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The Castle by Franz Kafka
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The Castle

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The Castle by Franz Kafka
Paperback $17.00
Dec 15, 1998 | ISBN 9780805211061

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  • $17.00

    Dec 15, 1998 | ISBN 9780805211061

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  • $28.00

    Nov 03, 1992 | ISBN 9780679417354

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  • Dec 05, 2012 | ISBN 9780307829481

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“[Harman’s translation is] semantically accurate to an admirable degree, faithful to Kafka’s nuances, and responsive to the tempo of his sentences and to the larger music of his paragraph construction. For the general reader or for the student, it will be the translation of preference for some time to come.”
—J. M. Coetzee, The New York Review of Books
 “The limits of Kafka’s messianic vision correspond to the great skepticism with which he regarded the possibility of transcending the human predicament . . . At precisely the point when K. draws closest to his own salvation and to the salvation that he could offer the rest of the world, he is also farthest away from it. At precisely the moment when his spirit is called, K. is asleep.”
—W. G. Sebald

“The new Schocken edition of The Castle represents a major and long-awaited event in English-language publishing. It is a wonderful piece of news for all Kafka readers who, for more than half a century, have had to rely on flawed, superannuated editions. Mark Harman is to be commended for his success in capturing the fresh, fluid, almost breathless style of Kafka’s original manuscript, which leaves the reader hanging in mid-sentence.”
—Mark M. Anderson

“The Castle, published here for the first time in 1930, was the first Kafka to arrive in America. After the war, Hannah Arendt remarked that The Castle might finally be comprehensible to the generation of the forties, who had had the occasion to watch their world become Kafkaesque. What will the generation of the nineties make of The Castle, now that its full message has arrived? Here is the masterpiece behind the masterpiece.”
—Elisabeth Young-Bruehl

“Sparkles with comedy, with zest, and with a fresh visual power, which in the Muir translation were indistinct or lost. This is not just a new, brilliantly insightful, sensitive, and stylish translation, it is a new Castle, and it is a pleasure to read.”
—Christopher Middleton

“This is the closest to Kafka’s original novel and intention that any translation could get, and what is more, it is eminently readable. With this exceptional translation, the time for a new Kafka in English has finally come.”
—Egon Schwarz

Author Essay

The central figure of The Castle – we know him only as KJ. – is a land surveyor who never gets a chance to do any surveying. His job is to measure and estimate, which in the Kafkan economy suggests that he should be taken as a seeker, a man embarked on a quest for meaning. he comes to the castle, that clouded locus of authority, not to ‘lead an honored and comfortable life’, but in order to gain acceptance by the higher, perhaps celestial powers and thereby to discover ‘the reason of things’. In a revealing passage that Kafka deleted, perhaps because it is too revealing, K. says: ‘I have a difficult task ahead of me and have dedicated my whole life to it… Because it is all I have – that task, I mean – I ruthlessly suppress everything that might disturb me in carrying it out…’

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