Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Castelul” as Want to Read:
Castelul
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Castelul

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  47,310 ratings  ·  2,250 reviews
Castelul întruchipează imposibilitatea omului de a descifra sensul existenței sale civice. K., personajul principal, încearcă să-și întîlnească angajatorul, în vederea preluării postului proaspăt obținut. Un lucru cît se poate de obișnuit, s-ar spune. în lumina acestei motivații, limbajul lui Kafka este simplu și sobru, contrastînd cu peripețiile declanșate de o dorință c ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published 1995 by RAO (first published 1926)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Castelul, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Aaron A few months ago, someone I know, an English speaker, was in the middle of reading The Brothers Karamazov. She knew she was reading a novel from the 1…moreA few months ago, someone I know, an English speaker, was in the middle of reading The Brothers Karamazov. She knew she was reading a novel from the 18th century, and she told a group of us that she was enjoying the book despite the "old" style of the language. I didn't have the heart to point out to her in that group setting that she was actually reading a 2002 English translation of the original Russian text. Yes, the style of writing was very "old", 16 years old to be precise...

So in answer to your question: Yes I think it's very plausible that some if not most English speakers are being serious in their critique of "Kafka's style". I think a lot of English speakers forget there are other languages or at least don't have any appreciation for the impossibility of precisely transporting an author's style from one language to another.(less)
Julie I haven't noticed the run on sentences or lack of reason or decency. I've read The Metamorphosis and The Trial, and want to read The Castle. I think t…moreI haven't noticed the run on sentences or lack of reason or decency. I've read The Metamorphosis and The Trial, and want to read The Castle. I think the Kafkaesque term is attributed to the situations that the characters find themselves in. I liken Kafka to literature, as Salvador Dahli is to art. (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  47,310 ratings  ·  2,250 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Castelul
Lisa
"You misinterpret everything, even the silence."

If this was Homeros, the castle would be unattainable Ithaka. If it was Borges, it would be a labyrinthine library full of books one can't read. If it was Freud, it would be a nightmare in which the dreamer tries to reach a nonexistent goal.

But it is Kafka, and therefore it is a bit of all those stories, told in a meticulously described fog. As a symbol of life, it is depressing, and it leaves the reader to ponder what is worse: spending one's tim
...more
Fergus
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have loved this superb novel for a very, very long time. Perhaps you, too, have shrouded yourself in the endless folds of its inner mystery and adventure - and lost yourself within it!

But WHY does it always seem to us so frustrating? So unsatisfying in the end? Is it because the Land Surveyor never gets to his Castle?

Well - maybe there’s a DEEPER reason why he never arrives... something endemic to the functioning - or malfunctioning, of our ordinary minds.

Let’s try to FIND OUT what it is.

Now,
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
(691 From 1001 Books) - Das Schloss = Das Schloß = The Castle, Franz Kafka

The Castle is a 1926 novel by Franz Kafka. In it a protagonist known only as K. arrives in a village and struggles to gain access to the mysterious authorities who govern it from a castle. Kafka died before finishing the work, but suggested it would end with K. dying in the village, the castle notifying him on his death bed that his "legal claim to live in the village was not valid, yet, taking certain auxiliary circumstan
...more
George
Jun 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Nandakishore Varma
It was the start of the year when NK. picked up The Castle by Kafka, a book he had tried to read a lot of times but failed in the past; but now he was full of a new resolution that he will finish it this time. He had hardly read a few pages, however, when his wife called him. "We need to withdraw some money from the bank," she said: "There are a lot of bills to be paid, and some of them are long overdue.""Can't we do it online?" NK. grumbled. "No," said his wife. "The grocer and the vegetable pe ...more
Sonky
Feb 06, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
...more
Cecily
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
...more
Steven Godin
What a crying shame Kafka never got to finish what probably would have been his finest achievement. Certainly on an emotional level anyway. Kafka had a greater poignancy and a deeper feeling for his characters in The Castle when compared to the other works of his I have read, so it was extremely frustrating for this book to end right in mid-sentence. Damn!
I knew it was going to happen, but how can one truly prepare one's self for a novel without an ending?

Parts of me felt like it would have bee
...more
Tara
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-list
“Now what could have attracted me to this desolate land other than the desire to stay?”

In The Castle, Kafka’s protagonist ludicrously struggles to gain entrance to and make sense of the Castle, an entity which is effectively unattainable and incomprehensible.

Reading the book felt like coming home one day to discover that all of your belongings have been shifted 5 centimeters to the left, with the exception of one lone, grimy spoon. Nearly everything was askew to some degree. This book was so
...more
Alessandro
Feb 25, 2011 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
Jan-Maat
It struck me round about page 200 that there was no particular reason for this novel to end, or for it to have been this long, rather it could have progressed near infinitely, a continuing unfolding of enigmatic conversations and meetings with assistant secretaries and children of under castellians, the promise of revelation growing balanced by the necessity of accepting the fundamental absurdity of the situation.

I found I had to read this novel slowly, partly because of Kafka caused insanity, 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
Luís
Mr K arrives in the village where he is appointed surveyor; he discovers the castle, a central city, where the officials order, with the help of enigmatic circulars and without any spirit of responsibility, the collective life of the village below. To put up with it, except K., he wants to communicate with the castle from which he awaits its installation. He is impatient. He wishes to exercise his rights and exist as a responsible individual, in legality; but this would imply a change in the est ...more
Manuel Antão
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.


Claustrophobic Vision: "The Castle" by Franz Kafka, J.A. Underwood (Trans.)



Genetics provides only the blueprint for a mind, and our brains are capable of reprogramming through learning and experience. If Kafka can so eloquently describe the complexity of the trap, you could see it as halfway to designing a means of improving the way we live. In “The Castle” Kafka describes K. climbing a wall as a child, not because he couldn't walk aro
...more
Jonfaith
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
...more
Michael Finocchiaro
Left unfinished at his death, Kafka's castle is as inaccessible as the top of Sisyphus' hill or any other utopia that one could imagine. The intricacies of the impenetrable bureaucracy is stupendous as is the terror of the unknown. Every bit as exciting as an Edgar Allen Poe tale or funny as Musil, it is one of Kafka's must important and enigmatic works. ...more
Brian
What haunts you? I took a class and the Professor presented us with that question. What bothers you, gets to you? What do you care about? This may form the strongest premise of all timeless literature.

Kafka teaches me the meaning of this insight. He wrote themes haunting him in his life. I don’t wonder Kafka has become my favorite of all writers I presently know; if I believed in reincarnation I’d wonder if I may have been Kafka in my past life. I’m not insinuating I write with his genius. We b
...more
Zanna
Jul 29, 2013 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
Alex
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
Bradley
The simplicity of Kafka's style and the unrelenting direction of this tale still lends itself to multiple interpretations. It's easy to get lost in the labyrinthine passageways of the Castle, but it's not the walls that are difficult. It's the endlessly stimied goal.

For me, this is a novel of utter hopelessness. K's initial, simple request to see the lord of the castle from the position of a Surveyor quickly devolves into the darkest of comedies or, rather, a nihilistic tragedy, as he is regular
...more
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
Bettie



http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05tbw1m

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 chapter
...more
Simona B
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-italian, 1900
“You misinterpret everything, even the silence. You simply cannot help it.”

Semi-coherent thoughts to come later—that is, if I am able to piece something together. Because Kafka is one of those authors I love without being able to explain why, you know? He's crazy like that.
...more
Zadignose
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
...more
Meike
Aug 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
English: The Castle
This is the ultimate text about the effects of power without accuntability: Kafka, the lawyer, once again shows a protagonist who has to obey laws that seem arbitrary, who suffers under a monolithic, enigmatic force that robs him of his agency and renders him utterly helpless. The lack of self-efficacy is a main source of depression – no wonder parts of this story read like a gothic tale (and might be inspired by a classic horror movie).

Kafka’s protagonist K arrives at a namel
...more
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
...more
Sander
Jan 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Everything. My favorite novel of all the novels I have read. Quite funny, a little bit sad, spiritually wistful...and not once is a fulfillment contained. Schopenhauer spoke about the uselessness of fulfilling desires, as one is fulfilled a new desire immediately moves in as the prior desire becomes past/memory/fiction, and that a goal of some sorts should be to annihilate all possible fulfillments. This is where this book succeeds....:apparently, it was never finished...though who's to say...wh ...more
Siti Shakira Suhaimi
At first I thought I have no idea what I'm doing and what I am reading. I read about this one lad, who somehow experience strange environment (for me).
But what made me hooked to the book until the end is that the feelings I had towards K. throughout the books. Sometimes I support him, sometimes I despise him and Kafka's work made me unsure of myself of what's right and what's wrong. The playing with my thoughts and emotions I say make this book interesting enough.
I would love to read more of it,
...more
Edward
May 09, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever seen a promising sketch comedy routine with a great premise, but then after a couple of minutes you realise that they couldn't come up with a punchline, and so instead they are just going to keep repeating the premise and hope that does the trick?

I'm going to expose myself here: Kafka is vastly overrated. I believe that people see layers and meaning in his writing that simply aren't there. They give him way too much credit. The Castle is not some grand metaphor about some larger, e
...more
Jon Nakapalau
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, favorites
Secure behind walls that both protect and isolate...an apt analogy for the political process almost anywhere you look in the world. We are all asked to be 'land surveyors' (political landscape) but our 'surveyorship' is often just a way to include us in a process that has already been mapped out. Kafka was able to see this process and show us the 'true map' that is followed. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Myth of Sisyphus
  • The Plague
  • Nausea
  • Notes from Underground
  • The Fall
  • Steppenwolf
  • The Idiot
  • Demons
  • Dead Souls
  • The Gambler
  • The Brothers Karamazov
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Franz Kafka's The Castle (Dramatization)
  • The Stranger
  • The Master and Margarita
  • Fathers and Sons
  • The Rebel
  • The Death of Ivan Ilych
See similar books…
20,358 followers
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 Metamorph
...more

Related Articles

What will you do when it's your turn to pick your book club's next read? Well, this is what you won't do: panic. Why not? Because we've dug...
79 likes · 17 comments
“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” 242 likes
“You misinterpret everything, even the silence.” 97 likes
More quotes…