2. I'd kind of like to see what the Japanese of Kafka reads like. The translation is slightly clunkier than Bird or Sheep, ie I can guess what a lot of the original Japanese was, but Kafka's voices are quite different from the other two narrators. OTOH I know from comparing texts that Birnbaum slicked up Bird's narrator, in ways that may be legitimate or may not. I don't think that's true of Kafka, but I wonder if it too sounds flatter in Japanese.
3. The Japanese translations of Kafka must surely be quantitatively different from the English translations, because the Japanese associations with the name are *really* different from ours. Cf also Kaori Yuki. (No grand guignol in Kafka's works that I can tell; even In the Penal Colony reads rather bloodless to me.) Is this a case of Great God Pan syndrome?
(To refresh your memories-- various Japanese have written what an utterly shudderous feeling they got from that Machen story. I read it. Essence of 'meh.' Was informed that yes, it's all in the translation.)