26 August 2009

Franz Kafka's The Castle

The Castle was Kafka's last novel, and like most of his others (except The Trial) it was never completed. Indeed, it ends abruptly, breaking off half way through a sentence. But it towers as an unfinished masterpiece over the rest of his work. Anthea Ball, the translator of this new edition from OUP, makes the case that The Castle is unlike The Trial because it is set in the countryside and it is mainly concerned with a village community. Others are likely to note that it has a very similar protagonist, with the same initial name (K) who seeks acceptance into the village and is condemned to failure in his attempts to gain admission to the Castle. This building dominates the entire locality and houses swarms of unseen officials and various bureaucrats representing authority in the absence of its real owner, who never appears...Read more >>

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