June 29, 2013

My First Kafka, By Matthue Roth & Rohan Daniel Eason


One morning, when Greg the blogger woke from troubled dreams, he found My First Kafka, and it all worked out awesomely.

Matthue Roth has adapted three stories by Franz Kafka into one children's book, illustrated by Rohan Daniel Eason, and it looks utterly spectacular.

The idea of for the book arose, Roth says, from discovering Kafka "way too early" himself, and from reading Kafka way too early to his own daughters, who fell in love with it, too.

My First Kafka includes "Excursion into the Mountains," "Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse Folk," and "The Metamorphosis." At Schlemiel Theory, Hillel Breuer has a great discussion of how Roth and Eason navigate the literalism and ambiguity of Kafka's prose, as well as the author's insistence--which they ignored--that the bug in Metamorphosis never actually be illustrated.

It seems that the subtleties and thoughtfulness of this project cannot be overestimated.

It is also true that if you buy My First Kafka from Amazon, DT will make like a dollar. But if you buy it from Roth directly, he will also throw in a free, handmade, Kafka minibook, a version of The Last Golem in Prague that got cut from the print book.

So my recommendation is that you buy your own copy from Roth, and your gift copies from Amazon.

Buy My First Kafka: Runaways, Rodents, and Giant Bugs from Amazon for like $16 [amazon via dt reader eric]
Read some reviews and background and buy My First Kafka directly from Matthue Roth for $22, shipped [matthue.com]

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