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The Great Wall of China and Other Stories (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
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The Great Wall of China and Other Stories (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  467 ratings  ·  26 reviews
This volume contains the major short works left by Kafka, including Blumfeld, an Elderly Bachelor, The Great Wall of China and Investigations of a Dog, together with The Collected Aphorisms and He: Aphorisms from the 1920 Diary.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 1st 1991 by Penguin UK (first published 1931)
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"Alas," said the mouse, "the world is growing smaller every day. At first it was so big that I was afraid, I ran on and I was glad when at last I saw walls to left and right of me in the distance, but these long walls are closing in on each other so fast that I have already reached the end room, and there in the corner stands the trap that I am heading for."
"You only have to change direction," said the cat, and ate it up.
Kate Savage
"You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait. Do not even wait, be quite still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet." -Reflections on Sin, Pain, Hope, and the True Way

I am completely charmed by Kafka's short stories and aphorisms. "The Great Wall of China" is the fictional equivalent of the anthropology of James C. Scott and David Graeber, abo
Various short stories (generally not as good as in Metamorphosis) and a short play. Several have legal/bureaucratic themes and others continue his habit of first-person musings, imagining himself as another creature (Report of a Dog and The Burrow). The Burrow is a very touching insight into the concept of home as a castle, fear of intrusion and persecution etc - very easy to add a Jewish spin to the interpretation.

See my Kafka-related bookshelf for other works by and about Kafka (
Marco Cupo
Llegué a este libro gracias a Harold Bloom en su libro Genios, si bien ya lo conocía, su mención en la obra de Bloom terminó por poner al libro como una prioridad. Como ocurre suele ocurrir con las grandes obras, la edición de Losada es precedida por el prólogo de quien fuese devoto admirador e imitador en algún punto del gran maestro Kafka: Jorge Luis Borges, como si fuera poco, además Borges se encargó de traducir los siguientes cuentos: La edificación de la muralla china, Un artista del Hambr ...more
Jackson Cyril
This made no sense at the beginning, maybe Kafka has some deep meaning entrenched but it comes off as just a historical study of the building of the Great Wall. The second part of the piece was first class in its analysis of how common peasants, though called upon by the government to do much of the dirty work for them, are never involved in the process of government and treated with disdain from those hailing from the capital.
جلجامش الأبدي
"إن الطبيعة الإنسانية، المتغيره جوهرياً وغير المستـقرة كالغبار تماما،ً لا يمكنها أن تحتمل الكبح ، فإن ألزمت نفسها فإنها سرعان ما تبدأ في تمزيق وثاقها بجنون بل وتمزق كل شئ إرباً، السور والوثاق وحتى ذاتها."
"Those, and I am one of them, who find even a little ordinary-sized mole disgusting, would probably have died of disgust if they had seen the giant mole that was observed a few years ago, not far from a small village which gained a certain passing notoriety on that account."

Thus begins 'The Village Schoolmaster', an unfinished story by Franz Kafka, from the collection 'The Great Wall of China'. It stands out as one of Kafka's funniest stories, an hilarious exercise in futility which characterist
Oct 14, 2012 Bridget added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bridget by: humanities teacher
here are the names of the different stories in this book
1. The Judgment
2. The Metamorphosis
3. In the Penal Colony
4. The Great Wall of China
5. A Country Doctor
6. A Common Confusion
7. The New Advocate
8. An Old Manuscript
9. A Fracticide
10. A Report to an Academy
11. The Hunter Gracchus
12. A Hunger Artis
13. Investigations of a Dog
14. The Burrow
15. Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse Folk

out of all 15 stories I favored numbers 1, 3, 5, & 11. The other stories seemed too long and just kept rambling
Nicholas Whyte

A short set of very short stories, any one of which you would probably identify without much difficulty as by Kafka, with his trademark misanthropy and paranoia. The title piece is ostensibly about China but I suspect much more about the pointlessness of late Habsburg bureaucracy in the name of national defence. One or two of the others seemed to be dreams/nightmares written down, often a tricky endeavour but one which Kafka executes well.
La muraille de Chine et autres recits est une compilation d'histoires courtes

La description d'un combat, une des premières histoires courtes de KAFKA ne vaut pas vraiment la peine d'être lue.

Les autres histoires courtes allient fantastique, absurde, existentialisme avec succès.
I have a love-hate relationship with Kafka. Sometimes he bores me to death with a story that doesn't seem to go anywhere, or simply narrated coldly.
In this collection of short stories, he amazed and shocked me with his power of narration. In "A Report to the Academy", he voiced an ape whose only way to achieve freedom was by imitating men.
He wrote, as usual, in a dark, grim and absurd tone. The style I found in some of my current favourite authors.
Judy Vasseur
The drawing on this book was done by Kafka himself! What a great drawing! So full of angst!

I may never really finish this book, it's like trying to get to the Castle. My favorite Kafka stories are when he writes from a small animal’s perspective: the burrowing creature, the dog, the cockroach.

Flannery O’Connor said she could never finish Kafka either so I'm in good company.
Judging by the couple of incomplete stories and notes about "no author's title" "from the diary of the author" "unlike several others in this volume, the author probably considered publishing this story" make me think it's aimed at people more familiar with Kafka. Enjoyable, but I'd probably have been better off getting a hold of The Trial first.
Comes through as a piece before its times, when there is rapid speculation about China and its strong sense of identity. Such lucid profundity in a few pages, with an exact idea of one's place in the order of things. Leaves much to the known beyond one's grasp, but captures one's limitations with fluid ease.
Very interesting and absorbing, but not as crazy and disturbing as I had anticipated. Or perhaps I am just more insane than Kafka was. In any case, there are some brilliant insights and engrossing short stories in this volume. In particular 'The Bridge' and 'The Vulture' are good.
Rida Hariri
ثالث كتاب أقرأه لكافكا,,لم أحبه كثيرًا فيه الكثير من الهلوسات والكلام الملخبط,,نصوص كثيرة لم أرغب بأن أكملها بسبب الضياع الموجود فيها ولكن البعض الآخر كان رائعًا ويجسد أسلوب كافكا القصصي الذي أعتدت عليه..
احمد فضيل
فيها قصص مفهومة وقصص ملهاش اى معنى
مش عارف عيب ترجمة ولا النص الاصلى محتاج اقراها مرة تانيه قبل التقييم النهائى
The Great Wall of China had a very Borges feel to it, other stores were entertaining or just damn funny.
Kafka: over-hyped.

He's got nothing to say, but an overwhelming urge to say it.
Jorge Artware
I consider this short story, possibly the very best reading I've done in years.
if he wanted all his texts burnt; so there should be a reason.
دیوار بزرگ چین و پزشک دهکده نیز به فارسی برگردانده شده است.
Oct 19, 2007 Sean rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in 'hard literature'
good shit, compilation of his main works and some good background info on the writer and personality of Kafka, liking it thus far....
Jun 14, 2007 Däv rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Fucking hilarious!
Jj Cross
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Dec 18, 2014
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Lisa D marked it as to-read
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Franz Kafka (German pronunciation: [ˈfʀants ˈkafka]) was one of the major fiction writers of the 20th century. He was born to a middle-class German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, Bohemia (presently the Czech Republic), Austria–Hungary. His unique body of writing—much of which is incomplete and which was mainly published posthumously—is considered to be among the most influential in Western lite ...more
More about Franz Kafka...
The Metamorphosis The Trial The Metamorphosis and Other Stories The Castle The Complete Stories

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“All knowledge, the totality of all questions and answers, is contained in the dog.” 36 likes
“Llegué hasta alimentar el deseo infantil de no retornar a la obra nunca más, sino instalarme aquí en la proximidad de la entrada y pasar mi vida en la contemplación de ella, no perderla de vista y hallar mi felicidad en la comprobación de la firmeza con que la obra me habría protegido de estar yo en ella.” 1 likes
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