Books
Franz Kafka

The Castle

Kafka's final novel was written during 1922, when the tuberculosis that was to kill him was already at an advanced stage. Fragmentary and unfinished, it perhaps never could have been finished; perhaps the tensions between K., the Castle and the village, K.'s struggle for acceptance or recognition by the mysterious Castle authorities or by the people of the village, never will and never can be resolved.

Like much of Kafka's work, The Castle is enigmatic and polyvalent. Is it an allegory of the sprawling Austro-Hungarian Empire as it disintegrates into modern nation states, or a quasi-feudal system giving way to a new freedom for the subject? Is it the search by a central European Jew for acceptance and integration into a dominant culture? Is it a spiritual quest for grace or salvation, or an individual's struggle between his sense of independence and his need for approval? Is K. is an opportunist, a victim, or an outsider battling against an elusive authority? Is the Castle a benign source of authority or a whimsical system of control?

Like K., the reader is presented with conflicting perspectives that rehearse the existential dilemmas and uncertainties of literary modernity.
420 printed pages

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Quotes

    Maureen -has quoted7 months ago
    until after 1989
    Eugene Matveyevhas quoted5 years ago
    ‘We wouldn’t like that at all.’ ‘Why should you?’ said K. ‘Of course you won’t like it, but that’s how it’s going to be.’
    Mike Markedhas quoted5 years ago
    could we leave whatever you have to say until after I have been to see the mayor?

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