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The Castle

The Castle by Franz Kafka
Nov 03, 1992 | 416 Pages
See All Formats (3) +
  • Paperback $11.96

    Mar 28, 1995 | 528 Pages

  • Paperback $15.95

    Dec 15, 1998 | 352 Pages

  • Hardcover $21.00

    Nov 03, 1992 | 416 Pages

  • Ebook $8.99

    Dec 05, 2012 | 352 Pages

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“Of all Kafka’s fiction this is the most personal. K. is not of course a mouthpiece for Kafka–he lacks Kafka’s grave intelligence and humor–but his inner conflict between a taste for ordinary life and the demands imposed by his quest were in good part shared by Kafka . . . The Castle projects a greater strength of will than we have encountered in Kafka’s earlier writings–an effort to overcome the muteness of existence.” –from the Introduction by Irving Howe

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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