Franz Kafka

The Castle

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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.
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  • Викаhar citeretfor 2 år siden
    K. excused himself by referring to his weariness of the previous evening; it was quite possible, he admitted, that he had said something foolish yesterday, at any rate he couldn’t remember now. Whatever could he have had to say about madam’s clothes? That they were the finest he had ever seen? Certainly, he had never seen a landlady on duty dressed like that before. ‘That’s enough of your comments,’ the landlady interrupted. ‘I don’t want to hear another word from you about my clothes. My clothes are no concern of yours. I forbid you to mention them once and for all

    Про одежду. И лезть не в своё дело с оценками.

  • Викаhar citeretfor 2 år siden
    as if we’d been too childish, too naïve, demanding something that could have been achieved easily and without attracting attention if we’d gone about it in Frieda’s calm and matter-of-fact way, instead of crying, scratching and tugging at it like a child pulling at a tablecloth who just drags the whole wonderful spread onto the floor and puts it out of its reach for ever.

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  • Викаhar citeretfor 2 år siden
    Have you ever noticed the look in her eye? It was nothing like the look a barmaid gives you, it was more like the look of a landlady. She saw everything, but at the same time she saw every single person, and the look she reserved for each of them was enough to keep them in order. What did it matter that she was rather thin, that she was getting on a bit, that she could have had more hair, these things are trivial compared with what she actually had, and anyone who is worried by these defects is simply showing he has no feeling for better things

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