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The Castle

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  29,320 Ratings  ·  1,134 Reviews
Translated and with a preface by Mark Harman

Left unfinished by Kafka in 1922 and not published until 1926, two years after his death, The Castle is the haunting tale of K.’s relentless, unavailing struggle with an inscrutable authority in order to gain access to the Castle. Scrupulously following the fluidity and breathlessness of the sparsely punctuated original manuscrip
Paperback, A New Translation Based on the Restored Text, 316 pages
Published December 15th 1998 by Schocken (first published 1926)
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Jun 28, 2007 George rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
I'm re-reading The Castle 10 years later with older, more patient eyes and it's proving to be a wonderful time, especially with the new translation.

"The Eighth Chapter" of The Castle is, perhaps, some of the most beautifully composed writing in all of modern literature. The new translation adds a dreamy, sudden stillness and frightening sense of desolate open space in Kafka's work which is better known for his breathless, claustophobic style of writing and description. This feeling was lost and
Aug 18, 2012 Sonky rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: 19th-Century Czech and German editors
Recommended to Sonky by: It is society's fault as a hole.
Honestly, I quit.

It was too, how do I say it?...Kafkaesque. But am I greater than the writer himself? No. Kafka quit too and just as mid-sentence as I--only later in the text. Evidently, he died of tedium. Thank goodness I stopped before Kafka's work killed me too.

I was not enriched by the petty squabbles of German? Czech? villagers and the gyrating evasions of bureaucrats worshiped in detail by said squabbling villagers. I didn't like the protagonist; I couldn't even admire K. for not liking K.
Kostas Papadatos
Nov 30, 2016 Kostas Papadatos rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Καλοκαιρινό βιβλίο, ότι πρέπει για διακοπές και για ανάγνωση δίπλα στη θάλασσα. ΝΟΟΟΤ. Ούτε καν, παίξτε ρακέτες καλύτερα, χτίστε στην άμμο παλάτια, δε ξέρω, κάντε κάτι, στην εξοχή είστε που να πάρει. Η αλήθεια είναι ότι δεν είναι τόσο κακό, αλλά η στιγμή που επέλεξα να το διαβάσω ήταν. Επίσης ακόμα πιο λάθος επιλογή ήταν να αντικαταστήσω τον σελιδοδείκτη μου με ένα κομμάτι μπέικον. Ο ήρωας μας λοιπόν, ο "Κ", αποφασίζει να επισκεφτεί τον Πύργο "αφού". Δε μπορεί όμως να φτάσει σε αυτόν λόγω γραφει ...more
Estou na página 220 (de 380) e se não desisto já ainda me dá um piripaque...

Esta obra de Kafka é, dizem, importante e de leitura imprescindível. A mim fez-me um sono desgraçado (e eu padeço de insónias). Tem umas partes meio-chanfradas que me fizeram rir, mas a maioria é conversa chata.

Do que li, conta a história de um homem que chega a uma terra para trabalhar e a burocracia das hierarquias e da papelada impedem-no de chegar ao castelo, de falar com o responsável e executar o trabalho para o q
Feb 23, 2016 Fernando rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Los caminos kafkianos siempre son los más difíciles. La frase es mía pero lejos de creerme todo un filósofo, creo que resume lo que El Castillo representa. Todo, absolutamente todo lo que le pasa a K. en la novela se compone de futilidad, frustración, imposibilidad, fracaso. El castillo, infranqueable, el pueblo al que tiene que adaptarse, los pobladores, funcionarios, y las mujeres con las que se involucra sólo logran que el desasosiego de K. alcance límites insospechados y, en cierta manera, v ...more
Miss Ravi
Dec 26, 2016 Miss Ravi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
جهان رمان قصر، خواننده را بهمانند شخصیت اصلیاش «ک» سرگردان میکند. قصر برای من نمادی از یک سیستم ناکارآمد و آشفته است و «ک» هرچه برای نظم دادن و مرزبندی کردن آن تلاش کند، بیثمر است. دنیای این رمان، دور باطلی است که به هیچ نقطه ثابت و امنی نمیرسد. و چه مهارتی دارد کافکا برای ساختن و نمایش این جهان انباشته از سرگردانی. هربار کتاب معرکهای میخوانم به ذهن نویسندهاش فکر میکنم و دلم میخواهد میتوانستم ذهن کافکا را ببینم که هرچند ممکن است آنچنان تاریکی غلیظی فراگرفته باشدش اما برای من بسیار تماشایی است. ...more
Jan 13, 2017 Fabian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An absurd nightmare filled with stark Rimmel black & bleak, flawed, tattered whites. I had a really colorful Prague bookmark aptly between slowly simmering pages (the vivid colors of the astronomical clock fighting against the forces of evil--I know this because I was THERE this summer, guys!). This unfinished novel by the father of the opaque is very literally portrayed, but this is one of those unfilmable, un-photographable projects, really. So it comes with a lot of head scratches and a p ...more
MJ Nicholls
Four stars to keep the Kafka cartel from adopting me to their ranks and slapping me with their theses on the role of Klamm as übermensch and Olga as überwench. Franz transfers The Trial to a small village, where K. struggles to receive an appointment at the department for deportment in the castle, and sets about seducing a barmaid on the floor of the bar (no one told me Kafka was so erotic!), and making wrong utterances to every person encountered. The fact this novel breaks off mid-sentence pro ...more
Mar 05, 2011 Alessandro rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: confusing
The devil has a library. Alongside Necronomicon and Malleus Maleficarum, you can find a copy of Franz Kafka's The Castle. To read this is to know pain. This book is an ungodly torment. It doesn't even have proper paragraph division. There are paragraphs that contain chapters inside themselves. How much of a mind twist is that? Wall of text of death! The narrative unravels in a feverish and dream-like state and never breaks from it. Nevertheless, I manage to finish reading this sucker. Oh! I am t ...more
Dec 03, 2015 Zanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A young land surveyor arrives in a village, appointed by the count of the castle on the hill overshadowing the country. In a dreamlike, labyrinthine tale riddled with material and emotional inconsistencies,Kafka envisions a bureaucratic administration bloated and twisted beyond all imaginings, in which reverence for authority is elevated to an extreme and bizarre form of religious observance (religion itself is tellingly absent). K's affaires and intrigues are governed by almost arbitrary and my ...more
Dec 30, 2014 Jonfaith rated it it was amazing
Only a total stranger could ask such a question. Are there control agencies? There are only control agencies. Of course they aren’t meant to find errors, in the vulgar sense of that term, since no errors occur, and even if an error does occur, as in your case, who can finally say that it is an error.

We were all once younger. I don't know if we have all been haunted.
Luís C.
Exhausted after his long walk, K. thinks only to rest in the small village that has just reached. However, requires an authorization from the castle to spend the night. K. tried a bluff by pretending to be a surveyor hired by the count, and, to everyone's surprise, the administration confirms K. castle in office, and Deputy even aid twice for assist him in his task.
In the morning, K. is trying to solve this mystery, especially as it confirms him quickly no survey work is needed in the village. B
Jeff Jackson
Ratings seem especially beside the point with The Castle. If you have any affinity for Kafka, it's worth your time. It contains some of his strangest and most disturbing images (the sound of singing children coming out of phone receivers) and a bone-deep feeling of being lost in a world whose rules we can't *even* fail to grasp. But it's also unfinished and there are moments late in the novel where you can feel Kafka spinning his wheels, getting lost within the continually forking paths of his c ...more

Revisit 2015 is via Radio 4 drama. I shall re-read the book at the same time.

It was late in the evening when K arrived.

From wiki:Kafka began writing The Castle on the evening of 27 January 1922, the day he arrived at the mountain resort of Spindlermühle (now in the Czech Republic). A picture taken of him upon his arrival shows him by a horse-drawn sleigh in the snow in a setting reminiscent of The Castle. Hence, the significance that the first few chapters
An extraordinary combination of beauty and subtle, paranoid horror - "growing inured to disappointment". Who else can make snow sinister (scary perhaps, but surely not sinister)? It ends in the middle of a sentence, more tantalisingly still, it ends with a mysterious old woman just about to say something... Very apt for a tale of layers of secrecy and never-ending frustration.

It can be interpreted as an allegory for Jewish alienation and/or as a semi-autobiographical rendition of his relationsh
Oct 02, 2016 Pantelis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a novel about our need to belong, our need for acceptance, our need for love... Of course, it has to be frustrating, therefore unfinished...
Yasmine mostafa
Feb 11, 2013 Yasmine mostafa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
رواية أخري غير مكتملة لفرانتس كافكا...رواية شديدة التعقيد، ملأى بالتفاصيل و الوصف حتى لتشعر انه يحكي حلما أو موقفا حدت له شخصيا مع ان أحداثها تدور خلال 6 أيام، ذلك الجو الكابوسي المقبض الذي يشعرك انما الكوابيس صنعت خصيصا لتتلائم مع كتابات كافكا... تطرأ في ذهنك عشرات الأسئلة عن الرواية التي قد يراها البعض مجرد تأويلات لأحلام رآها كافكا أو هي إثارة لأسئلة كانت تشغله من أجل الثورة على الظلم و الاستبداد...و حتى نهاية الرواية لن تدري من هو (ك) و لا من هو (كلم)،أسئلة لا حصر لها لم يكلف كافكا نفسه عناء ...more
Nov 13, 2009 Szplug rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I originally read the Muir translation of The Castle years ago, and have just finished the recent one by Harman. I think I prefer the Muirs on a literary basis, and Harman's as to linearity and style. In both versions I cannot give a five-star rating, as, like all of Kafka's big three novels, they were unfinished when he died - indeed, The Castle ends in mid-sentence - and this flaw, this lack of resolution, cannot be overcome by editing regardless the number of times it is attempted.

Harman's tr
Nicholas Karpuk
I think my reaction to the ending was roughly, "What? Really? Damn it!"

It ends in mid-sentence, and unlike Amerika, there's not a damn bit of closure. Most of the plot threads were left open, and it feels like most of the third act had been left undone.

I guess I didn't understand the level of completion, The Trial and Amerika giving me a sense that it might be mostly done, with a few holes and missing pieces.

Nope, it's a big damn tease.

And insult to injury, it feels like the least well edited
Kafka is the author of frustration. He writes about frustration, he's frustrated about writing, The Castle breaks off mid-sentence, he asked Max Brod to burn his work but he knew Brod wouldn't do it. Kafka knew he would be frustrated in frustrating his frustrated book about frustration. What's it all about? I don't know, you're not supposed to know, not knowing is the point. There's no decoder ring. In The Trial K. doesn't know how to defend himself, he doesn't even know what he's accused of, he ...more
زهراء الموسوي
رواية معقدة وتحتاج لأكثر من قراءة لأنك في كل قراءة ستعود لتكتشف شيئا و تدرك أمرا لم تدركه من قبل.
هذا هو الحال مع كل روايات كافكا المليئة بالغموض

يقول الناشر بأن القصر هو مقومات الحياة بينما أنا ارتأيت أن القصر هو الهدف من وراء وجودنا هنا.
اقصد الحياة هي من أتت بِنَا ولكن لماذا وما هدفنا هذا ما كان كافكا يحاول التوصل اليه برأيي وهذا ما كان يسعى له بطل الرواية الذي كان تائها.

Nick Black
Jun 28, 2008 Nick Black rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Had Kafka lived to finish and edit this, it would be remembered as his greatest novel and one of the absolute masterworks of the Western canon. Le sigh, his death left a great cultural artiface incomplete and is a tremendous loss to us all.
Sep 22, 2016 Zahra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
به تاريخ پنجشنبه مهر خواندن "قصر" به پايان رسيد.قصر دست نيافتني،داراي آداب خاص،پيچيده،موهوم ،در فضايي به غريبي "محاكمه".هرچه با كافكا بيشتر آشنا ميشم تاثيرش رو مبرهن تر بر آثار هدايت ميبينم...
"مردم خو كرده به ستم،به وكيل مدافع ستمگر تبديل ميشوند."
The castle - Franz Kafka
Upon rereading this after maybe one or two decades:

K. is a hero, and we must love him. Sure, at times he is a base, contemptible blunderer, but his audacity and lack of prospects make him infinitely admirable.

It only causes me a little despair and anguish to realize that not all people agree with my assessment of this brilliant book.

The remainder of this review will be an oddly compiled salad of excerpts from my comments on this book in a recent discussion. They have been cut, pas
Oliver Twist & Shout

No fue hasta que vi L'udienza, de Marco Ferreri, que no recordé que tenía este libro pendiente desde hacía meses y que además era un importante paso a dar para completar ese sistema cronológico que en mi cabeza me he montado acerca de la historia de la novela.

Y es curioso que, mientras veía la película de Ferreri, me decía que aquello parecía un mundo kafkiano. Luego descubrí que, efectivamente, es una especie de adaptación no oficial de El castillo. Ahí se explicita mucho más esa teoría que señ
Jan 31, 2009 L.S. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
The book starts with K. arriving in the village near the castle. I found the first 40 pages a bit annoying because I was expecting him to get to the castle and let the story begin. But only when I finally understood that he is never to get to that castle I could finally enjoy the book. I think that the story could go on forever. It is said that the book is not finished. Maybe. But it is like it was left like that. After finishing it I had an odd reaction: I thought that I should re-read it at on ...more
The Castle is frustrating, not because the text is especially difficult but because K.'s journey is so difficult. He is drawn to the Castle and spends his time trying to find ways to get there, although he is uncertain what it is exactly and what his job of "surveyor" entails. All of his attempts are futile and the Castle's inhabitants only thwart his best efforts. The Castle is clouded in mystery and the people that K. meets cannot be trusted.

It is similar to other works by Kafka; K. deals wit
Nelson Zagalo
“O Castelo” (1926) é o terceiro e último romance de Kafka (1883-1924), depois de “O Desaparecido” (1927) e “O Processo” (1925), todos incompletos, todos publicados postumamente e contra à sua vontade. Este conjunto de dados, parcos, mas capazes de ilustrar um padrão, conseguem muito rapidamente e de forma algo óbvia dar conta do tipo de autor que temos pela frente, do seu mundo e forma de estar na vida. Kafka viveu apenas 40 anos, viveu-os intensamente e totalmente dedicados ao amor pela literat ...more
Aleksandar Janjic
Што би реко Ђуро у Надреалистима - "Па ја тек сад видим шта сам пропушто!". Мислим, ово је једна апсолутно феноменална величанственост од књиге. Нажалост - недовршена. И то тако дивљачки безобразно недовршена да се прекида у по реченице. Покушавам да замислим какав је то ментални склоп неког ко напише преко 300 страна неке књиге и онда се не потруди ни да заврши једну једину проклету реченицу. А то свакако није страно том КафЦи (иначе бих овде испалио неку сочну увреду, али сад нећу, јер ем је ч ...more
Tomas Ramanauskas
Sep 08, 2016 Tomas Ramanauskas rated it really liked it
Neverending loop of bureaucratic groveling and timid minded fearfulness of supposedly important men from The Castle. As it is always the case with Kafka, no one ever knows why orders need to be obeyed and who is behind them. If it isn't the first book by FK, you know the shtick already and in this case it gets a bit tiresome by "the end".
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Franz Kafka 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 literature.

His stories include The Metamorpho
More about Franz Kafka...

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“I dream of a grave, deep and narrow, where we could clasp each other in our arms as with clamps, and I would hide my face in you and you would hide your face in me, and nobody would ever see us any more” 161 likes
“There's no quiet place here on earth for our love, not in the village and not anywhere else, so I picture a grave, deep and narrow, in which we embrace as if clamped together, I bury my face against you, you yours against me, and no one will ever see us.” 35 likes
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