The Trial

A New Translation Based on the Restored Text

Look inside
Until now, students have been able to read Kafka’s masterpiece only in a translation of the 1925 German edition that was edited by Max Brod (Kafka’s friend and literary executor), from an unfinished manuscript. Both Brod's edition and its 1937 translation by Will and Edwin Muir have long been considered flawed.

This new edition is based upon the widely acclaimed work of an international team of experts who have restored the text, the sequence of chapters, and their division to create a version that is as close as possible to the way the author left it. In this brilliant translation, Breon Mitchell masterfully reproduces the distinctive poetics of Kafka's prose, revealing a novel that is as full of energy and power as it was when it was first written. Translated and with a Preface by Breon Mitchell.

“Breon Mitchell’s translation of the restored text is an accomplishment of the highest order—one that will honor Kafka, perhaps the most singular and compelling writer of our time, far into the twenty-first century.” —Walter Abish, author of How German Is It?

The Trial...holds up well in [this] version characterized by...virtually incantatory accusatory repetitions that confer equal emphasis on the novel’s despairing comedy and aura of unspecific menace. Admirers of Kafka's fiction will not want to miss it.”—Kirkus Reviews
© Courtesy of Schocken Books

FRANZ KAFKA was born in 1883 in Prague, where he lived most of his life. During his lifetime, he published only a few short stories, including “The Metamorphosis,” “The Judgment,” and “The Stoker.” He died in 1924, before completing any of his full-length novels. At the end of his life, Kafka asked his lifelong friend and literary executor Max Brod to burn all his unpublished work. Brod overrode those wishes.

View titles by Franz Kafka
"Kafka's 'legalese' is alchemically fused with a prose of great verve and intense readability."
—James Rolleston, professor of Germanic languages and literatures, Duke University

"Breon Mitchell's translation is an accomplishment of the highest order that will honor Kafka far into the twenty-first century."
—Walter Abish, author of How German Is It


Praise for The Castle:
translated by Mark Harman from the restored text

"The new Schocken edition of The Castle represents a major and long-awaited event in English- language publishing. It is a wonderful piece of news for all Kafka readers who, for more than half a century, have had to rely on flawed, superannuated editions. Mark Harman is to be commended for his success in capturing the fresh, fluid, almost breathless style of Kafka's original manuscript."
—Mark M. Anderson, Columbia University

"Semantically accurate to an admirable degree, faithful to Kafka's nuances, responsive to the tempo of his sentences and to the larger music of his paragraph construction. For the general reader or for the student, it will be the translation of preference for some time to come."
—J. M. Coetzee, The New York Review of Books

"There is a great deal to applaud in Harman's translation. It gives us a much better sense of Kafka's uncompromising and disturbing originality as a prose master than we have heretofore had in English."
—Robert Alter, The New Republic

About

Until now, students have been able to read Kafka’s masterpiece only in a translation of the 1925 German edition that was edited by Max Brod (Kafka’s friend and literary executor), from an unfinished manuscript. Both Brod's edition and its 1937 translation by Will and Edwin Muir have long been considered flawed.

This new edition is based upon the widely acclaimed work of an international team of experts who have restored the text, the sequence of chapters, and their division to create a version that is as close as possible to the way the author left it. In this brilliant translation, Breon Mitchell masterfully reproduces the distinctive poetics of Kafka's prose, revealing a novel that is as full of energy and power as it was when it was first written. Translated and with a Preface by Breon Mitchell.

“Breon Mitchell’s translation of the restored text is an accomplishment of the highest order—one that will honor Kafka, perhaps the most singular and compelling writer of our time, far into the twenty-first century.” —Walter Abish, author of How German Is It?

The Trial...holds up well in [this] version characterized by...virtually incantatory accusatory repetitions that confer equal emphasis on the novel’s despairing comedy and aura of unspecific menace. Admirers of Kafka's fiction will not want to miss it.”—Kirkus Reviews

Author

© Courtesy of Schocken Books

FRANZ KAFKA was born in 1883 in Prague, where he lived most of his life. During his lifetime, he published only a few short stories, including “The Metamorphosis,” “The Judgment,” and “The Stoker.” He died in 1924, before completing any of his full-length novels. At the end of his life, Kafka asked his lifelong friend and literary executor Max Brod to burn all his unpublished work. Brod overrode those wishes.

View titles by Franz Kafka

Praise

"Kafka's 'legalese' is alchemically fused with a prose of great verve and intense readability."
—James Rolleston, professor of Germanic languages and literatures, Duke University

"Breon Mitchell's translation is an accomplishment of the highest order that will honor Kafka far into the twenty-first century."
—Walter Abish, author of How German Is It


Praise for The Castle:
translated by Mark Harman from the restored text

"The new Schocken edition of The Castle represents a major and long-awaited event in English- language publishing. It is a wonderful piece of news for all Kafka readers who, for more than half a century, have had to rely on flawed, superannuated editions. Mark Harman is to be commended for his success in capturing the fresh, fluid, almost breathless style of Kafka's original manuscript."
—Mark M. Anderson, Columbia University

"Semantically accurate to an admirable degree, faithful to Kafka's nuances, responsive to the tempo of his sentences and to the larger music of his paragraph construction. For the general reader or for the student, it will be the translation of preference for some time to come."
—J. M. Coetzee, The New York Review of Books

"There is a great deal to applaud in Harman's translation. It gives us a much better sense of Kafka's uncompromising and disturbing originality as a prose master than we have heretofore had in English."
—Robert Alter, The New Republic

2024 Middle and High School Collections

The Penguin Random House Education Middle School and High School Digital Collections feature outstanding fiction and nonfiction from the children’s, adult, DK, and Grupo Editorial divisions, as well as publishers distributed by Penguin Random House. Peruse online or download these valuable resources to discover great books in specific topic areas such as: English Language Arts,

Read more

PRH Education High School Collections

All reading communities should contain protected time for the sake of reading. Independent reading practices emphasize the process of making meaning through reading, not an end product. The school culture (teachers, administration, etc.) should affirm this daily practice time as inherently important instructional time for all readers. (NCTE, 2019)   The Penguin Random House High

Read more

PRH Education Translanguaging Collections

Translanguaging is a communicative practice of bilinguals and multilinguals, that is, it is a practice whereby bilinguals and multilinguals use their entire linguistic repertoire to communicate and make meaning (García, 2009; García, Ibarra Johnson, & Seltzer, 2017)   It is through that lens that we have partnered with teacher educators and bilingual education experts, Drs.

Read more

PRH Education Classroom Libraries

“Books are a students’ passport to entering and actively participating in a global society with the empathy, compassion, and knowledge it takes to become the problem solvers the world needs.” –Laura Robb   Research shows that reading and literacy directly impacts students’ academic success and personal growth. To help promote the importance of daily independent

Read more