Franz Kafka discussion

The Trial English Translation

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message 1: by Ian (new)

Ian Khalil | 1 comments I own a copy of the Muir translation and am now aware of the controversy over it. How drastic is the issue? Do I need to go out a get a new copy or will this do? Thanks!


message 2: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 29 comments The Trial is very advanced Kafka - which English transl. is best is a loaded question... the Muirs translation is not, in my opinion, better or worse than others ... they all have major problems - best would be to learn German or focus on less difficult "stories."

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

so the choice is to learn German or not read it? I don't know about Ian, but I'm not planning to study German at this stage. Nein .there is no translation that has some good qualities?

message 4: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 29 comments I think that I said the Muir's translation is no better or worse than others so - to get the basic story line Ian need not buy a different book... they all have some good qualities too, of course. Naturally, one cannot learn German for Kafka and Russian for Dostoyevski and Greek for Plato, etc... The tower of Babel is with us.

message 5: by Nathanimal (last edited May 08, 2012 01:09PM) (new)

Nathanimal | 29 comments I'm not well versed on the different translations, but of the few stories and excerpts I've read in multiple translations, I really like the Muirs. Something about the other translations, like Stanley Corngold's, feel a bit turgid, like maybe they're clinging too religiously to the syntax of the original text. While faithfulness is appreciated, the Muirs seem to me to capture a tone that's both funnier and, somehow, more of its time.

My six weeks of German taught me only enough to know that I will never read Kafka in the original.

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