[ModLib] Kafka The Trial variation?

Gordon Barrick Neavill neavill at wayne.edu
Sat Aug 25 19:25:15 EDT 2012

Modern Library printings of The Trial exist with four different title pages, each with a different torchbearer. 

(1) The first printing title page (spring 1961) is set in roman and italic type and has the classic torchbearer facing left with the flare of the torch trailing over its head. 
(2) The second title page is completely reset with a rule below the title and the author statement and "The Modern Library" in script type. The right-facing torchbearer is holding the torch in front of him; the flare extends upward from the torch rather than trailing behind it. The earliest copy I've seen has a spring 1965 Giants list at the end of the volume. I've seen copies with fall 1964 jackets with a $2.45 list price, but my guess is that the printed list at the end is the best way of dating this. Both 1 and 2 were printed from Knopf letterpress plates.
(3) The third and fourth title pages have George Salter's courtroom drawing from the 1957 Knopf edition. The third title page has a torchbearer facing right with both arms extended; the arm holding the torch is extended to the front and the other to the rear. Printings with the third and fourth title pages were printed by offset lithography with the text photographically reduced from the Knopf edition (and the first two ML's), and the half title is in open-face type. In these printings the 2-page list of Giants is replaced by a 1-page biographical note about Kafka, with the verso blank. Copies that I've seen with the third title page have the Kent endpapers in tan. I date this as 1967.
(4) The fourth title page is identical to the third except for the subtitution of the Fujita torchbearer. The book is in the taller format (7-1/2 in. instead of the 7-1/4 inch format of 1-3). It has Fujita endpapers in yellow-green, a black binding, and a red jacket. My copy is price clipped. I date this as 1969/70.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Scot Kamins" <kamins at ModernLib.com>
To: "For collectors of Modern Library books" <modlib at thuban.owu.edu>
Sent: Saturday, August 25, 2012 2:24:57 PM
Subject: [ModLib] Kafka The Trial variation?

Happy Saturday, Folks.

John Wolansky points out that later printings of Kafka's The Trial have a one-page biography at the end of the book plus a drawing of a courtroom scene on the title page. I also note that my binding 14 copy with the red jacket has "Copyright renewed 1964" added to the copyright page. I have no other copies besides my First Edition and my post-1969 copies.

Please check your dates: When did the bio and the drawing first appear -- was it 1965, as I suspect?

Scot Kamins
It's all sandcastles ... 

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Gordon B. Neavill
Associate Professor
School of Library and Information Science
Wayne State University
106 Kresge Library
Detroit, MI 48202
313-577-0507; 313-577-7563 (fax)

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