The Castle

The Castle

Book - 1992
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(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

Arriving in a village to take up the position of land surveyor for the mysterious lord of a castle, the character known as K. finds himself in a bitter and baffling struggle to contact his new employer and go about his duties. As the villagers and the Castle officials block his efforts at every turn, K.'s consuming quest-quite possibly a self-imposed one-to penetrate the inaccessible heart of the Castle and take its measure is repeatedly frustrated. Kafka once suggested that the would-be surveyor in The Castle is driven by a wish "to get clear about ultimate things," an unrealizable desire that provided the driving force behind all of Kafka's dazzlingly uncanny fictions.

Translated by Willa and Edwin Muir
Publisher: New York : Knopf, 1992
ISBN: 9780679417354
0679417354
Characteristics: xxxviii, 378 p. ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Muir, Willa 1890-1970
Muir, Edwin 1887-1959

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Read and recommended by Charlie.


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1
1aa
Dec 28, 2017

A narrative epitome of neuroticism; every character remains sane, and behaves sanely, and even explains what they to in a sane way, and assumes their village is completely normal and sane - but its all totally insane! Utterly serpentine sentences and reckoning and bureaucratic systems. All the action occurs in only eight days: the main character in that time gets another job, and finds a fiance, and get left by his fiance, seems to make headway towards his original purpose, but then seems further away than ever. Maddening!

a
AaronAardvark1940
Sep 27, 2017

My first exposure to Kafka was in a second year German class in college, more than 50 years ago. To say that I had trouble with Die Verwandlung would be a gross understatement. I finally ran to the school library for an English version, only to find that I had read it correctly. Kafka's attention to detail is phenomenal, and the writing is almost stream of consciousness. Each character's viewpoint is spelled out.
He is sort of an acquired taste. Newcomers to Kafka might start with The Hunger Artist (Hungerkunstler) or The Metamorphosis, mentioned above, before jumping into The Castle.

m
Mystified13
Aug 24, 2016

In this dream-like writing, the protagonist is on what seems to be a simple task-- to find his purpose-- which is not easy to discover. In time, his mission becomes shrouded by mystery.

t
trcookIIImddmd
Jun 02, 2016

Only someone trying to convince others that they are literate and intellectual would praise this work which is so unmitigatedly boring that I had to make myself finish it. It is just absolute bilge. Do not waste your time unless your life is so sterile that you must mention to others: "I read Kafka."

n
ncburnett
Mar 13, 2014

Brilliantly written book, even if the style is a bit weird (extremely long sentences and paragraphs that last a dozen pages). It's very disappointing to get to the end though and remember that Kafka died before he finished it. Indeed, the text stops in the middle of a sentence. Though that fits in with the theme of the book in some ways. K in the book, and us in our lives and us reading this book sometimes never find out what's really going on.

angela_ma Apr 30, 2012

Bizarre and beautiful book, unfortunate ending.

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White_Cat_283 May 02, 2012

White_Cat_283 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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