Franz Kafka is one of the greatest influences on Western literature in the twentieth century. He has inspired a whole range of artists from the creators of the detective story to writers of the television series Twilight Zone. He began work on The Trial in 1914 after a horrendous encounter with his fiancee, Felice Bauer, her sister, Erna Bauer, and Grete Bloch (a short-term lover). According to Kafka’s friend Max Brod, he never finished the work and gave the manuscript to Brod in 1920. After his death, Brod edited The Trial into what he felt was a coherent novel and had it published, despite the German ban on Jewish literature, in 1925. The manuscript eventually passed from Brod’s heirs to the German national literary archives in the late 1980s for several million dollars. Since then, new editions have been published and some textual integrity restored to the English version of the story.

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