Michael's Reviews > The Castle

The Castle by Franz Kafka
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's review
Jul 05, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: greatjewishwriters, kafka, reread
Read from April 19 to 27, 2017 , read count: 2

First read: sometime between 1998-2002.
Re-read: 4/19-4/27/2017.

My take on Kafka's astounding dark comic allegory, and one of the great masterpieces of world literature (along with The Trial): the Castle is reality itself. Notice that there is little in the novel that possesses any sort of stable meaning, status, or perceived intention. Contradictions abound in the Castle and around its orbit -- decisions and protocols are interpreted in myriad and ever-changing ways, official jobs and positions possess simultaneous purposes, characters consciously and unconsciously trade roles, places in the Castle and village hierarchy, relationships, etc. Just as reality -- whether social, political, emotional, spiritual -- remains to us not only ultimately unknowable but often completely misunderstood, so does Kafka's fictional realm not only mock the bizarre absurdities of governmental and professional bureaucracy, but also the inability of reality to be anything other than a product of our preconceived or misconceived biases. The lesson -- do try to understand reality, but don't try to think you can understand mysteries that can never be resolved. Therein lies the path to madness, or at least to the devouring of one's own tail. (Of course this multi-layered novel is so much more than this trite summary -- it is, if nothing else, absolutely hilarious.)

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Reading Progress

04/19 marked as: read
04/19 marked as: currently-reading
04/27 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Justin (new) - added it

Justin Weird. Reading it now.

Michael I guess it's in the air, like how everybody's reading 1984, Brave New World and other dystopic novels now that Donald Fucking Trump is president. I never got into that stuff, though -- Kafka's more my kinda guy (I'm re-reading all of it after so many years of going without).

Hope you're well, by the way. Let me know what you're up to!

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