure, and I always /awe/ at them. But there are always loose points hanging in my mind that I just can't put my fingers on.

But honestly,
I look further to grab another book from this Mister.

It's absolutely ravishing how he brings every aspect of reality to simple quotes. Ev
...more
Okan Tarhan
Mar 09, 2015 Okan Tarhan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hayattayken yayımlanmış eserlerinin ilki ve en şiirsel olanı. Buradaki kısacık hikâye ya da düşünüşler bir karşılaşmanın tasviri gibi geliyor bana hep. Anlatıcı şeylerin arasına fırlatılmış ve deneyimlerini kısacık metinlerle yazması istenmiştir. Anlatının kısalığı, temel birimlerinin (zaman, mekân vs.) bulanıklığı derinlik algısını artırıyor. Şiirsel ve manipülatif yani.
Bu metinlerin hepsi "Hüküm"den önce yazılmış olsa gerektir. Kafka kendi yazarlığının doğum tarihini açıkça bir oturuşta "Hüküm
...more
Felicitous
Sep 11, 2016 Felicitous rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Betrachtung - ein unglaublich sanftes, schmales Büchlein gefüllt mit beinah lyrischer Prosa. Es sind kurze Einblicke in alltägliches (Gefühls-)leben, die Kafka hier in seinem zarten Erstlingswerk versammelt. Die Sprache ist ruhig, unaufgeregt, und berührt dadurch umso mehr.
Zu meinen Favoriten gehören:
Der plötzliche Spaziergang
Zerstreutes Hinausschauen
Die Vorüberlaufenden
Die Bäume
...und schon ist beinah ein Viertel der "Betrachtungen" genannt.
Meine Ausgabe des böhmischen Verlags Vitalis enthält n
...more
Etienne Mahieux
C'est le premier recueil publié de Kafka ; déjà, on peut lire sans se dire que Max Brod a souffert pour nous puisque, pour une fois, Kafka voulait que nous le lisions.
Ce n'est pas son chef-d'oeuvre. Ce n'est pas grave : songeons à ce qu'il a fait plus tard.
Le ton est hésitant ; parfois il est incisif comme celui des oeuvres futures, parfois d'un lyrisme un peu rimbaldien. Tout, déjà, est étrange, d'une rencontre dans l'omnibus à une course d'enfants ; des saynètes apparemment réalistes de la vie
...more
beenish
EXCERPT:
"It was time. I kissed the person next to me, offered the next three my hand, and began to walk back. No one called to me. At first crossing, where they could no longer see me, I turned around and followed the paths back into the woods. I was heading to the town in the south, of which people in our village say:
>>Amazing people live there! Think of it, they never sleep!<<
>>And why not?<<
>>Because they don't get tired!<<
>>And why not?<<
>
...more
Roxy
Just a note because this is driving me mad: This book is not to be confused with Kafka's "Betrachtung" or "Contemplation", a short-story collection. Instead, this is a compilation of Kafka's letters, quotes, diary entries, and little excerpts that exemplify his philosophies on life, art, and faith. Kafka did not compile it, a publisher did, and I am pretty sure it has not been translated. I am using a dictionary and trying to translate it on my own, but some pieces are already proving quite diff ...more
Tom
May 28, 2012 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german, borrowed, 2012
Eine schöne Sammlung von kürzen Geschichten, mit einer interessanten Mischung. Einige waren nur schöne Beschreibungen von Situationen oder Gefühlen, aber einige hatten starke Mitteilungen auch. Die Kürze dieser Geschichte waren mir besser als etwas längeres wegen der Macht der Mitteilungen. Sogar die erste Beschreibung über Kindheit fand ich eine perfekte Beschreibung davon.
Tara
Dec 28, 2016 Tara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophical
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dennis
I like Kafka, especially his Amerika. And The Trial should be required reading during this time of the Bush Administration.

But this brief little collection didn't really do much for me.

Must read-1
Meaningful-1
Kept my attention-3
Accessible-3
Simo
Dec 11, 2013 Simo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a serie of short stories,too short to actually tell a story,we mostly have an insight of characters and writer's thoughts and feelings. You can almost feel an atmosphere of melancholy, sadness and loneliness,it shows how people are in a certain way always alone.
Zany
Jan 04, 2015 Zany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I interpret this as a description of how women have been oppressed by men. And now I have to add another couple of sentences here to make my comment a little longer because putting a one-sentence comment on one of my books is anathema to me. And it gives me something to do. Thanks Kafka!
Sarah
Feb 27, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book reminded me a bit of Henri Michaux, although perhaps not quite as out there. In the Meditations, Kafka examines everyday situations as if he were seeing them for the first time. His perspective is fresh, almost naive, except that it has depth to it.
stenopelmatus
Pequeño conjunto de microrrelatos que parecieran haber sido escritos por Kafka mientras los presenciaba. La mayoría describen lo que se observa o sucede. Tan cortos como lo que se pudiese alcanzar a platicar en un minuto. Algunos insípidos y otros profundos y melancólicos.
Jack
Jan 12, 2014 Jack rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"For we are like tree trunks in the snow. They appear to lie flat and a small push should be enough to dislodge them. No, it can't be done, because they are firmly joined to the ground. But, look, even that only appears to be so."
Eric
Jul 06, 2015 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating little collection of random short pieces by Kafka. Thanks to Rodger Kamenetz (Burnt Books) who opened m y eyes to this gathering of pieces. I expect I will return again - for these need to e savored. They need to marinate.
Nicole :)
"Giacché siamo come tronchi d'albero sulla neve. In apparenza essi giacciono semplicemente e una spintarella dovrebbe essere sufficiente a smuoverli. No, non è possibile, perché sono attaccati saldamente al suolo. Ma, guarda, anche ciò è solo apparenza."
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Franz Kafka was one of the major fiction writers of the 20th century. He was born to a middle-class German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, Bohemia (presently the Czech Republic), Austria–Hungary. His unique body of writing—much of which is incomplete and which was mainly published posthumously—is considered to be among the most influential in Western literature.

His stories include The Metamorpho
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“I was making for that city in the south of which it was said in our village:
"There you'll find queer folk! Just think, they never sleep!"
"And why not?"
"Because they never get tired."
"And why not?"
"Because they're fools."
"Don't fools get tired?"
"How could fools get tired!"---Children on a Country Road, Contemplation.”
3 likes
“At the same time all the houses round about promptly took part in this silence, and so did the darkness above them, reaching as far as the stars. And the footsteps of invisible passers-by, whose course I had no wish to guess at, the wind that kept on driving against the other side of the street, the gramophone singing behind closed windows in some room - they made themselves heard in this silence, as if they had owned it for ever and ever.” 2 likes
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