A Hunger Artist and Other Stories (tr. by Thor Polson); Poems and Songs of Love (tr. by Elana and Menachem Wolff)
Kafka’s writings are characterized by an extreme sensitivity manifested in absurdity, alienation, and gallows humor. These two particular collections of short pieces, A Country Doctor (1919) and A Hunger Artist (1924), represent later works in the corpus, and Polson’s translation has received high praise from many critics (see link below). Poems and Songs of Love is a translation of the collection Piyyutim ve-Shirei Yedidot by Georg Mordechai Langer, which contains an elegy to Langer’s friend and mentor Franz Kafka. Langer and Kafka hailed from the same middle-class, assimilated, Jewish Prague background and shared a mutual interest in Hasidic culture, literature, and Hebrew. This collaborative translation by Elana and Menachem Wolff from the Hebrew brings the fascinating work of Langer – poems as well as an essay on Kafka – to the English-reading public for the first time and sheds light on a hitherto unexplored relationship.