Tales of the German Imagination from the Brothers Grimm to Ingeborg Bachmann, edited by Peter Wortsman / ISBN 9780141198804 / 360-page paperback from Penguin Classics
Spanning the Brothers Grimm to Kafka and beyond, a new collection of the most strange and fantastical German stories from the past 200 years
Franz Kafka posthumously cornered the nightmare market in the twentieth century. Yet in our adulation of Kafka's wonderfully bizarre prose, English-language readers tend to overlook the fact that he was not spawned Athena-like from the cranium of German literature. Kafka had his precursors among the German Romantics, as well as his contemporaries working in kindred veins and his heirs in post–World War II Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. This rich and varied anthology gathers together many haunting stories, from the dark fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, to Kafka's own chilling satire "In the Penal Colony," to the surreal fantasies of Kurt Schwitter in "The Onion."