Annotated Reference Guide to Collectible Books

Kafka, Franz

Franz Kafka has beenregarded as a strong influence on specific genres of literature, the most prevalent being existentialism. Although most of his works are written in German, he is renownedas one of the 20th Century greats. Kafka’s upbringing in a middle-class German-Jewish family shaped his creative leanings. His works focus on themes and archetypes of alienation, physical and psychological brutality, parent–child conflict, mystical transformations, terrifying quest and the fight against bureaucracy. He had a complicatedly tumultuous relationship with his father. The strains of this relationship had a major effect on his writing. He was also conflicted over being Jewish; feeling that it had little to do with him, although critics argue that it was an important influence in his writing.

Kafka’s most relevant works of art include Die Verwandlung (English translation: The Metamorphosis), which sold for $30.000 in April of 2012 on This first edition (1915) has also sold at Christie’s New York for $16,450 and $17,625, both in April 2001, and at Sothebys New York for $4,500 in June 2005. First editions of Die Verwandlung are highly sought after, both in its original German text and its early translations.

A first edition copy of Der Prozess (1925) (English translation: The Trial) was sold by Bloomsbury Auctions for £650 in November 2006. A similar copy, first edition with dust jacket was sold by Christie’s for $13,200 in June 2007.

His later work, a first edition copy of Das Schloss (1926) (English translation: The Castle), was sold by Bloomsbury Auctions £4,400 in April 2011. The first edition English version of The Castle (1930), translated by Willa and Edwin Muir was sold for £700 in July 2000.

Kafka, Franz. Die Verwandlung. Kurt Wolff Verlag, Leipzig (1915). The Metamorphosis; Dust cover illustration by Ottomar Starke

Kafka, Franz. Das Urteil. Kurt Wolff, Leipzig (1916). “The Verdict”

Kafka, Franz. Der Heizer. Kurt Wolff Verlag, Leipzig (1916). “The Stoker”; Second edition; with corrections to text by Kafka

Kafka, Franz. Die Verwandlung. Kurt Wolff Verlag, Leipzig (1916). The Metamorphosis; Dust cover illustration by Ottomar Starke

Kafka, Franz. Der Heizer. Ein Fragment. Kurt Wolff Verlag, Leipzig (1917). “The Stoker. A Fragment”; Third edition

Kafka, Franz. Ein Landarzt. Kurt Wolff Verlag, Leipzig (1919). “Small Stories”; approx 1000 copies published

Kafka, Franz. In der Strafkolonie.. Kurt Wolff, Leipzig (1919). “In the Penal Colony”; 1000 copies printed

Kafka, Franz. Ein Hungerkunstler. Die Schmiede,, Berlin: (1924). “The Hunger Artist : Four Stories”; Includes: Erstes Leid, Eine kleine Frau, Ein Hungerkunstler, Josefine, die Sangerin, oder das Volk der Mause. Einbandentwurf Georg Salter.

Kafka, Franz. Der Prozess. Verlag Die Schmiede, Berlin (1925). “The Trial”

Kafka, Franz. Das Schloss. Kurt Wolff, Munich (1926). “The Castle”

Kafka, Franz. Amerika. Kurt Wolff Verlag, Munich (1927).

Kafka, Franz. The Castle. Martin Secker, London. (1930). Translated by Willa and Edwin Muir; Intro by Edwin Muir; First UK edition

Kafka, Franz. The Castle. Alfred A. Knopf, New York (1930). Translated by Willa and Edwin Muir; First US edition

Kafka, Franz. Beim Bau Der Chinesischen Mauer. Gustav Kiepenheuer, Berlin (1931). “When building the Great Wall: Unpublished Stories and prose from the estate”; Edited by Max Brod and Hans Joachim Schoeps

Kafka, Franz. The Great Wall of China. Martin Secker, London. (1933). Translated by Willa and Edwin Muir; Introduction by Edwin Muir First UK edition; 4 long stories, 15 short, 2 sets of aphorisms.

Kafka, Franz. Vor dem Gesetz. Schocken, Berlin (1934). “Before the Law”

Kafka, Franz. Amerika.. Schocken Verlag, Berlin (1935). Edited by Max Brod; Second in the series

Kafka, Franz. Der Prozess. Schocken, Berlin (1935). “The Trial”; Edited by Max Brod; Vol 3 in 'Collected Works'

Kafka, Franz. Zamek. Manes, Prague (1935). “The Castle”; Translated from German to Czech by Pavel Eisner; epilogue Max Brod

Kafka, Franz. Cinquieme Cahier Avril 1937. G.L.M., Paris (1937). Fifth Notebook April 1937; illustrations by Kurt Seligmann; Contributions by Rene Crevel, Pablo Neruda, Franz Kafka and others

Kafka, Franz. Sixieme Cahier Novembre 1937. G.L.M., Paris (1937). Sixth Notebook Novermber 1937; Contributions by Franz Kafka, Rene Char, Paul Eluard, Prevert, Jacques and others

Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. Parton Press, London (1937). Translated by A L Lloyd; First English edition; less than 400 published

Kafka, Franz. The Trial. Alfred A. Knopf, New York (1937). First US Edition

Kafka, Franz. The Trial. Gollancz, London (1937). Translated by Willa and Edwin MUIR. With an Epilogue by Max Brod; First UK Edition; approx 1000 copies

Kafka, Franz. America. George Routledge and Sons, Ltd, London (1938). First English edition, UK edition; Translated by Edwin and Willa Muir

Kafka, Franz. Amerika. New Directions, Norfolk CT (1940). Translated by Edwin Miur; preface by Klaus Mann; Afterword by Max Brod; 16 full-page illustrations by Emlen Etting; First US Edition

Kafka, Franz. Paraboles. Marc Barbezat, Lyon (1945). Translation by Jean Carrive; Limited edition of 350 numbered copies

Kafka, Franz. Description Dun Combat. Maeght, Paris (1946). Illustrations by Atlan, translation by Clara Malrauz and Rainer Dorland; preface by Bernard Groethuysen; Limited edition of 350 numbered copies

Kafka, Franz. Metamorphosis. Vanguard Press, New York (1946). Illustrated by Leslie Sherman; Translation by A.L. Lloyd; First US Edition

Kafka, Franz. L'invite des morts. Marcel, Paris (1948). The guest of the Dead / In our synagogue / The Sword / new lamps. Translations by Marthe Robert; illustrated by Wols; 270 numbered copies

Kafka, Franz. La Muraille de Chine. Gallimard, Paris (1950). “The Great Wall of China” and other stories; Translated by Alexandre Vialatte and J. Carrive; 165 numbered copies

Kafka, Franz. Letters to Milena. Secker and Warburg, London (1953). Edited by Willi Haas; Translated by Tania and James Stern; First English Edition

Kafka, Franz. Wedding Preparations in the Country. Secker and Warburg, London (1954). “And other Posthumous Prose Writings”; Translated by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins; Notes by Max Brod; First edition in English; Includes: Letter to my Father.. Reflections on Sin, Suffering, Hope, and The True Way, The Eight Octavo Note-books, Fragments from Note-books and Loose Pages, and Paralipomena.

Kafka, Franz. Lettres a Milena. Gallimard, Paris (1956). “Letters to Milena”; Translated by Alexandre Vialatte; 500 numbered copies

Kafka, Franz. Et kejserligt budskab. Gyldendal (1960). “An imperial message and nine other prose pieces”; Translated by Villy Sørensen; illustrated by Lars Bo; 200 numbered copies signed by artist; Danish Text

Kafka, Franz. Oeuvres completes. Cercle du livre precieux, Paris (1960). “Complete Works”; Edited by Claude Tchou; Translated by Marthe Robert and Alexandre Vialatte; Illustrations by L. Mitelberg; 6000 copies printed; 8 volumes

Kafka, Franz. A Country Doctor. Janus Press, Philadelphia (1962). Translated by Willa And Edwin Muir; Illustrated by Claire van Vilet; Dual English/German text; 250 numbered copies signed by artist

van Vilet, Claire. A Country Doctor Portfolio. Janus Press, Philadelphia (1962). Ruth Fine Lehrer; Artist portfolio edition of 20 copies; 14 etchings numbered and signed by artist

Kafka, Franz. Le Proces. Les Bibliophiles du Palais, Paris. (1967). “The Trial”; lithographs by Edouard Georg; 200 copies on Velin paper

Kafka, Franz. Conversation with the Supplicant. The Janus Press, Vermont (1971). Translated by Willa And Edwin Muir; illustrated with 8 litographs by Claire Van Vilet; 100 copies printed, I-X with extra set of lithographs; Text from “The Penal Colony”

Kafka, Franz. Der Kubelreiter/The Bucket Rider. Janus Press, Vermont (1972). Relief etchings by Jerome Kaplan; German followed by English Translation; 100 numbered copies signed by artist

Kafka, Franz. The Trial. The Limited Editions Club, Connecticut (1975). Translated by Willa and Edwin Muir; Introduction by Erich Heller; Illustrated with 24 colour illustrations, 10 full page, by Alan E. Cober; 2000 numbered copies signed by artist

Kafka, Franz :. In der Strafkolonie. Hilger, Wien, (1982). “The Penal Colony”; Edited by E. Hilger, illustrated by Hans Fronius; Special editions with signed and numbered etchings

Kafka, Franz. Metamorphoses.. Limited Editions Club, New York (1984). Translated by Willa and Edwin Muir; introduction by Robert Coles; Illustrated with color etchings and pen-ink drawings by Jose Luis Cuevas; Limited Edition of 1500 numbered copies signed by artist

Kafka, Franz. In the Penal Colony. The Limited Editions Club, New York (1987). Translated by Willa and Edwin Muir; Illustrated with lithographs by Michael Haffka III; 800 numbered copies signed by artist

Kafka, Franz. Betrachtung. Dazu drei Eintragungen aus den Tagebuchern.. Raamin Presse, Hamburg (1990). “Consideration: 3 entries from a diary”; Illustrated with 5 full page etchings by Roswitha Quadflieg; 185 numbered copies signed by artist

Kafka, Franz. Parables and Pieces. Vincent Fitz Gerald and Company, New York (1990). Translated by Michael Feingold; Illustrated with photogravures by Judith Turner; Limited edition of 50 numbered copies signed by Turner and Feingold

Kafka, Franz. Tagebucher. Fischer, Frankfurt (1990). Diaries; edited by Hans-Gerd Koch, Michael Muller and Malcolm Pasley.; 3 volumes