HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Kafka Americana: Fiction by Jonathan Lethem
Loading...

Kafka Americana: Fiction

by Jonathan Lethem

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
150479,725 (3.13)6

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 6 mentions

Showing 4 of 4
This slender collection of collaborative and individual co-optations of Kafka forms a nice set. Stories range from Lethem's "The Notebooks of Bob K," which tires me in a way that reminds me that I once had boundless enthusiasm for postmodern experiments, to the co-written "Receding Horizon." Though still studded with post-modern asides that don't particularly enhance the narrative, this piece made me gasp aloud through its brilliant identification of, and play with, similarities between Kafka's "The Judgment" and Capra's It's a Wonderful Life. Yes, really. In its attention to the bizarre distortions of perception and story incumbent upon even the most stolid translation from literature to film, "Receding Horizon" also evokes Christopher Isherwood's Prater Violet(Isherwood's fictionalized account of working on the script for the film Little Friend). Read this collection, then refresh yourself with Barthelme's more accessible stories in the delicious Sixty Stories. ( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
I wrote a review of this book and it can be found here:

http://mewlhouse.hubpages.com/_1qsqsuzy8itx3/hub/A-Time-For-Fists ( )
  MSarki | Mar 29, 2013 |
A quick and satisfying read. Lethem has a fantastic imagination. ( )
  Smiler69 | Jan 1, 2011 |
Collects five stories of the absurd and fantastical.

Blumfeld, An Elderly Bachelor (*** 1/2) interesting twists

The Notebooks of Bob K. (*) superhero fluff, signifying nothing

Receding Horizon (**) Boring, absurd account of Frank Capra's career in film. Skipped to the end after half finished.

The Amount To Carry (*) Unappealing elite insurance men muse about their meaning.

K for Fake (** 1/2) Another absurdist trial for Kafka with some interesting fantastical elements.

This is definitely not my flavor of writing and perhaps if Kafka's novels were fresher in my memory I could have gained more from reading the stories. I was constantly distracted from reading the stories with thoughts of, "what's the point?" ( )
  psybre | Feb 19, 2009 |
Showing 4 of 4
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 039332253X, Paperback)

"Inspired by affection.... Extremely witty and intelligent."—Publishers Weekly

Previously published only in a signed, limited edition, Kafka Americana has achieved cult status. Norton now brings this reimagination of our labyrinthine world to a wider audience. In an act of literary appropriation, Lethem and Scholz seize a helpless Kafka by the lapels and thrust him into the cultural wreckage of twentieth-century America. In the collaboratively written "Receding Horizon," Hollywood welcomes Kafka as scriptwriter for Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, with appropriately morbid results. Scholz's "The Amount to Carry" transports "the legal secretary of the Workman's Accident Insurance Institute" to a conference with fellow insurance executives Wallace Stevens and Charles Ives, to muse on what can and can't be insured. And Lethem's "K for Fake" brings together Orson Welles, Jerry Lewis, and Rod Serling in a kangaroo trial in which Kafka faces fraudulent charges. Taking modernism's presiding genius for a joyride, the authors portray an absurd, ominous world that Kafka might have invented but could never have survived.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:29 -0400)

Previously published only in a signed, limited edition, Kafka Americana has achieved cult status. Norton now brings this reimagination of our labyrinthine world to a wider audience. In an act of literary appropriation, Lethem & Scholz seize a helpless Kafka by the lapels & thrust him into the cultural wreckage of twentieth-century America. In the collaboratively written "Receding Horizon," Hollywood welcomes Kafka as scriptwriter for Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, with appropriately morbid results. Scholz's "The Amount to Carry" transports "the legal secretary of the Workman's Accident Insurance Institute" to a conference with fellow insurance executives Wallace Stevens & Charles Ives, to muse on what can & can't be insured. And Lethem's "K for Fake" brings together Orson Welles, Jerry Lewis, & Rod Serling in a kangaroo trial in which Kafka faces fraudulent charges. Taking modernism's presiding genius for a joyride, the authors portray an absurd, ominous world that Kafka might have invented but could never have survived. In an act of literary appropriation by turns witty, affectionate, and shameless, Jonathan Lethem and Carter Scholz seize a helpless Franz Kafka by the lapels and thrust him into the cultural wreckage of twentieth-century America. In the collaboratively written "Receding Horizon," Hollywood welcomes Kafka as a scriptwriter for Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, with appropriately morbid results. Scholz's "The Amount to Carry" transports "the legal secretary of the Workman's Accident Insurance Institute" to a professional conference with fellow insurance executives Wallace Stevens and Charles Ives, for a night of musing on what can and can't be insured. And Lethem's "K for Fake" brings together Orson Welles, Jerry Lewis, and Rod Serling in a kangaroo trial where Kafka faces, needless to say, fraudulent charges. Taking Modernism's presiding genius for a literary joyride, the authors portray an absurd, ominous world that Kafka might have invented but could never have survived.… (more)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
19 wanted

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.13)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 3
2.5 4
3 6
3.5 1
4 8
4.5 1
5

W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,611,815 books! | Top bar: Always visible