Kafka began writing what he had entitled Der VerscholleneThe Missing Person inand wrote the last completed chapter inBut it wasn t until , three years after his death, that Max Brod, Kafka s friend and literary executor, edited the unfinished manuscript and published it as Amerika Kafka s first and funniest novel, Amerika tells the story of the young Karl Rossmann who, after an incident involving a housemaid, is banished by his parents to America Expected to redeem himself in this magical land of opportunity, young Karl is swept up instead in a whirlwind of dizzying reversals, strange escapades, and picaresque adventures 688 Der Verschollene Amerika The Man Who Disappeared The Missing Person Lost in America, Franz KafkaAmerika, also known as The Man Who Disappeared, The Missing Person and as Lost in America, is the incomplete first novel of author Franz Kafka 1883 1924 , written between 1911 and 1914 and published posthumously in 1927 The story describes the bizarre wanderings of sixteen year old European immigrant Karl Ro mann, who was forced to go to New York City to escape the scandal of his seduct 688 Der Verschollene Amerika The Man Who Disappeared The Missing Person Lost in America, Franz KafkaAmerika, also known as The Man Who Disappeared, The Missing Person and as Lost in America, is the incomplete first novel of author Franz Kafka 1883 1924 , written between 1911 and 1914 and published posthumously in 1927 The story describes the bizarre wanderings of sixteen year old European immigrant Karl Ro mann, who was forced to go to New York City to escape the scandal of his seduction by a housemaid As the ship arrives in the United States, he becomes friends with a stoker who is about to be dismissed from his job Karl identifies with the stoker and decides to help him together they go to see the captain of the ship In a surreal turn of events, Karl s uncle, Senator Jacob, is in a meeting with the captain Karl does not know that Senator Jacob is his uncle, but Mr Jacob recognizes him and takes him away from the stoker 2012 1390 299 1391 9789642090815 201911 1914 1927 Jorge Luis Borges afirmaba que los personajes de Kafka eranProfesionales de la derrotaEn cierto modo, podemos asegurar eso cuando encuadramos a tres personajes tan particulares como K de El Castillo , Joseph K de El Proceso y Karl Rossman, protagonista de Am rica en ese r tulo, todo confirma que este genio nunca se equivocaba y en cierta medida, los podemos ver como personajes alter ego con caracter sticas autobiogr ficas del mismo Kafka Pero hay algo esperanzador en Am rica que no Jorge Luis Borges afirmaba que los personajes de Kafka eranProfesionales de la derrotaEn cierto modo, podemos asegurar eso cuando encuadramos a tres personajes tan particulares como K de El Castillo , Joseph K de El Proceso y Karl Rossman, protagonista de Am rica en ese r tulo, todo confirma que este genio nunca se equivocaba y en cierta medida, los podemos ver como personajes alter ego con caracter sticas autobiogr ficas del mismo Kafka Pero hay algo esperanzador en Am rica que no sucede en las otras dos, y es que m s all de que tambi n est inconclusa aunque a m entender El Proceso es una novela terminada , el personaje de Karl no est envuelto en una serie de situaciones, en su lucha para alcanzar su propio sue o americano , que lo complican de forma negativa, sino que casi sin quererlo es l mismo el que condiciona su destino, en parte por su relaci n con personajes tan negativos como Robinson y Dellamarche y tambi n como la mala decisi n en en el tramo inicial de la novela que lo saca de su precaria zona de confort En el cap tulo El Fogonero , el nico terminado y muy importante para entender el desarrollo de la trama de la novela, nos encontramos ya con un Karl que tiene la gran oportunidad de forjar un futuro gracias a su rico t o, el Senador Jakob Incre blemente y como sucede con los personajes kafkianos, su destino se enturbia r pidamente y ya est planteado el dilema la mala decisi n, los factores externos y la innata capacidad del personaje para quedar atrapado en ellas instalan el conflicto y algo que diferencia a Karl de los otros personajes es que en esta novela, se respira cierto aire de ingenuidad adolescente con caracter sticas no tan sombr as y agobiantes como las de El Proceso ni chocantes o de no invitado como en El Castillo.Podemos decir que se nota que es la primera novela de Kafka la segunda que escribi fue El Proceso y la ltima El Castillo Yo las le exactamente en orden inverso , por eso uno puede tomar la novela con menos cinrcunspecci n que las otras dos.De todos modos, se percibe el desamparo en el que se encuentra Karl, s lo, como inmigrante en un pa s tan vasto como los Estados Unidos En comparaci n con los personajes principales de sus otras dos novelas, K y Joseph K luchan y chocan en cierto modo contra un sistema adverso Karl intenta superarse y mejorar, buscando muchas veces en forma err nea su propio bienestar, algo que experiment el mismo Kafka en su vida personal Tambi n encontramos otro rasgo autobiogr fico en la relaci n de Karl con las mujeres, siempre inconexo, irrealizable, ut pico Sucede con Klara al comienzo de la novela, con Therese en el Hotel Occidental y con la malvada Brunelda, cuando est a merced de su despotismo secundado por Robinson y Dellamarche Caso especial el de Robinson, este irland s que pareciera simbolizar una de esas contigencias inevitables que surgen en la vida y que nos ponen a prueba, sea para mal o para bien Est comprobado que Kafka jug un poco a escribir Am rica inspir ndose en David Copperfield de Charles Dickens, de quien se declaraba ferviente admirador junto con Goethe y otros c lebres escritores.El albacea, bi grafo y amigo de Kafka, Max Brod defini a Am rica , El Proceso y El Castillo como la Trilog a de la Soledad , y vaya que lo es , puesto se trata de individuos que buscan permanentemente su lugar en la sociedad, pero para ello deben luchar contra demasiadas adversidades impuestas por el autor, fiel a su estilo tan particular en lo narrativo y argumental Hay una frase que dice Karl Rossman a mitad de la novela, luego del incidente en el Hotel Occidental que le cuesta su despido y creo que tiene implicancia directa con lo que sufrir Joseph K en El Proceso Es imposible defenderse cuando no hay buena voluntad de por medio Creo que en esta frase se resume mucho de lo que leemos en la obra kafkiana Y es que a veces, quiera uno o no, nos sucede lo mismo que a sus personajes la vida nos dice que no siempre tenemos el control, y por eso mismo nos pone a prueba en los momentos m s inoportunos Often I opt to know as little as possible about the novels I read before starting them which includes not reading the back cover synopsis So I didn t know this was an unfinished novel when I started I hadn t read any Kafka since my teens when I can t say he was ever a favourite of mine My feeling about him was further sullied after reading his letters to Milena, a girl he neurotically and rather cruelly strung along who eventually was to die in the Nazi death camps Those letters are fascinat Often I opt to know as little as possible about the novels I read before starting them which includes not reading the back cover synopsis So I didn t know this was an unfinished novel when I started I hadn t read any Kafka since my teens when I can t say he was ever a favourite of mine My feeling about him was further sullied after reading his letters to Milena, a girl he neurotically and rather cruelly strung along who eventually was to die in the Nazi death camps Those letters are fascinating as an indictement of the way males can distort a female in the imagination to spin out some private fantasy with little thought to the real woman involved Not surprisingly Kafka s America is a bizarre place he never set foot in America in his lifetime For one thing initiative, the will to work, impeccable manners are punished rather than rewarded Kafka s Karl is a hapless good natured innocent who will be taken advantage of at every turn He s every bully s dream victim Authority, as ever, is an irrational and cruel entity Nothing is to be expected of it but persecution Officialdom makes little sense as subordinates often overrule bosses In Kafka s world perhaps only women can be relied upon to show uncorrupted humanity Kafka s heroes are never men s men To put it harshly they are often girl s blouses Though Kafka is writing about a recognisably real world here the surreal is never far away, often present in his choice of fastidious detail He s a master at bringing to life the shadow life of daily reality It s an episodic novel and there s a sense Kafka is making it up as he goes along, which maybe explains why he never finished it he wasn t working to a plan Towards the end it begins getting a little repetitive and increasinglysurreal The pattern of Karl s innocence getting him into trouble but also finally saving him, or at least providing the opportunity to live another day, has been repeated several times It s surprising that a writer as brilliantly unpredictable as Kafka becomes a little predictable in his unpredictability if that makes sense A missing chapter doesn t help in the waning of one s interest That said I found much to admire before it becomes clear that he loses his impetus Shame he didn t finish it