Parables and Paradoxes

Parables and Paradoxes (Parabeln und Paradoxe) is a bilingual edition of selected writings by Franz Kafka edited by Nahum N. Glatzer (Schocken Books, 1961). In this volume of collected pieces, Kafka re-examines and rewrites some basic mythical tales of Ancient Israel, Hellas, the Far East, and the West, as well as creations of his own imagination.

The material in the book is drawn from Kafka's notebooks, diaries, letters, short fictional works and the novel The Trial. An earlier version of the collection appeared under the title Parables, and included a smaller selection of works.

Parables and Paradoxes
Kafka parables
First edition
Author Franz Kafka
Original title 'Parabeln und Paradoxe'
Translator Clement Greenberg, Ernst Kaiser & Eithne Wilkins, Willa & Edwin Muir, Tania & James Stern
Cover artist Paul Bacon (photo by Jan Lukas)
Country United States
Language English, German
Genre Parables, Fables, Paradoxes
Publisher Schocken Books
Publication date
Media type Print (hardback & paperback)
Pages 190
ISBN 0-8052-0422-9
OCLC 10988104


  • An Imperial Message
  • Pekin and the Emperor
  • The News of the Building of the Wall: a Fragment
  • The Great wall and the Tower of Babel
  • Paradise
  • The Tower of Babel
  • The Pit of Babel
  • The City Coat of Arms
  • Abraham
  • Mount Sinai
  • The Building of the Temple
  • The Animal in the Synagogue
  • Before the Law
  • The Watchman
  • The Coming of the Messiah


Parables and Paradoxes brings together short texts from the wide variety of Kafka's works. Since different texts were handled by different translators this volume allows readers to compare the various ways Kafka's works have been rendered into English. The translators included are:

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