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A Country Doctor

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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  1,696 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Written during the winter of 1916-17 when Kafka was living in one of the tiny houses on Golden Lane (formerly Alchimistengasse) at Prague Castle, and published in spring 1920 by Kurt Wolff Verlag, the 14 short fictions comprising this volume are interconnected by a persistent exploration of identity, where even animals anthropomorphize into a new identity. "Before the Law, ...more
Hardcover, Kafka's Short Prose, 92 pages
Published October 1st 1997 by Twisted Spoon Press (first published 1918)
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The Metamorphosis by Franz KafkaThe Trial by Franz KafkaIn the Penal Colony by Franz KafkaThe Complete Stories by Franz KafkaLetter to His Father by Franz Kafka
The best of Franz Kafka
10th out of 17 books — 37 voters
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis CarrollThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsFear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. ThompsonHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiCoraline by Neil Gaiman
Trippy Books
142nd out of 436 books — 606 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,667)
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Bruce
How can such a brief and spare story contain such depths of meaning? Each time I read it new insights emerge. The story is simple. A country doctor is called out at night in the midst of a snowstorm to attend a young man ten miles away. The doctor’s horse has just died, and he has no substitute. Inexplicably, two robust horses appear although with a groom who sends the doctor off into the night while remaining with the doctor’s housekeeper Rose, clearly intent on raping her. The doctor immediate ...more
Sidharth Vardhan
May be I had developed a habit of looking for an allegory or something in ever work Kafka say but this is more of a mixed bag by his standards. I will comment only on a few stories – that I had to read at least twice.

Country Doctor

A short story showing snow ball effect after an initial not-so-important-looking choice. Like a snowball, Country doctor is struck down the wrong path and he knows it, there are elements (horses!) that keep reminding him that he must return, he wishes to and can, yet h
...more
Wael
The dreamlike setting of this short story left me bewildered and with a lot of questions. until I decided I better read an analysis of this story. It is then I understood what Kafka was trying to communicate. I was amazed to say the least!
as if Kafka transformed his thoughts and sat there in the middle of a dark nightmare writing as he watched the events in the story unfold before his eyes.

below is the link to the analysis I've read

the other link is an award winning Japanese animation of this s
...more
Prashant
Sometimes things just stop making sense. You make decisions that you have made before and still it just turns out to be all different.

It's confusing enough to make your life make sense when you do the same thing day in and day out. It gets worse with new equations and new variables added in the old results.

The story of a country doctor tells us just that. A false alarm by a patient and the doctor is left confused with the path he decided to tread his whole life.

The story leaves us wondering a
...more
Cecily
The Country Doctor is the title of one of the stories published in a collection of the same name. They are also included in some versions of The Metamorphosis.

The New Advocate

A short, surreal animal story: a war horse gives up war to become a lawyer!

A Country Doctor

A disturbing story, with nightmarish unreality (magical realism, even?), coupled with sinister snow (as in The Castle) and a suffering child.

The doctor has to get to the child, but the snow is heavy and he is without a horse. Yet som
...more
John
I read this fucker in German. Real Deutsch! It took almost 3 months.
Karim Mohamed
قصة جيدة ، أكثر نضجاً من قصص أخرى لكافكا مشتتة و غير مفهومة ، على الأقل فهمت هذه القصة و هو بالنسبة لي إنجاز عظيم أن أفهم قصة لكافكا من أول مرة !!

طبيب القرية يحاول أن إنقاذ شاب مريض ، و في النهاية يكتشف الطبيب أنه أكثر مرضاً

tumblr mbrjs0v Isp1ruwmo7o1 500

country doctor 8
...more
Nazish
I can totally bet this was actually one of Kafka's dreams, so delusional and enigmatic as it was. There are countless times when I force myself to deliver such wispy dreams (which make less sense to me in daylight than in the middle of a night) on paper but my simpleton mind can not make a head or tail of such writings and consider them deplorable.
That is why Kafka who manages to bring a rhapsodic dream into an alive and breathing short story is such an endearing writer to me.
Joe
Feb 01, 2010 Joe rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Short story readers
Shelves: classic, short-story
I wasn't quite ready for this story, nor was I ready for it to have ended as quickly as it did. A hauntingly vivid tale that stays with you far longer than you expect it to. One crisis leads to annother. An innocent life is put in peril for cost of a false alarm.

Symbolism abounds in this piece.

Amazing how a short story can really get under your skin and make you examine the choices people make and the ramifications of those decisions.
Momina Masood
This encapsulates all that is Kafka! The confused, lost 'existential hero' in despair torn apart by the absurd, bizarre Kafkaesque reality - his reality.
Samuel Mustri


'The Country Doctor' is one of Kafka's most enigmatic, because it is one of his most symbolic, and his symbols defy easy explanation.Suddenly, however, it transforms itself into nightmare.

There are narratives under another under another… so that the story is layered just as an onion is.The only difference is that with an onion you have the certainty that it has an exhaustible number of layers, not so with “A Country Doctor."

This onion-like structure in the story has many effects, of which I
...more
Sandra
I didn't read everything that's in this book, but I guess we had to read about 50-60% for German Lit. class so I'm adding this. We read some of the more famous stories like "Die Verwandlung", "Das Urteil" and "Vor Dem Gesetz" (which can also be read in "Der Prozeß") but also quite a few of the other stories ("Brief Für Eine Akademie", "Der Hungerkünstler" etc.). So a fair collection. The book itself really is that - a good collection of various things Kafka published while he was still alive and ...more
Syahira Sharif
Another Kafka story which equally baffled me and even more sinister if you found that Noh-influenced Japanese short anime film. Its a story about a doctor and the snow stormy night when he was called out to meet a patient but weird things started happening to him which is hard to explain what happened exactly.

Personally this is more in line towards the Absurdist element than Melville's Bartleby does since this novel is like a ride with Fringe's Dr Walter Bishop on LSD. Unfortunately this story s
...more
☔Diane S.
Was cleaning out a book case in one of my smaller bedrooms and of course I ended up examining books I had not looked at for many years. Remember reading this eons ago and since it had been many years since I has read Kafka, I ended up reading some of the stories.

As strange and brilliant as it was the first time I read it. A country doctor, feeling used, no control over his own life, has a very outwardly experience when he is called to the home of a patient. Only at the very end does he attempt t
...more
Mohammad Ali
بیش از همه نظرم به داستان "پیام امپراتوری" جلب شد. اما در مرتبه ی بعد داستان های "در ردیف آخر"، پزشک دهکده"، "نوشته ای قدیمی"، جلو قانون"، "شغال ها و عرب ها"، "بازدیدی از معدن"، و "گزارشی برای یک آکادمی" - در این میان برخی به دلیل سبک روایت آشفته یا خاصی که دارند به دل می نشینند. اما چنانکه می توان انتظار داشت داستان های زیادی در این مجموعه تنیده با ابهام و عدم تعین هستند مثل "وکیل مدافع جدید"، "پزشک دهکده"، "در ردیف آخر"، نگرانی پدر خانواده" و "خواب". شاید پیوست کردن چند تحلیل از این داستان ها ...more
Daniel
A small collection of short stories by Kafka. They are all quick reads, as none of them go beyond ten pages, with the exception of the last one. Of course, "quick read" is a bit misleading with Kafka, whose writing always deserves more careful consideration. I will have to return to a few of these stories to make sense of them.

The most amusing story for me was "A Report for an Academy," which was a letter written by an ape who had successfully assimilated to life among humans.
Soham Chakraborty
When I went into Golden Lane of the enormous Prague Castle in mid afternoon, I had no clue that Kafka lived there on house number 22. All the rooms, separated by thin - as thin as the width of a hair - walls, constituted a living space, where ostensibly, less fortunate people lived. Kafka, exhausted of his rancorous apartment, took refuge in house no 22, where he used to come after his day job as the doctor of law in the Workers' Accident and Insurance Institute for the Kingdom of Bohemia, to sp ...more
Elnaz
مجموعه چند داستان کوچک ناپیوسته اما معمولا با یک درون مایه مشترک
به گفته آقای فرامرز بهزاد، کافکا زمانی این داستانهای کوتاه را خلق کرده که در اوج خلاقیت بوده
و باز به گفته آقای بهزاد چندان در بند تفسیر داستانها نباشید و اگر پی به مفهومی از داستان نبردید، ناامید نباشید حتی مفسران چیره دست هم نتوانستند مفهوم اصلی برخی داستانها را کشف کنند
Deborah
So I have been tasked with reading several of Kafka's works recently and when I got to this one I actually stopped and researched how to process his writing. I felt that I wasn't entirely grasping what was going on with the immense amount of symbolism. After finding out the Kafka had a preoccupation with Freudian theory things began to make sense. I began to see the different aspects of the psyche being portrayed in the characters; the Id as the groom, the Ego as the patient, and the Superego as ...more
suri amini
اولین بار وقتی داستان "پزشک دهکده" را می خوانیم از نحوه ارائه آن گیج می شویم.عمل داستانی سربسته و مبهم است.رفتار آدم های داستان به نظر عجیب می آیدو حوادث داستان کاملا متفاوت با اغلب داستان هایی است که خوانده ایم. دکتر ، شخصیت اصلی داستان ، بعدازآنکه به چشم خریداری به کلفتش نگاه می کند، دستخوش هیجان های غریبی می شود و به دنبال آن حوادث اتفاق می افتدودکتر در خوکدانی رابا لگد باز می کند و مهترآزاد می شودو به دختر تجاوز می کنددر واقع با سر رشته ای که کافکا به دست داده ، مهترمی تواند نماد میلسرکوفته ...more
Clay
“A Country Doctor” (1919) take note of the physician-patient relationship, the story’s surreal qualities, and what the patient’s wound might signify. What kind of 'logic' seems to govern this narrative? How to make sense of the situation? Of the Groom, and of the patient? Mastery, diagnosis, stasis aren't options. Things are on the move, like nightmare, where we are the victim. Story has logic of dream, unfurling, galloping logic. Is the doctor projecting rape of Rosa and sees the wound on pati ...more
Ariya
Do I understand the underline meaning of this Kafka's short story? Totally not. But at some point, his works perhaps can be read out of pleasure for a self-deprecating person like me. Despite being good by conditions, as a human we might eventually lose some sense of human spirit. That is what I think of this story. We feel helpless, worse than that we are satisfied to be helpless so as we don't have to intend to be participated in any life being. The Doctor encounters his conflict, not just whe ...more
Ajit
Its short, precise and powerful. Its typical Kafka. Its about fight for survival. A country doctor, after receiving a call, proceeds to attend to his patient in a mysterious atmosphere. Was it a wrong call? Was it only hallucination? Perhaps all. Favourite quotes:

“What am I doing in this eternal winter?”

“Thin, without fever, not cold, not warm, with empty eyes, without a shirt, the young man under the stuffed quilt heaves himself up, hangs around my throat and whispers in my ear, "Doctor, let m
...more
Haverly
I purchased this book and Contemplation while in Prague a few years ago. The illustrations in both books are perfect, and I really enjoyed the stories. I think I would have enjoyed them even more if I had read them in a lit class since some are difficult to understand.
Laura
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeremiah Carlson
I thought this story was pretty inventive and creative, and in a way very repeatable as it is when I read these sorts of works, in this genre.
Katie
potentially the creepiest book i have ever read. i swear I will have nightmares. I swear this book IS a nightmare.
علی
دیوار بزرگ چین، پزشک دهکده، گراکوس شکارچی و برخی دیگر از داستان های کوتاه کافکا به فارسی برگردانده شده اند.
Julio Cesar
Los inquietantes relatos de Franz Kafka avivan sentimientos extraños mientras somos conducidos por caminos de incomprensión artística, opresión, incapacidad comunicativa y desesperanza, mediante la utilización de simbolismos "bizarros" dentro de realidades burocráticas, predatorias, ajenas al arte, a la decencia, llenas de mezquindad y despropósito. El médico rural, el artista del hambre, Peter El Rojo y el padre de once hijos nos inducen a la realidad kafkiana, un sitio difícil de estar, incómo ...more
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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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“What am I doing in this eternal winter?” 5 likes
“Thin, without fever, not cold, not warm, with empty eyes, without a shirt, the young man under the stuffed quilt heaves himself up, hangs around my throat and whispers in my ear, "Doctor, let me die.” 5 likes
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