Kafka Americana

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Kafka Americana
First edition cover
Author Jonathan Lethem
Carter Scholz
Cover artist Jacket design by Zwetana Penova
Cover illustration by Perry Hoberman
Country United States
Language English
Genre Short stories, pastiche, parody
Publisher Subterranean Press
Publication date
November 1999
Media type Print (Hardcover & Paperback)
Pages 100 pp (first edition, hardcover)
ISBN 1-892284-43-X (first edition, hardcover)
OCLC 43333743
Preceded by Motherless Brooklyn
Followed by The Fortress of Solitude (novel)

Kafka Americana is a 1999 collection of short stories by Jonathan Lethem and Carter Scholz based on the life (and alternate histories) and works of Franz Kafka. Originally published in a limited edition by Subterranean Press, it was released as a trade paperback by W. W. Norton & Company in 2001.

The stories[edit]

  • "Blumfeld, an Elderly Bachelor" (Scholz)
A re-imagining of Kafka's uncompleted short story. First published in Crank! 1.
  • "The Notebooks of Bob K." (Lethem)
Batman is presented as Kafka's creation, with parodies of some of Kafka's famous aphorisms and stories, including "The Burrow", "A Crossbreed (A Sport)", and "The Vulture". A significantly different version of the story appeared in Gas 6.
  • "Receding Horizon" (Lethem & Scholz)
Kafka comes to America, changes his name to Jack Dawson, and writes screenplays in Hollywood. First published in Crank! 5.
  • "The Amount to Carry" (Scholz)
Kafka meets fellow insurance executives Wallace Stevens and Charles Ives. First published in Starlight 2.
  • "K. for Fake" (Lethem)
Parody of The Trial. First published in McSweeney's Quarterly 4.


  • Lethem, Jonathan and Carter Scholz. Kafka Americana. W. W. Norton & Company, 2001. ISBN 0-393-32253-X