The Great Wall of China & Other Pieces – Franz Kafka (1946)


The Great Wall of China & Other Pieces – Franz Kafka (1946)


Title: The Great Wall of China and Other Pieces

Author: Franz Kafka, Willa & Edwin Muir (trans)

Publisher: Secker and Warburg, London, 1946. 2nd impression.

Condition: Hardcover, with dust jacket. Very good. Small tears to dust jacket. Spine sunned. Text very clean, binding tight. 159pp.

SKU: kafka-greatwall Categories: ,

About the Great Wall of China (from Wikipedia):

“The Great Wall of China” (“Beim Bau der Chinesischen Mauer”) is a short story written by Franz Kafka in 1917. It was not published until 1931, seven years after his death. Max Brod selected stories and published them in the collection Beim Bau der Chinesischen Mauer.

Contained within the story is a parable that was separately published as “A Message from the Emperor” (“Eine kaiserliche Botschaft”) in 1919 in the collection Ein Landarzt (A Country Doctor). Some sub-themes of the story include why the wall was built piecemeal (in small sections in many different places), the relationship of the Chinese with the past and the present and the emperor’s imperceptible presence. The story is told in first person by an older man from a southern province.

The first English translation by Willa and Edwin Muir was published by Martin Secker in London in 1933. It appeared in The Great Wall of China. Stories and Reflections (New York: Schocken Books, 1946).

The book also contains:

Investigations of a Dog

The Burrow

The Giant Mole

and short stories such as:

The Hunter Gracchus

The Married Couple

My Neighbour

..and more