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The Trial

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The Trial (original German title: Der Process, later Der Prozess, Der Proceß and Der Prozeß) is a novel written by Franz Kafkafrom 1914 to 1915 and published in 1925. One of his best-known works, it tells the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime revealed neither to him nor to the reader. Heavily influenced byDostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, Kafka even went so far as to call Dostoevsky a blood relative.Like Kafka’s other novels, The Trial was never completed, although it does include a chapter which brings the story to an end.

After Kafka’s death in 1924 his friend and literary executor Max Brod edited the text for publication by Verlag Die Schmiede. The original manuscript is held at the Museum of Modern Literature, Marbach am Neckar, Germany. The first English languagetranslation, by Willa and Edwin Muir, was published in 1937. In 1999, the book was listed in Le Monde’s 100 Books of the Centuryand as No. 2 of the Best German Novels of the Twentieth Century.

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