Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Castle

Rate this book
Kafka's final novel was written during 1922, when the tuberculosis that was to kill him was already at an advanced stage. Fragmentary and unfinished, it perhaps never could have been finished; perhaps the tensions between K., the Castle and the village, K.'s struggle for acceptance or recognition by the mysterious Castle authorities or by the people of the village, never will and never can be resolved.

Like much of Kafka's work, The Castle is enigmatic and polyvalent. Is it an allegory of the sprawling Austro-Hungarian Empire as it disintegrates into modern nation states, or a quasi-feudal system giving way to a new freedom for the subject? Is it the search by a central European Jew for acceptance and integration into a dominant culture? Is it a spiritual quest for grace or salvation, or an individual's struggle between his sense of independence and his need for approval? Is K. is an opportunist, a victim, or an outsider battling against an elusive authority? Is the Castle a benign source of authority or a whimsical system of control?

Like K., the reader is presented with conflicting perspectives that rehearse the existential dilemmas and uncertainties of literary modernity.

304 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 1, 1926

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Franz Kafka

1,950 books24.4k followers
Prague-born writer Franz Kafka wrote in German, and his stories, such as " The Metamorphosis " (1916), and posthumously published novels, including The Trial (1925), concern troubled individuals in a nightmarishly impersonal world.

Jewish middle-class family of this major fiction writer of the 20th century spoke German. People consider his unique body of much incomplete writing, mainly published posthumously, among the most influential in European literature.

His stories include "The Metamorphosis" (1912) and " In the Penal Colony " (1914), whereas his posthumous novels include The Trial (1925), The Castle (1926) and Amerika (1927).

Despite first language, Kafka also spoke fluent Czech. Later, Kafka acquired some knowledge of the French language and culture from Flaubert, one of his favorite authors.

Kafka first studied chemistry at the Charles-Ferdinand University of Prague but after two weeks switched to law. This study offered a range of career possibilities, which pleased his father, and required a longer course of study that gave Kafka time to take classes in German studies and art history. At the university, he joined a student club, named Lese- und Redehalle der Deutschen Studenten, which organized literary events, readings, and other activities. In the end of his first year of studies, he met Max Brod, a close friend of his throughout his life, together with the journalist Felix Weltsch, who also studied law. Kafka obtained the degree of doctor of law on 18 June 1906 and performed an obligatory year of unpaid service as law clerk for the civil and criminal courts.

Writing of Kafka attracted little attention before his death. During his lifetime, he published only a few short stories and never finished any of his novels except the very short "The Metamorphosis." Kafka wrote to Max Brod, his friend and literary executor: "Dearest Max, my last request: Everything I leave behind me ... in the way of diaries, manuscripts, letters (my own and others'), sketches, and so on, [is] to be burned unread." Brod told Kafka that he intended not to honor these wishes, but Kafka, so knowing, nevertheless consequently gave these directions specifically to Brod, who, so reasoning, overrode these wishes. Brod in fact oversaw the publication of most of work of Kafka in his possession; these works quickly began to attract attention and high critical regard.

Max Brod encountered significant difficulty in compiling notebooks of Kafka into any chronological order as Kafka started writing in the middle of notebooks, from the last towards the first, et cetera.

Kafka wrote all his published works in German except several letters in Czech to Milena Jesenská.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
18,939 (34%)
4 stars
20,320 (36%)
3 stars
11,864 (21%)
2 stars
3,367 (6%)
1 star
1,149 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,905 reviews
Profile Image for Lisa.
971 reviews3,331 followers
July 1, 2019
"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 time fruitlessly trying to get access to the castle, or actually achieving the goal?

Life is what is happening in the meantime.
Profile Image for Fergus, Quondam Happy Face.
933 reviews17.6k followers
January 25, 2023
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, some writers - and Kafka is one of them - seem to catch us unawares... as if they’re calling out to us from a higher plane of existence.

Edwin Muir, the Scottish expatriate poet who first ´discovered’ Kafka for us anglophones in the 1930’s, was sure that the dear, misunderstood Franzel had an armlock on some Hidden Truth.

But what if this key to Kafka is that he was caught in the complex to-and-fro-ing of Hegel’s Contrite Consciousness - the tempestuous Ethical Plane of existence, according to Kierkegaard?

And what happens when the human mind morphs from the everyday sphere of living for the day... to a scary Moral Sphere?

It can be like Freud’s The Schreber Case. After all, there’s no justification for moral judgements in an amoral world, is there? So we’re automatically viewed as a stranger. Once you take sides, Sonny, you’re on your own! The mind tends to play tricks on us at that point...

And, once challenged and stopped dead in its tracks, the mind starts to replay its key judgements and obsessions ad infinitum, as Kafka does here - almost in anticipation of Freud’s example, Schreber - but only neurotically, and not psychotically.

But, hey - you rise above the herd, and it ain’t gonna be easy! Let me put it from another angle: did Frodo chicken out from his Quest?

Not on your life!

Though, like us, he retreated to the false comfort of his Ring now and then - and paid for it heavily.

Just as Kafka and Schreber take comfort in their obsessive disorders... Though Frodo’s fix is a VERY dangerous narcissism - Power.

But Kafka IS calling us from a higher plane, because the Castle itself is theologically symbolic of a Higher Reality.

Just as Mordor is the hobbits’ Armageddon and Gandalf is their Guardian Angel, along with the elfin-folk.

Even though that wonderful symbolic reality has now become shadowy and ungrounded in the crass garish light of the daily news, and though heads of state now seem utterly self-seeking - making our Land Surveyor’s reasoning utterly nonsensical to them, we now all have to live in an Upside-Down Kingdom, the postmodern mindset.

That’s a fact of our lives for us modern ethically-minded seekers - for we Quixotes are now hopelessly pitted against powerful electronic windmills!

***
Okay, then.

Had Kafka lived longer, would he have written in a HAPPY ENDING for the poor Land Surveyor?

Would he have entered the Castle, finally?

I think so.

Because all it takes is that one unforgettable moment when, at the end of all our wanderings, we hear the magical voice of the “Woodthrush calling through the Fog.”

That moment when it finally dawns on us that there’s a much BIGGER story going on here than our own tiny story of dazed frustration as we trudge endlessly with the Land Surveyor through the snowdrifts of an Eastern European village...

Like in Kafka’s Amerika.

The bigger story of Redemption.

For it’s not about us...

It’s about something Bigger.

Kafka made this clear in a short story called Before the Law - only once (surreptitiously) published in his lifetime.

In Before the Law, a man ceases to believe, because he can’t even believe in the Law. So if he can’t believe in the Gospel, he loses the right to enter through the Gate of Heaven.

So the man always starts again. And TRIES again. And continually starts again at the beginning, simply because he now no longer believes.

When it’s time for him to die, the Gate is Closed.

Why?

Because he has given up trying, believing AND BEGINNING AGAIN!

And accepting the Law as - absurdly - God’s will.

In Amerika, though, Kafka comes to see that.

Salvation is a Free Gift.

And it’s only because he has given up hope completely, that the Gate (the Castle - or the Gift of Grace) of the Law is Now closed to him.

Until he starts over, but NOW it’s too late.

Or WOULD be too late - WITHOUT GRACE?

Or, without... the LAW!

For, to Kafka himself, at the end, Grace now ABOUNDED...

He now had kept his part of the bargain, always trying, unlike the Land Surveyor, no matter how hard it became, to believe and BITE THE BULLET... OF THE HARD AND FAST TRUTH... of the LAW.

AND SO THE CASTLE GATES SWUNG OPEN.
January 19, 2018
Μέσα στον Πύργο κρύβεται η ουσία της ύπαρξης. Μόνο εκεί μπορούμε να ανακαλύψουμε το ανώτερο νόημα,πέρα απο το πλαίσιο της φυσικής μας ζωής πάνω στη γη.

Σε όλο το στερέωμα του Καφκικού σύμπαντος με επίκεντρο τον θρυλικό Πύργο προσπαθούμε να προσεγγίσουμε την είσοδο, την επαφή,το μυστήριο,το παράλογο,το ιδεώδες,το σύμβολο της ύπαρξης και του ονειρικού εφιάλτη.

Ξεκινώντας απο ένα φτωχό και παραμελημένο χωριό στο οποίο ούτε ως κλεμμένη δεν συναντούσες τη χαρά στους κατοίκους του,πρέπει αρχικά να συνηθίσουμε τα επικρατέστερα συναισθήματα που βιώνουμε. Απόγνωση,φόβο ��ργή,παρανοϊκή αναμονή για το παράδοξο.

Έπειτα να διασχίσουμε με απόλυτη δειλία,δυσκολία,απειλή και πόνο τα απελπιστικά πολλά και μπερδεμένα μονοπάτια του οικισμού και του μυαλού μας και αφού καταφέρουμε να επιζήσουμε ή να μην τρελαθούμε και χαθεί το κλειδί για την πύλη του Πύργου που είναι η ψυχή μας, ίσως, μα και πάλι μάταια καταφέρουμε να αντιμετωπίσουμε την ανημποριά και να στηρίξουμε την ύπαρξη μας στο υψηλότερο επίπεδο πνευματικής σοφίας,δύναμης,τόλμης,
αποφασιστικότητας και τελειοποίησης.

Ίσως χωρίς συνείδηση,δίχως τύψεις,σε μια κατάσταση πριν την επαφή με το θεϊκό απόκοσμο να μπαίναμε στον Πύργο και να βρίσκαμε το νόημα της ζωής.

Όμως σε όλη τη διάρκεια της προσπάθειας μας αγνοούμε τι πρέπει να κάνουμε. Τα εμπόδια συνεχόμενα και πολύπλοκα,οι δυνάμεις εξαντλούνται.
Επικρατεί έλλειψη ελπίδας και βοήθειας σε αντίθεση με την επιβολή μιας άνομης εξουσίας που παράλογα ασκείται και άδικα μας βασανίζει εμποδίζοντας την είσοδο στις κεντρικές πύλες του Πύργου.

Τα όργανα της εξουσίας είναι το ίδιο ετερόκλητα και ανειδίκευτα,το ίδιο ακατάληπτα και ανερμήνευτα όσο και η φανταστική διάσταση του κόσμου μας.

Αυτό που κυριαρχεί σε όλο το βιβλίο και καταρρακώνει σε πλήρη ταύτιση τον αναγνώστη είναι η αγωνιώδης αναμονή,η διανοητική εμπλοκή,η ανημποριά και η οργή που σιγά σιγά μας καταβάλουν και επεκτείνονται και στις προσωπικές και διαπροσωπικές λειτουργίες.

Οι κάτοικοι του χωριού δε γνωρίζουν τι θα τους βρει,δεν ξέρουν τι τους περιμένει, δεν προειδοποιούνται για το άγριο «αύριο» του Πύργου που δεσπόζει και τους πλήττει ήδη.
Είναι αποκομμένοι απο την εξέλιξη των πραγμάτων και την αλήθεια των γεγονότων,μπαίνουν στον κανόνα της ιστορίας με μόνο εφόδιο την τροφοδότηση διανοητικής εμπλοκής και το νοερό και ψυχικό μούδιασμα. Δεσπόζει το άγχος,η θλίψη,η παρεξήγηση εννοιών και πράξεων και η κατάρρευση.


Ο Πύργος είναι άδειος απο άτομα εξουσίας και πολιτικής δύναμης.
Είναι άδειος απο κάθε ανθρώπινη επίφαση ανωτερότητας και χειραγώγησης της μοίρας του κόσμου.

Όμως προβάλλεται και πιστεύεται ως ψευδαίσθηση άσκησης δικαίου και εξουσιαστικής επιβολής.
Δεν υπάρχουν κοσμικές εξουσίες στον Πύργο, οι ψευδαισθήσεις που μας επιβάλλουν νομίζουμε πως υπάρχουν.
Απαγορεύεται να χρησιμοποιήσουμε τη δύναμη του μυαλού μας ως ανθρώπινα όντα για να κατανοήσουμε το αληθινά μεταφυσικό.
Και αφού έτσι μας μεγαλώνουν και απο την κούνια μας πίνουμε το γάλα της επιφανειακής και στημένης πραγματικότητας, είμαστε ανίκανοι να λειτουργήσουμε εγκεφαλικά με διαφορετικά δεδομένα και ζητούμενα.

Οι πληροφορίες που μας καθιστούν ικανούς να επεξεργαζόμαστε σταματούν μπροστά στα στερεότυπα καλού-κακού, δίκαιου-άδικου,σωστού-λάθους,λογικού-παράλογου και γενικότερα σε όλα τα δίπολα κατεστημένων ψευδαίσθησεων.
Επομένως δεν μπορούμε να συλλάβουμε την ιδέα του Πύργου και ως εκ τούτου δεν είμαστε ικανοί κυρίως πνευματικά να εισέλθουμε σε αυτόν.

Ελάχιστοι ίσως κατοικοεδρεύουν μέσα στον Θρυλικό Πύργο.

Φήμες λένε πως εκεί μέσα τραγουδούν αιρετικά φαντάσματα απονενοημένων πράξεων συνείδησης,τρελοί,σοφοί που αδιαφόρησαν,έξυπνοι που σιώπησαν την εκδίκηση και ευφυείς που παρανόησαν και επηρέασαν την εξέλιξη της φυσικής νομοτέλειας.

Ο Πύργος ανήκει σε έναν ιδεατό κόσμο που δεν υπόκειται σε κάποιον έλεγχο,άρα οι ανθρώπινες συμπεριφορές και τα κοινά φαινόμενα δεν μπορούν να ερμηνευτούν με λογικό τρόπο.

Όλα τα παραπάνω μου τα εξιστόρησε με εξαιρετική μεταδοτικότητα και άριστη μεθοδολογία ο μέγας δάσκαλος Κ. που λάτρεψε τον Πύργο και το νόημα του.
Το νόημα του έγκειται στο νόημα της ζωής. Αυτό το μεγάλο ανεξήγητο μυστικό που συνίσταται απλά στο να ζεις!

Κάποια στιγμή προς το τέλος της ιστορίας ο Δάσκαλος Κ. μου είπε πως έπρεπε να φύγει για λίγο (ή για πάντα)δεν το διευκρίνησε.

Στη θέση του ήρθε ένας φίλος του που προσπάθησε να συνεχίσει την εξιστόρηση του Πύργου... φάνηκε όμως πως δεν μπόρεσε να σταθεί στο ύψος των περιστάσεων.
Η αφήγηση του ήταν απογοητευτική σε σχέση με του Δασκάλου.
Αναλογιζόμενη όσα είχαμε πει μεταξύ μας, κατάλαβα πως ο Δάσκαλος Κ. εφυγε επειδή κατάφερε να μπει τελικά στον Πύργο έστω και απο άλλη εισοδο,λιγότερο γνωστή.

Εκεί βρίσκεται τώρα παρέα με το θάνατο,τον αβάσταχτο πόνο,την ύπαρξη του κακού,την αίσθηση του παραλόγου και την απουσία νοήματος.

Τώρα που δεν φοβάται το θάνατο και έχει τ��ν εμπειρία της οδύνης και την πεποίθηση έλλειψης αξιών, ίσως περιφέρεται στον Πύργο και προσπαθεί να συμφιλιώσει αντίθετες θεωρήσεις και μεγάλες ιδέες για να μπορούμε κάπου να αποβλέπουμε ...!!

🏰🏰⚔️🔪🧠🗣🆓🔝🔚🔙🔪🧠🏰🏰

Καλή ανάγνωση!!

Πολλούς ασπασμούς!!
Profile Image for Fernando.
675 reviews1,042 followers
March 3, 2022
La calle, es decir la calle principal del pueblo, no llevaba al cerro del castillo, solamente conducía hasta sus cercanías, y entonces, como adrede, se desviaba, y si bien no se alejaba de aquel, tampoco se acercaba más.

Los caminos kafkianos siempre son los más difíciles.
La frase es mía pero lejos de creerme 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, va logrando en el lector los mismos sentimientos de desesperación.
Nadie colabora, todos entorpecen. K. se enreda en infinitos intentos que no conducen a nada. La inaccesibilidad al castillo es tal, que todos los funcionarios, dependientes e incluso cocheros o criados conspiran en su contra.
Uno va leyendo en forma intrincada línea tras línea con dificultad, como en un camino escabroso, pero no porque la narrativa de Kafka sea inaccesible, sino porque la trama va arrinconando al lector hasta lograr que el estado de frustración sea compartido.
Cabe destacar que los ambientes en los que se desarrolla "El castillo" son también oscuros y opresivos, inaccesibles. Todos tienen su grado de complejidad. Las posadas, la escuela, las oficinas administrativas de acceso al castillo son algunos ejemplos claros.
Pero además el castillo no es la típica construcción feudal, sino que se compone de distintos tipos casas, algunas de dos pisos, que forman una especie de aldea, que a la vez funciona como un gran paredón que separa a esa construcción del resto del pueblo. Sólo un par de torres (especialmente una) se destacan por sobre el resto del conglomerado de construcciones.
Todo conspira para que K. no logre su cometido. Debe tratar con ayudantes ineficientes e inoperantes (que a que a mí me da la impresión, en primer lugar de que no poseen sus facultades mentales completas y de actuar como si fueran dos perros y no seres humanos, por la forma en la que K. les ordena y ellos se chocan entre sí, o se pelean para llegar primeros o se quedan esperando una orden), mensajeros inexpertos como Barnabas que increíblemente resume la única esperanza de tener noticias del castillo y funcionarios que lo atienden desde la cama, como el Alcalde y Bürgel y que traza un paralelo con "El proceso", su otra novela, en la que Joseph K. tiene que tratar los asuntos de su juicio con el abogado también postrado en una cama.
La relación de K. con las mujeres es difícil, conflictiva y ambigua y traza un paralelismo con la vida del mismísimo Kafka), tanto con Frieda, como con Olga, Amalia, Pepi y la Gardena, la mesonera.
De la misma manera se enreda Joseph K. en "El proceso" con Leni, la secretaria del abogado, tiene una relación con Frieda, pero es deseado por Olga.
Lo complican y detestan (la mesonera, Pepi), lo seducen y celan (Frieda), lo atraen (Olga). En ciertos pasajes intenta con Frieda conseguir, utilizando cualquier sortilegio, superar las trabas que le impiden llegar desde bien abajo, al infranqueable castillo, pero es en vano.
Así fue en realidad la lucha del propio Kafka contra sus propios obstáculos y debilidades: un esfuerzo titánico por superar las circunstancias que la vida le propuso y que a medias pudo franquear.
Pero no sólo el castillo es inaccesible. Si bien este simboliza el poder, la “Divinidad”, como supo definirlo su amigo y albacea Max Brod, del mismo modo son inaccesibles sus funcionarios, como es el caso de Klamm, tal vez el más importante de todos y sobre el que K., deposita todas sus esperanzas, pero al que nunca logra llegar a entrevistar personalmente. Hasta en esto K. está desamparado. Todos los caminos se vuelven infinitos, laberínticos, como usualmente sucede en sus obras.
Lo que diferencia a K., de Joseph K., de la novela El Proceso, es que aquel intenta entender por qué es perseguido y condenado por el sistema, mientras que este K. va a su encuentro y trata de hacer infructuosos contactos.
Gran parte de lo que sucede en El Castillo demuestra lo absurda que puede resultarnos nuestra propia existencia, pero también desnuda lo que fue para siempre la "Ley" para Franz Kafka, porque la Ley es el Dios de esta novela, como sucede también en "El proceso", en el cuento "La condena" en donde la ley patriarcal es la que manda (y que lo relaciona directamente con su "Carta al padre") y hasta es elevado a un nivel supremo en esa gran parábola que se llama "Ante la ley" y que forma parte de "El Proceso".
Porque de eso se trata, y creo que siempre el elemento autobiográfico se refleja en la obra de Kafka, dado que su vida contiene también ciertos aspectos como los de K. Su precaria salud, la enfermedad que lo terminó matando, su trabajos en puestos completamente burocráticos, su imposibilidad de llegar a casarse tanto con Felice Bauer y el imposible acercamiento a Mílena Jesenská terminan impactando en su obra. La vida misma de Kafka, lo empírico se traslada a la ficción.
Kafka, al igual que Dostoievski logra hacerme reflexionar que muchas veces en la vida las cosas no son (y puede que nunca sean) como queremos y creo que de eso se trata: el tratar de superar las adversidades que la vida nos plantea.
Él nunca se plantea: “¿por qué no me voy?”, “¿por qué no abandono todo esto y pruebo una nueva vida?”, sino todo lo contrario, quiere quedarse, establecerse porque no puede volver atrás rechazando la proposición de Frieda mientras vive en una escuela, donde K., debe dejar su intento de trabajar como agrimensor para ser un simple bedel de escuela.
Mientras que en las novelas de Fiódor Dostoievski “la procesión existencialista” va por dentro del personaje para confrontarlo con la realidad y los demás personajes, en las de Kafka las circunstancias, el entorno y todas las probabilidades conspiran en contra y a la inversa, perforando la conciencia del personaje para llegar, incluso, a paralizarlo.
"El castillo" es otra de las novelas inacabadas de Kafka junto a "América" y "El proceso". Yo discrepo de los que dicen que "El proceso" es una novela sin terminar. El que la ha leído sabe como termina. Lo que no es inacabado en esa novela es la cantidad de interpretaciones que se han hecho de ella, pero la historia para mí sí tiene un final. Con "América" sí podemos ver un final abierto. El hecho de que Kafka no revisara o corrigiera sus novelas a fondo acrecienta esta condición.
En esta novela sí sabemos que nunca la terminó. La dejó inconclusa con una frase a medio terminar: "...hablaba con dificultad, era difícil comprenderla, pero lo que dijo,"
Ese final con una coma es lo que llamo un no-final kafkiano, tan suyo y que refleja su particular manera de abordar la literatura. Kafka desafía al lector, le abre una puerta al infinito.
Gran novela de Kafka. Incomprendida tal vez, críptica, agobiante, densa o como quieran llamarla, pero que junto al resto de sus otras obras sigue erigiendo al inmortal autor checo como a uno de los más geniales escritores que pisaron este planeta.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,568 reviews55.5k followers
September 4, 2021
(Book 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 circumstances into account, he was permitted to live and work there."

Dark and at times surreal, The Castle is often understood to be about alienation, unresponsive bureaucracy, the frustration of trying to conduct business with non-transparent, seemingly arbitrary controlling systems, and the futile pursuit of an unobtainable goal.

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «قصر»؛ «قصر فرانتس کافکا»؛ نویسنده: فرانتس کافکا؛ انتشاراتیها: (نیلوفر، ماهی، آسو)؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز دهم ماه آوریل سال 1976میلادی

عنوان: قصر؛ نویسنده: فرانتس کافکا؛ مترجم از متن آلمانی: عبدالرحمن صدریه؛ تهران، فروغی؛ 1340؛ در 301ص؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان آلمان - سده 20م

عنوان: قصر؛ نویسنده: فرانتس کافکا؛ مترجم: امیر جلال الدین اعلم؛ تهران، نیلوفر؛ 1373؛ در 442ص؛ چاپ دوم 1376؛ چاپ هفتم 1392؛

عنوان: قصر؛ نویسنده: فرانتس کافکا؛ مترجم: علی اصغر حداد؛ تهران، ماهی؛ 1388؛ در 427ص؛

عنوان: قصر؛ نویسنده: فرانتس کافکا؛ مترجم: محدثه موحدی؛ مونا قربانی؛ تهران، آسو؛ 1396؛ در 411ص؛ شابک 9786008755173؛

داستان از آنجایی آغاز می‌شود، که «کا»، شباهنگام وارد دهکده‌ ای می‌شود، که «قصر» در آن واقع است؛ به مهمانخانه‌ ای پناه می‌برد، تا استراحت کند، اما می‌خواهند او را از آنجا برانند، با این برهان که می‌گویند: «هر کس بخواهد وارد دهکده شود، یا در آنجا بماند می‌بایست از قصر اجازه گرفته باشد»؛ «کا» مدعی می‌شود، که شغلش مسّاحی است، و با درخواست خودِ «قصر»، به آنجا آمده‌ است؛ پس از زنگ زدن، نخست ادعای «کا» تکذیب می‌شود، و سپس تأیید می‌گردد، و در واقع «قصر»، «کا» را به مسّاحی می‌پذیرد؛ «کا» از فردا صبح، در پی آنست تا هر طور شده، به «قصر» برود، و شرح وظایفش را بپرسد، و مشغول کار شود، ولی تا پایان کتاب کامیاب نمی‌شود.؛ و ...؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 10/08/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 12/06/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Vit Babenco.
1,374 reviews3,190 followers
March 12, 2022
Is there a way to penetrate into high paces? Are high places really high?
Keeping his eyes fixed upon the Castle, K. went ahead, nothing else mattered to him. But as he came closer he was disappointed in the Castle, it was only a rather miserable little tower pieced together from village houses, distinctive only because everything was perhaps built out of stone, but the paint had long since flaked off, and the stone seemed to be crumbling.

Those who wield earthly power don’t sit high like Olympian gods they hide behind the closed doors concealed in the endless bureaucratic corridors. Do they really wield power?
Though the actual corridor was still empty, the doors were already moving, there was always one being opened a crack and then closed again quickly, the corridor was buzzing with all these door openers and door closers; K. saw here and there, above in the opening in the walls, which didn’t quite reach the ceiling, disheveled early-morning heads appear, and then vanish. From a distance, guided by a servant, came a tiny little cart containing files. A second servant walked alongside, holding a list which he was evidently using to compare the numbers on the doors with those on the files.

He who tries to reach the goal that isn’t worth reaching is doomed.
Profile Image for Valeriu Gherghel.
Author 6 books1,145 followers
December 3, 2022
#bibliotecaafectiva

Un roman neterminat, publicat de Max Brod după moartea autorului, în 1926. Titlul îi aparține lui Brod. Kafka a intenționat să-l scrie la persoana întîi, dar pe parcursul redactării și-a schimbat gîndul și l-a redactat la persoana a treia: „Era seară cînd K. sosi”.

Max Brod a propus și prima lui interpretare. Das Schloß ar prezenta alegoric o căutare (neîmplinită, desigur) a grației divine. Într-un eseu mai vechi, m-am întrebat ce s-ar întîmpla dacă protagonistul ar fi primit la castel... Dar sînt aproape sigur că Franz Kafka nu s-a gîndit nici o clipă la acest sfîrșit banal (K e primit cu amabilitate de Klamm, apoi de contele de Westwest, e servit cu un ceai etc.) și ar fi lăsat finalul deschis...

Ceea ce m-a intrigat cînd am citit literatura critică dedicată romanului (pentru a-mi redacta eseul) a fost afirmația recurentă că o astfel de carte nu este interpretabilă. Cineva a plusat și a scris, negru pe alb, că e vorba de „un roman inexplicabil”. Inexplicabil poate avea două sensuri: fie că romanul lui Kafka e ilizibil (nu pricepi nimic din el), fie că admite mai multe interpretări. Înclin să cred că acesta e sensul corect. Dacă Das Schloß ar fi incomprehensibil (dar nu e!), un cititor nici măcar nu l-ar putea rezuma.

În opinia mea, la nivel literal, Castelul este o proză perfect lizibilă şi interpretabilă. Dificultăţile survin abia dacă îți propui (cum a făcut Max Brod) să-l citești simbolic, alegoric, mistic. Mulți comentatori i-au urmat exemplul. Simbolic, nimic nu e sigur. Dar poţi face ipoteze cutezătoare. Poți vedea, bunăoară, în clădirea meschină şi inaccesibilă a castelului de pe deal un simbol al divinităţii (sau al Ierusalimul celest, de ce nu?). Problema e că n-ai rezolvat mare lucru, ai mutat-o ceva mai încolo. Și, în fond, ce-ar putea face somnolentul Klamm în Ierusalimului celest?

Mă gîndesc că Franz Kafka a procedat, ca de obicei, ironic. Cînd citea prietenilor dintr-un manuscris de-al lui, era primul care se amuza. Deci, a construit o tramă și a lăsat restul în voia cititorilor. Care nu duc niciodată lipsă de imaginație, abia așteaptă un impuls.

În încheiere, aș cita niște rezumate. Nimic nu exprimă mai bine ceea ce au înțeles criticii literari decît rezumatele pe care le propun. Așadar:

„Un individ, desemnat prin iniţiala K, fără o identitate precisă, greu creditabil, face eforturi zadarnice, în scopul de a fi acceptat de ‘castelani’ ca agrimensor al satului”. Cum vedem, subiectul romanului poate fi expus simplu și limpede. În această privinţă, nu există vreun motiv de controversă între criticii literari.

Nici Ilana Shilot nu rezumă altfel: Castelul e povestea unui anume K., individ care soseşte într-o aşezare neînsemnată, urmînd astfel o pretinsă înţelegere cu pretinşii stăpîni ai locului (aceea de a fi agrimensor) şi care aşteaptă zadarnic recunoaşterea statutului său de către domnii din castel.

Și mai simplu a formulat subiectul Elizabeth Boa: „The modern hero has arrived in a premodern world”. Altfel spus: Castelul ar ilustra zicala despre omul (ne)potrivit aflat în locul şi momentul (ne)potrivite...
Profile Image for Luís.
1,791 reviews430 followers
February 2, 2023
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. 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 established order and acceptance by all; therefore, he will be isolated and seen as an absurd character, the stranger, the intruder.
Through absurd machinery, Kafka emphasizes with his usual humor our difficulty in finding our place individually in the world to which we belong.
The devices described by Kafka are, unfortunately, realistic.
Profile Image for Nika.
116 reviews113 followers
September 25, 2022
4.5 stars rounded up

" It was late evening when K. arrived. The village lay deep in snow. There was nothing to be seen of Castle Mount, for mist and darkness surrounded it, and not the faintest glimmer of light showed where the great castle lay. K. stood on the wooden bridge leading from the road to the village for a long time, looking up at what seemed to be a void ."

Such are the opening lines of this novel, where almost nothing is quite as it appears.
Kafka wrote to Milena Jesenská as regards her translation of one of his works:
“… I have the feeling that I’m taking you by the hand through the story’s subterranean passages, gloomy, low, ugly, almost endless <...> hopefully in order to have the good sense to disappear into the daylight at the exit.”
The same holds true for the Castle. Some of its paragraphs are almost endless, most of them gloomy, but the novel as a whole astounds the reader and catches their attention.
Everything here resembles an agonizing dream. In this nightmare, you continue going in circles without any feasible hope of achieving what you want to achieve or what you presume that you want to achieve.
If we regard the story as a dream, the fact that the writer never completed it (the novel literally ends mid-sentence) will look reasonable. Dreams could be suddenly cut short, could they not?

We follow a man called K. as he arrives in some village to work as a land surveyor. On the top of a nearby mountain stands the castle. The villagers view it as the sole source of power and status.
The only subject that the people in the village care about is the castle. Their lives revolve around this semi-mythical and quasi-mysterious building and officials who seem to have access to it.
It is snowing and does not want to stop at all, as if the weather were in accord with such a gloomy and depressing mood.
K. was left standing in the snow, feeling disinclined to haul his foot out of it only to have it sink in again a little further on. The master tanner and his friend, happy to be rid of K. at last, made their way slowly back through the door of the house, which was only standing ajar, still keeping an eye on him. K. was left alone in the all-enveloping snow.

The seemingly omnipotent castle casts its long shadow over the village. However, the relationship between the two entities must be symbiotic. One cannot exist without another, and vice versa.
In this world, which K. is about to discover, nothing is certain and no one worries about such things as logic and common sense.
Although the protagonist is convinced that the castle sent for him to work as a land surveyor, not a single authorized person is ready to confirm his appointment, thus reducing K. to constant waiting.
K. does not want to reconcile himself with the reality, inimical to him and his plans. He attempts to fight the System and grab every opportunity that presents itself. One of such opportunities is Frieda, an alleged lover of a powerful official from the castle. Some aspects of Frieda’s personality and K.’s attitude toward her may relate to Kafka’s relationship with Milena.
After several unsuccessful attempts to turn the tide, the main character seems to let himself be taken in by the weird circumstances, which have turned out to be too difficult for him.
K. has to follow where fate takes him. Nevertheless, for the story does not have an ending we will never know what may happen to the unlucky land surveyor.
In the novel, everyone experiences anxiety, one way or another. K. is frustrated with the castle’s officials, whereas the local people dislike K. whom they regard as being extremely impolite.
They do not hesitate to point out to him the importance of showing deference toward the castle.
Having to delve into the impersonal world of bureaucracy with its endless tunnels and hiding-places is a disturbing perspective.
K. is too stubborn to stop trying to find some logic concerning his job appointment, but his chances of being able to cope with the absurd look bleak.

What does the image of the castle stand for?
It can be seen as a metaphor for bureaucracy that permeates every sphere of public and private life. However, the power of the castle, which may seem limitless, lasts as long as the people in the village choose to believe in it.

If you do not want to be disappointed, having started the novel, you should not expect to find a plot in it. You should not expect your efforts to be rewarded with a proper ending. There will be none, as I have already mentioned.
The novel, like many of Franz Kafka’s texts, is abstract, remote from real life, and at the same time poignantly personal, reminiscent of Kafka's personal experiences.
Instead of going deeper into the story, which I do not pretend to fully understand, I want to quote the following lines from Leonard Cohen’s Waiting for the Miracle.

Nothing left to do
When you're begging for a crumb
Nothing left to do
When you've got to go on waiting
Waiting for the miracle to come

(see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXvG0...)

I think that they capture the prevailing atmosphere of the book, the feelings of our bedazzled protagonist, and my overall impression.
Profile Image for فؤاد.
1,032 reviews1,675 followers
October 5, 2018
۱.
«در نور ته شمع، کسی قوز کرده و کتاب می خواند. مادر گرستکر بود. دست لرزانش را به طرف ک دراز کرد و او را کنار خود نشاند. با زحمت حرف می زد، فهمیدن سخنش دشوار بود، ولی چیزی که می گفت،

متن دست نوشتۀ رمان قصر همین جا و به همین صورتِ ناتمام، پایان می یابد.»

فکر کنم رمان رو باید توی شِلف «ناتمام ها» بذارم. (:


۲.
دو سه ماه بعد از تموم کردن قصر، یه شب خواب دیدم که داشتم برای کسی راجع به تفاوت دو رمان قصر و محاکمه توضیح می دادم. گفتم: محاکمه پیرنگ نداره، از یه سری صحنه های کمابیش منقطع از هم تشکیل شده. ک میره این جا، با این آدم حرف می زنه، یه سری اطلاعات راجع به دادگاه می گیره. بعد میره اون جا، با اون آدم حرف می زنه، یه سری اطلاعات دیگه می گیره و همین طور...

برعکس، قصر پیرنگ داره. یه اتفاق علت اتفاق بعدی میشه که اونم علت اتفاق بعدی میشه و همین طور... مثل مهره های دومینو. قصر هم گفتگوهای طولانی راجع به ماهیت قصر داره، اما تمام داستان فقط گفتگو نیست. این گفتگوها توسط یه رشتهٔ محکم که پیرنگ باشه به هم متصل شده‌ن. به خاطر همینه که قصر رو بیشتر ازمحاکمه دوست دارم.

توی بیداری متوجه این فرقشون نشده بودم.


۳.
چیزی که برام جالب بود، تفاوت شخصیت ک در این رمان با ک در محاکمه بود. با این که هر دو رمان مضمون مشابهی دارن، اما ک در این رمان بیشتر عصیان می کنه، بیشتر بی اعتنایی می کنه به توضیحات و توجیهات بچگانۀ آدم ها راجع به قصر/دادگاه، بیشتر واقع بینی ش رو حفظ می کنه و سعی می کنه درست واکنش نشون بده، واکنش هایی که گاهی دل من خواننده رو خنک می کرد که قصر/دادگاه اگر نه کاملاً حداقل در یک مورد خیلی جزئی سنگ روی یخ شده.

بر خلاف ک در محاکمه که مثل کسی که در خوابی گیر افتاده باشه، تنها ناظر بود، ناظر اتفاقات و تصمیماتی که براش گرفته می شد، بدون این که خودش کاری بتونه بکنه، و در انتها هم به گفتۀ خودش «مثل سگ» کشته شد.

می تونم امیدوار باشم ک در قصر حداقل «مثل سگ» کشته نمی شه. هر چند سرنوشتش مبهم تر از ک در محاکمه است. شاید به خاطر همین شخصیت غیرمنفعل ک در قصر، حتی خود کافکا هم انتهایی برای داستان در نظر نگرفته بوده و نمی دونسته چطور چنین داستانی به انتها می رسه. وقتی که نه شخصیت می تونه شکست بخوره، نه قصر/دادگاه.

به قول جوکر:
This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.
داستانی که ضرورتاً نمی تونه پایانی داشته باشه، و ضرورتاً تا ابد این تخاصم و درگیری ادامه پیدا می کنه.

پل استراترن توی «آشنایی با کافکا» گفته بود این احتمالاً بازتاب حال روحی کافکا موقع نوشتن دو داستانه. موقع نوشتن محاکمه کافکا هنوز تحت تاثیر پدرش و کارش و قید و بندهای دیگه، احساس درماندگی و ناتوانی داشت. اما موقع نوشتن قصر با دختری آشنا شده بود، از زادگاهش به جای دیگه ای نقل مکان کرده بود (به آلمان؟ یادم نیست) و مدتی هر چند کوتاه، از اون احساس درماندگی و ناتوانی که محیط خانواده و زادگاهش بهش تحمیل می کرد آزاد شده بود.
Profile Image for Nandakishore Mridula.
1,238 reviews2,205 followers
January 11, 2018
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 peddler do not carry card-swiping machines." NK. set off to the bank, annoyed.

At the bank, he tried to withdraw money, first from the ATM, and when that proved unsuccessful, from the bank personally; but the teller told him: "I am afraid there is a technical issue, sir, you Aadhar number which is linked your account has some problem, so I am unable to complete the transaction.""Oh," said NK. "What is the problem?" "I can't see that from here, sir," said the teller. "I think you will have to log in to the site with your ID and check yourself." "Can I do it from here?" NK. asked. "No sir, our bank policy prevents us from allowing outsiders to use our computers. I am sorry, sir." The teller replied.

NK. returned home. "Got the money?" asked his wife. "No. There is a problem with my Aadhar number and I need to correct it online." NK. said. His wife replied: "Well, you can't do it from here. There is a power shutdown until the evening.""I will do it on my laptop," NK. said and went to his office room. But the laptop would not power up: he suddenly remembered that the battery was dead and had to be replaced. He called his computer serviceman. "I guess you will have to bring it here, sir," said that gentleman. "Today all my assistants are on leave and there is no one to send." Accordingly NK. went outside to catch an auto-rickshaw.

He was standing on the roadside for quite some time without success, when a neighbour chanced by. "What are you waiting for?" he asked. "An auto," said NK. "Well, you won't get any today. There's a lightning bandh declared by one of the political parties, the Congress, BJP or CPI(M), I don't know which, to protest against a killing somewhere in the North." Said the neighbour. "Well, in that case I better go home,"NK. said. The neighbour concurred.

By this time it had grown quite dark. NK. wondered where the day had gone. As he went into his office room, he saw The Castle lying unread on his table. "I will definitely read it tomorrow," he said.
Profile Image for Sonky.
39 reviews7 followers
August 19, 2012
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.self.

I think at the time and place of its writing, it was somehow valuable to use The Castle, pointing out in surrealism the satirible qualities of the bureaucracy and peasantry.

The value The Castle has to offer here and now is not worth the attention required to read it. Kafka is upside down in his book.
Profile Image for George.
13 reviews
June 29, 2007
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 never captured in the previous, "original" translations which used archaic (even for kafka's time) english words from Kafka's odd german. Punctuation and syntax and grammer and phrasing that Kafka never used or put in were added in the old translations. All of that has been stripped away and the purest form of Kafka's German in English is now available. While still not the same as the actual German, it's very close and very true to his "real" style.

Kafka is, without argument, regarded as one of the greats of 20th century literature, and The Castle (the third installment of Kafka's alluded "brothers" trilogy, with Amerika & The Trial being the other two) is the purest example of what makes him great. Within this amazing book that was never finished and thus has no ending, is "The Eighth Chapter", a small chapter so heart-wrenchingly beautiful I had to read it twice before moving on to the next chapter.

It is a hard book to begin as a "starter" into Kafka, and perhaps not even suggested as a starter regardless. Following his own writing path would be highly valuable, reading through the new critical translations of Amerika and The Trial, as well as his short stories (the hunger artist, the sons, the penal colony, the metamorphosis), will grant a greater appreciation when undertaking The Castle.
Profile Image for Cecily.
1,094 reviews3,831 followers
October 16, 2022
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 relationship with Milena and hers with her husband (portrayed as the mysterious Klamm). Or you can read your own meaning into it.

See my Kafka-related bookshelf for other works by and about Kafka: HERE.

See also Murakami's Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, which I reviewed HERE. One of the two strands has many parallels with this.
Profile Image for Kostas Papadatos.
52 reviews21 followers
November 30, 2016
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 γραφειοκρατίας και αποφασίζει να μείνει στο χωριό κάτω από τον Πύργο. Οι κάτοικοι του όμως είναι μεγάλα γαϊδούρια που νομίζουν πως η λέξη "φιλοξενία" είναι χωριό στην Ανδαλουσία. Εκεί, ο "Κ" γνωρίζει την Φρίντα (είναι από το χωριό δε την ξέρετε) και κατόπιν ωρίμου σκέψεως ενός νανοδεύτερου τη ζητάει σε γάμο γιατί την αγαπάει (πφφ). Αυτό μέχρι τις πρώτες εκατό σελίδες, όολο το υπόλοιπο βιβλίο περιστρέφεται γύρω από το -θα μπω, δε θα μπω- του ήρωα μας στον Πύργο. Το τέλος (το ποιο;) του βιβλίου ανύπαρκτο, η ιστορία μας τελειώνει πιο απότομα και από χαράδρα στο Grand Canyon, είχε κατάθλιψη και φυματίωση ο Kafka όταν το έγραφε και δεν το ολοκλήρωσε ποτέ. Thanks for nothing Franz, μας υποχρέωσες.
Profile Image for Steven Godin.
2,281 reviews2,151 followers
October 4, 2019
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 been better not reading it at all, to spare the pain of getting to the final few words, and screaming to the heavens - NO!
The three star rating reflects more on the way it made me feel at the end (or non-end in this case)
rather than what went before, which was mostly great.

What was to become of K.? I can only guess how things would have gone, and haven't a clue just how much more Kafka planned to write to get to his finale. So if there are any of my fine and helpful GR brothers and sisters who are well knowledged when it comes to The Castle, and have any ideas, then I'd love to know.

I'm now off to drown my Kafka sorrows with a cocktail or two.
Profile Image for Alessandro.
115 reviews17 followers
March 5, 2011
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 the baddest motherfucker alive and I wasn't going to give up just like that. While reading The Castle, I experienced nausea, boredom, anxiety, nervous breakdown and unsurpassed rage. I survived through it all. I half expected that, in the last chapter, Franz Kafka would reveal this book as being a big joke. He would congratulate the reader for reading thus far and offer his sincerest apologizes for such torture. It never happened. I hear he died before finishing The Castle. Maybe that was his intended ending.

Spoilers ahead! The Castle is an obvious commentary about bureaucracy and about an individual oppressed by society. Nonetheless, I cooked up my own interpretation of this bloody mess. The next paragraph exposes it.

The villagers and castle-officers share two common traits. First off, they both are proud of their station in life and job. Some of the villagers work at the most mundane jobs possible. Nevertheless, they are proud of it. The castle-officers are shamelessly inefficient and The Castle fails to provide solution to anything during the novel. Nonetheless, these officers regard themselves as semi-gods and are proud of it. The other common trait is that they all believe that life is out of control. They never act. Instead, they accept every circumstance and let every occurrence mold their lives without resistance. Except the disgraced family, but that’s precisely why they are disgusting to the villagers. Every time a villager reinterprets everything that happens to K as being profoundly and inexorable important to his or her own life, Kafka is pointing out that the commoners never act to fix their lives. They accept it as it is. I perceived this when Pepi (the most unimportant character imaginable) reviews everything that happened thus far from her point of view. Moreover, blamed K. for every affect it had in her life. She is just a passive victim. All the villagers and castle-folk are passive. As a foreigner, K. is different. First, K. does not have a clear job and that hurts his pride. In the first chapters, he is completely pissed off but the book never tells it to you straightaway. He is hurling snowballs at people to catch their attention. If that is not the action of an angry person, I do not know what it is. Second, and most important, K. is active. He acts and tries to solve his problem. That is completely alien to the villagers. Their only trade is the art of making excuses and empty (endless) arguments. That is the reason why the villagers consider K. as being childish and naive. Does he not know he is supposed to accept live as it is? When the narrative approaches its end, K. is reasoning like one of the villagers already. Body Snatcher style, he has been assimilated.
Profile Image for Tara.
344 reviews19 followers
August 16, 2017
“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 painfully well done that reading it often made me queasy. My brain got itchy and squirmy and fussy. It set my teeth on edge. It was like wading through molasses of dubious origin and hue. It was claustrophobic and smeary. That said, it managed to make me laugh quite a bit too.

It seemed to fit the definition of grotesque rather well: comically or repulsively ugly or distorted. See also many of the synonyms for grotesque: malformed, deformed, misshapen, misproportioned, twisted, and gnarled.

Bottom line: In my opinion, The Castle was conceptually brilliant, but the actual reading of this intense novel was more often than not a vividly dreadful experience, as was no doubt intended.

I was awfully fond of those assistants though:

Profile Image for Sawsan.
1,001 reviews1,264 followers
July 20, 2022
تبدو الحياة في كتابات كافكا كالسراب..الانسان لا ينال مُراده منها مهما بلغ سعيه فيها
كافكا بارع في اختيار أفكار رواياته حتى ولو لم يكملها للنهاية
أبدع هنا في تصوير حالة الحيرة والغضب والاغتراب لدى بطل روايته ك
في محاولاته لإدراك وإصلاح خطأ ما خاص بعمله وقبوله في أرض القلعة
ك يواجه قوة وسلطة القلعة التي تتحكم في وجوده ومصيره
وأهالي القرية وما يمثلونه من خضوع ولا مبالاة وعبث وبيروقراطية
يدور في دائرة من الغموض واللاجدوى من أجل الوصول إلى مطالبه
وحاجاته الانسانية البسيطة لكنه في النهاية قد لا يصل إلى شيء

نص يحتمل التأويل بعض مشاهده ممتعة برغم الإطالة في الحوارات والتفاصيل
Profile Image for Miss Ravi.
Author 1 book967 followers
December 27, 2016
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.
Profile Image for Jan-Maat.
1,523 reviews1,769 followers
Read
May 8, 2019
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, partly because the situation described is so enveloping ,that the idea of escaping the Castle by finishing the book became in some way a thought crime, and semi-consciously, or even demi-consciously, I read slower and slower, just as K. walked all day but never got closer to the Castle so I read but barely progressed.

I liked the alternative beginning and the rejected fragments many of which I read as I went like footnotes, I fantasied about an insane edition of The Castle with two versions of the text printed not in succession, but back to front so the book had two front covers and one could flip the book over to read the other version like an A and B side of a record.

We know that in the graveyard of the nineteenth century two graves lie side by side: God and the author. Who wrote The Castle, Franz Kafka? K.? Max Brod? The reader? Any of these acting in collusion and conspiracy together?

I read a Broderised edition. Kafka and Brod are for me like Mussgorsky and Rimsky-Korsakov, one man asserting himself over the creativity of the other. It may in principle be possible to read Kafka without Brod but without Brod would we even know Kafka today? Would his strangeness left him forgotten?

I was compelled of my own free will to read this, freely submitting to the gravitational pull of a friend reading Letters to Milena. That was insane. Kafka is not K. K. is Kafka, Milena is not Frieda, and yet...

At first the experience of K. in the story reminded me of telephoning a large organisation, you don't have the direct number of the person you need to talk to, from the switchboard you are transfered through the system, put on hold, transfer from number to number, ultimately to be connected to nothingness, a dull tone only in the receiver.

Traditionally I would fall back on the social and cultural context, you know Kafka had lived through the experience of going to bed one night a citizen of the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy, waking up feeling a bit strange, and not quite one's self, and then in the evening realising that he was now a Czechoslovak.

Reading further the setting of The castle reminded me of Melvyn Peake's Gormendghast, but told from the point of view of Steerpike, Peake's trilogy began to be published in 1946, the first translation into English of The castle was published in 1941. The setting seems curiously similar particularly the relationship between village/outertown and the fortress, also how both places appear both isolated from the wider world and yet of this world too.

The Muirs' translation in its word choice was influenced by Max Brod's understanding of the religious nature of the text, this was not wildly unreasonable, Brod lays out this reading in the
First Afterword with particular attention as the Sortini/Sordini episode as a parallel to Kierkegaard's interpretation of the Abraham and Isaac story in Fear and Trembling. Well. The problem is that a good parallel is not a straight forward thing to appreciate, does it indicate agreement or criticism or nuance of the original story - more complex in this case as it touches on the relationship between God and people! Here the water is very deep, the story of The Castle does not suggest an uncritical relationship to the Castle and its administration, if it represents Divinity in any way it suggests that at the heart of the Temple, in the Holy of Holies, one finds only the The Wizard of Oz , or as it says in the story - you don't know if the person you are speaking to on the telephone is really the person you think you are talking to, indeed you can't even know if the person you meet face to face is the person they say they are. Deep water since I know too little about Kafka and his religious views, or his attitudes generally. Was Brod right? Letters have emerged in which the two discuss their fears of contracting syphilis so they were comfortable discussing certain intimate issues with each other, on the other hand my impression reading the sections removed by Kafka was that he was attempting to polish the text into a mirror. The reader approaches the Castle and finds their own preoccupations and vital concerns. It could be bureaucracy - perfectly insane, or Capitalist society, or the modern condition in a post-Enlightenment world or a vision of life as a struggle for power or as resistance against the attempts of others to dominate us, or about the relationship, here dysfunctional, between sex and intimacy, or indeed Kafka knows what. The reader reads and finds themself at the centre of the text. The Author is dead. Long live the Reader !

Indeed it was the Muir translation which I first read half a lifetime ago, the Muirs were, once upon a time, a young Scottish couple (she a teacher, he a drifter and refugee Orcadian) who rumgebumelt about Europe in the interwar period working for the British Council here and there. They spent some time in Prague and Dresden among other places, learnt themselves some German and produced the early translations into English of Kafka, rather like the great plant collectors of the eighteenth century brought back exotic blooms to European glasshouses, so they transplanted, no doubt not as subtly as others since the work of this middle European writer to the English speaking world.

And also I mentioned Letters to Milena. I was struck her by the sudden force of feeling in this for example: jeder Angriff gegen Frieda gleichzeitig ein Angriff gegen meine Existenz ist. Ich bin aus eigenem Willen hierhergekommen, und aus eigenem Willen habe ich mich hier festgehakt (p168) and here the quotes from those letters popping up in my feed made a new sense of the story, if Frieda is a Milena, and if Klamm is a Milena's husband, then K.'s belief and acceptance of Frieda's feelings for Klamm continuing and respected even in the context of their own intimacy make a different sense. An attack against his existence? Here then I wondered not novel as masked biography but maybe the novel as a poetisisation of his own life and experience - this is what life feels like to me - Franz Kafka - read and despair, mere reader! And there is in this an acceptance of an insane situation as an opportunity for the assertion of identity and values.

As a bonus since we read Kafka we understand the world through his eyes - Kafka creates our Weltanschauung. We understood what a Kafkaesque situation is because we have read Kafka.

Then there is the dreaminess of the whole thing, the way I at least, maybe you too recognise and understand things in dreams in a direct way, for example I dreamt I was in Australia and saw a downtrodden Sumatran tiger walking alongside a road. I can't in this waking life distinguish a Sumatran from a non-Sumatran tiger, but in the dream if was a fact beyond question. So with the two assistants K. recognises them and doesn't know them either then follows eventually the delightful exchange:"Er hat dein Dienst verlassen. Du warst aber auch ein wenig grob und hart zu uns. Die zarte Seele hat es nicht ertragen. er ist ins Schloss zurückgekehrt und führt Klage über dich..."
"Worüber klagt ihr denn?"
"Darüber...dass du keinen Spaß verstehst..."
(p.195)
The assistants have been detailed to K. they protest they know nothing of surveying, they are told it is not important: Das wichtigste ist aber, dass ihr ihn ein wenig erheitert. Wie man mir berichtet, nimmt er alles sehr schwer. Er ist jetzt ins Dorf gekommen, und gleich ist ihm das ein großes Ereignis, während es doch in Wirklichkeit gar nichts ist. Das sollt ihr ihm beibringen (ibid.)
He must be cheered up, he takes things to heart. In the end a kiss is just a kiss and a novel is just a novel?

Delightfully insane, deliberately mysterious, it brought to mind The quest of the Holy Grail, in one episode, questing knights arrive at a Castle, the Lady of the Castle has leprosy and can only be cured by bathing in the blood of a maiden of noble birth. What luck, the knights happen to have their virgin sister with them - how much blood is needed? Eight and a half pints. She has just such an amount. Sister dies, the Lady is cured - don't try this at home. This what happens when you start rereading Kafka. He gets everywhere, like sand at the beach.
Profile Image for MJ Nicholls.
1,995 reviews3,969 followers
February 24, 2016
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 proves apt: one suspects K. to remain trapped in the village, never to receive an appointment with Klamm until the moment of death, and fortunately, by the time the final sentence comes around, one is begging for release following Pepi’s rambling free indirect monologue (one of many overlong interactions in the novel). Otherwise, a brilliant beach read.
Profile Image for إيمان .
260 reviews172 followers
November 29, 2015

القلعة لفرانتس كافكا


بعد وفاته ترك كافكا رسالة لصديقه ماكس برود يطلب فيها
أن تحرق كل أعماله المنشورة والتي لم تنشر بعد من ذلك هذه
الرواية. الا أن الاخير لم يقترف هذه الجريمة الأدبية بل قام بجمع
.مسودات كافكا و اعاد ترتيبها وحرص أن تجد طريقها للعلن
ولأن افعالا" بسيطة" قد تغير وجه التاريخ فان ما قام به برود
غير وجه التاريخ الأدبي على الاقل اذ يكفي ان نعرف قيمة
الأسماء التي تأثرت بكتابات كافكا حتى ندرك حجم الخسارة التي
كانت ستحل بالفكر الانساني ومن ذلك نذكر ماركيز كامو سارتر
والقائمة تطول

description

________________________________
تتمحور هذه الرواية حول ك.الغريب الذي يأتي الى القرية
للعمل كماسح للاراضي لكنه طوال الرواية لم يقم بأي عمل
"يمت لوظيفته المزعومة بصلة فيبدأ بالبحث عن سبب "وجوده
في ذلك المكان محاولا التواصل مع القلعة التي تقوم
بادارة شؤون القرية من خلال شبكة معقدة من الموظفين

description



خلال هذا البحث يلتقي ك. بعدة شخصيات من ذلك عشيقته فريدا
رسوله برنابا أولغا اميليا وغيرهم .
يبتعد كافكا تماما عن وصف الحالة النفسية لهؤولاء و يمعن
في اطالة الحورات الدائرة بينهم خاصة المتعلقة بوصف الية
. عمل الموظفين مما جعلها تكتسي طابعا كرتونيا ان صح التعبير
طبيعة الشخصيات غير واضحة اذ لا نعرف المتحيل من المحتال
عليه أو المتحكم و المتحكم به
الغموض يحيط بكل جوانبها اننا لا نعرف حتى الاسم الكامل
!للشخصية الرئيسية
_______________________________________
وجدت عدة تأويلات لهذا العمل من ذلك التفسير ذو الطابع
الديني والذي يرى في القلعة رمزا للقدسية و سعي الانسان
المتواصل للظفر باجوبة حول أسئلته الوجودية او ببساطة سعيه
الى "الخلاص"ومما يدعم هذا لرأي وجود عدة احاءات من العهد
القديم اذ أن رسول ك.كان يدعى برنابا وهو نفس اسم مساعد
القديس بولس...
هناك أيضا تفسير اخر ذو بعد سياسي يرى في هذا العمل
تنبؤا بمشكلة الانسان المعاصر مع البيروقراطية والسلطة
الحاكمة التي باتت تحدد هويته ومصيره.بل يذهب البعض الى
القول بان الرواية كانت وصفا للمناخ المناهض للسامية في
تلك الفترة من خلال الظلم الذي وقع على عائلة برنابا
والولاء اللامشروط لموظفي القلعة
فيما يظن شق ثالث أنها تجسيد للمعاناة من الوحدة والانعزال
ورغبة في التواصل والانتماء
description
_______________________________________
هو عمل ليس بالهين اذن وكونه من الاعمال غير المنتهية يفتح
الباب لمزيد من التأويلات.لم تكن بالقراءة السهلة بل كانت فعلا مرهقة.الحوارات مثيرة للأعصاب أحيانا وكأن كافكا
يسعى لان يشعرنا بوطأة "الجحيم "الذي يعيشه ك.لكنني في المقابل لن اتردد في قراءتها مرة أخرى ربما بترجمة عربية
ببساطة لأن قراءة واحدة في هذ الحالة لا تكفي
قد تسأل اخيرا لاي التحليلات أميل أكثر؟ عاطفيا أميل للثالث
!عقلانيا؟ ربما ثلاتثها مجتمعة
____________________________________

"إن كافكا لم يكتب إطلاقاً الفصل الختامي، لكنه أخبرني به ذات يوم عندما سألته كيف ستنتهي الرواية، وأن ماسح الأراضي المزعوم كان عليه أن يجد الرضا الجزئي في النهاية. لم يكن عليه أن يجد الراحة في صراعه، بل عليه أن يموت وقد مزقه الصراع. وكان على القرويين أن يتحلّقوا حول سرير موته، لتأتي كلمة من الق��عة تقول أنه بالرغم من زعم ك. القانوني للعيش في القرية، لم يكن صادقاً، إلا أنه، مع إدخال الظروف الإستثنائية المخفّفة، مسموح له أن يعيش وأن يعمل هناك"
_ماكس برود_




Profile Image for Nickolas the Kid.
297 reviews70 followers
January 20, 2018
’Ηταν νύχτα αργά σαν έφτασε ο Κ. Το χωριό ήταν χωμένο μέσα στο χιόνι…”

Έτσι ξεκινάει λοιπόν η περιπλάνηση του Χωρομέτρη Κ. στο χωριό του Πύργου ε��ώ ταυτόχρονα αρχίζει και η περιπλάνηση του αναγνώστη στα δαιδαλώδη και σκοτεινά μονοπάτια αυτού του βιβλίου…
Τι είναι ακριβώς ο Πύργος; Μια αλληγορία για την γραφειοκρατία, ένας συμβολισμός για την ανθρώπινη καταπίεση, οι προσωπικοί δαίμονες του συγγραφέα; Ίσως όλα αυτά μαζί, ίσως και τίποτα από αυτά… Προσωπικά μέσα στον Πύργο δεν βρήκα συμβολισμούς και αλληγορίες. Συνάντησα μόνο τις φοβίες, τις ανασφάλειες και τους εφιάλτες ενός πολύ ιδιαίτερου συγγραφέα.
Όμως η εξαιρετική γραφή του Κάφκα, διαποτισμένη με υπερβολές, παραλογισμούς και ενοχές, κατάφερε να μ�� παρασύρει σε ένα εφιαλτικό και σχεδόν τρομακτικό σκηνικό, μέσα από μια μονότονη και βασανιστικά ελκυστική διαδρομή.

Είναι γνωστό πως ο Κάφκα πέθανε πριν προλάβει να ολοκληρώσει το Πύργο… Στην συγκεκριμένη έκδοση το αρχικό κείμενο της πρώτης έκδοσης τελειώνει στην σελίδα 297. Για μένα εκεί τελειώνει και το αριστουργηματικό αυτό βιβλίο. Οι επόμενες σελίδες βασίζονται στα χειρόγραφα που βρήκε ο Μαξ Μπροντ στο σπίτι του Κάφκα μετά τον θάνατο του τελευταίου… Το ότι το έργο παρέμεινε ημιτελές, για μένα του προσδίδει μια επιπλέον γοητεία, αν και δεν πιστεύω πως κάτι συμβατικό θα συνέβαινε ακόμα κι αν ο συγγραφέας προλάβαινε να γράψει το τέλος…

ΕΝ κατακλείδι ο Πύργος είναι ένα πολύ ιδιαίτερο ανάγνωσμα και όπως ήταν αναμενόμενο διχάζει τις απόψεις των αναγνωστών όλα αυτά τα χρόνια…. Το ακαθόριστο του χρόνου, οι μακρόσυρτες προτάσεις και ο ‘καφκικός” τρόπος γραφής ίσως να μην ενθουσιάζουν τους πάντες αλλά ένα πράγμα είναι σίγουρο! Όποιον τον τραβήξουν όλα τα παραπάνω θα το κάνουν για τα καλά!

5/5* στο βιβλίο και άλλα 5 αστεράκια για αυτή την μοναδική αναγνωστική εμπειρία…
Profile Image for Agir(آگِر).
437 reviews486 followers
September 5, 2017
description
بله، من ناآگاهم، این حقیقت همچنان به قوت خود باقی می ماند، و این مسئله برای من خیلی ناگوار است. ولی ناآگاهی در ضمن این مزیت را دارد که شخص ناآگاه بیشتر خطر می کند، و به همین دلیل من خیال دارم تا جایی که توانم اجازه می دهد ناآگاهی، و البته پیامدهای ناجور آن را، باز چند وقتی تحمل کنم

این تنها سرنوشت شخصیت اول این کتاب نیست که در ناآگاهی بماند بلکه خواننده کتاب هم در بیشتر خطوط آثار کافکا وا می ماند. و حتی نویسندگان و منتقدین بزرگ هم نتوانسته اند به یک معنای مشترک و نزدیک به هم از ذهن پیچیده ی کافکا دست پیدا کنند. با اینحال چیزی از جذابیت این دنیای اسرارآمیز کم نمی شود. دنیایی که همچون کابوسی شبانه، آدم را غرق دلهره و اضطراب می کند

تنها چیزی که می دانم این است که قلم کافکا چیزی درون خود دارد که بسیار اعتیادآور است و آدم را بسوی ناشناخته های ذهن این یهودی نازنین فرا می خواند..."کا" به هر دری می زند تا به قصر برسد و این بی شباهت به خود خواننده نیست که در تلاشی نافرجام و پیاپی می خواهد به عمق نوشته های کافکا پی ببرد. و این تلاشی است خستگی ناپذیر

از نظر شخص ناآگاه همه چیز امکان پذیر می نماید

...و اینک پیش بسوی دنیای جدید: آمریکا
Profile Image for Marilou K..
146 reviews35 followers
February 13, 2018
Για να καταλάβεις όλα τα κρυφά νοήματα και τους συμβολισμούς του Πύργου, πρέπει να τον διαβάσεις τουλάχιστον 2-3 φορές. Αν όμως θες να το διαβάσεις, γιατί αγαπάς τα καλα βιβλία και σε μαγεύει ο Κάφκα,αρκεί μία!

Τον Κάφκα τον γνώρισα με τη Δίκη και τον αγάπησα. Συνέχισα με τον Πύργο. Εξακολουθώ να τον αγαπώ. Δε ξέρω γιατί. Ειναι ο λιτός του τροπος; Ειναι οι πλοκες του που δεν καταλαβαίνεις για ποιο λόγο συμβαίνουν όλα αυτά; Είναι το μάταιο που προκύπτει; δε ξέρω, τον αγαπώ, αφήστε με!
Profile Image for Semjon.
630 reviews311 followers
March 21, 2020
Das Schloss ist für mich ein Roman, der nicht von der Handlung, sondern von der Atmosphäre lebt. Diese ist durchweg beklemmend, phobisch und düster. Der Landvermesser K. taucht in einem Dorf auf, das von einem Schloss beherrscht wird. Dabei ist es kein aristokratischer Herrscher, der die Angst bei den Dorfbewohnern hervorruft, sondern das Schloss als Institution, als undurchdringlicher Verwaltungsapparat. Es gelingt K. nicht, zum Schloss vorzudringen. Die Dorfbewohner stehen ihm feindlich gegenüber, und K. ist auch kein Sympathieträger, der Vertrauen erwecken kann.

Das Buch hat kein Ende. Es hört mittendrin als Fragment auf und so bleiben die vielen Fragen ungelöst. Ist K. wirklich ein Landvermesser? Hat er seinen Beruf nur vorgetäuscht und das Schloss spielt letztlich nur das Spiel mit, bedankt sich sogar in einer völlig abstrusen Szene für die geleisteten Landvermessungsarbeiten, die K. gar nicht durchgeführt hat. Das Schloss schickt ihm sogar zwei Gehilfen, die in ihrer Absurdität an Estragon und Wladimir erinnern. K. will es nicht wahrhaben, dass es keinen Zugang zum Schloss gibt. Er will diese devote Ehrfurcht der Dorfbewohner nicht übernehmen. Die Regeln, die in diesem Mikrokosmos Dorf-Schloss gelten, bleiben das ganze Buch über unklar und rätselhaft. Letztlich muss sich K. damit abfinden, dass er einer Übermacht gegenübersteht, gegen die er nicht ankommt. K. betrachtet die Auseinandersetzung von Beginn an als einen Kampf mit der Schlossbehörde. Er ist ein Don Quixote, der gegen die Windmühlen anrennt.

Es macht nicht immer Freude, dieses Buch zu lesen. Sprachlich ist es ein Genuss, aber die schier endlosen Gedankenströme des Protagonisten und Monologe der Dorfbewohner steigerten meine Aggressivität. Man möchte die Figuren schütteln und zur Besinnung bringen. Was K. mit dem Roman aussagen wollte, ist unklar. Die aufgeworfenen Fragen im Buch muss jeder Leser selbst für sich beantworten. Man sollte beim Lesen mehr auf das eigene Empfinden als auf die Interpretationsmöglichkeiten achten. Was bewirkt es in einem, wenn man gegenüber einer Institution so hilflos ist wie K. gegenüber dem Schloss? Fühlt man sich da nicht selbst daran erinnert, in welchen Situation man auch keine Anerkennung der eigenen Personen, der eigenen Wünsche und Bedürfnisse erfahren hat. Literatur kann schon weh tun, insbesondere bei Kafka.
Profile Image for Parmida R. A. .
95 reviews76 followers
March 12, 2022
The Castle is an unfinished novel by Franz Kafka, concerning a protagonist known only as "K." who arrives in a village and struggles to reach the mysterious authorities of a castle.

Dark and at times surreal, the story takes you away from your own life, with all its stress and secret desolations, only to return you, shattered, with more questions rather than answers.
The Castle is the story of K, who claims to be a Land Surveyor, sent by someone unknown, for some purpose unknown, to the Castle, itself an unknown quantity. What will happen to K, we never discover.
After reading the first paragraph, I found myself shrouded by mists of unknowns. The novel poses the feeling of frustration that protagonist is facing. I felt like I was been pushed into a void of nothingness to wander around and end nowhere. I was trying to figure out the purpose of this disillusionment. I think Kafka tried to symbolize the meaninglessness of life and the unknown purpose of our existence. Like K., we are on our own in a strange place, and no one is taking responsibility for our presence. Klamm is perhaps referring to "unreachable" God. In that case, I cannot agree with him, for everything sounds unreal to me--even my existence--except God. But what if Kafka was referring to unobtainable goals in life. Maybe, in theological cases, the understanding of the essence of God. As we can see, Klamm existed and presented in the village quite often, but to meet him face-to-face was nearly impossible to achieve.

The Castle, like many other Kafka's writings, is abstract and vague, leaving you and the protagonist in a never-ending maze. As if the author had been trapped in one: maybe his own life.
The overly ambiguity of the book made me even more frustrated. Also, sadly, I couldn't relate to the character or be captivated to the story. However, I respect Kafka for his mysterious mind, so I think four stars is good enough.

Interesting fact:
The title, Das Schloss, may be translated as "the castle" or "the palace", but the German word is a homonym that can also refer to a lock. It is also phonetically close to der Schluss ("conclusion" or "end"). The name of the character, Klamm, is similar to "Klammer" in German, which means "clip, brace, peg, fastener" and may hold a double meaning. Klamm is the lock that locks away the secrets of the Castle and the salvation of K. In ordinary usage, "klamm" is an adjective that denotes a combination of dampness and chill and can be used in reference both to weather and clothing, which inscribes a sense of unease into the main character's name. In Czech, "klam" means delusion and deceit. (Wikipedia)
Profile Image for Teresa.
1,492 reviews
October 23, 2016
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 qual foi contratado.

Como não gostar de um livro de Kafka, me "afeta" psicologicamente, talvez fosse boa ideia tentar redimir-me com a releitura d'O Processo, que li há muitos anos e gostei. Mas, para já, não arrisco porque se não gosto ainda me atiro das "ameias"...
Já se sabe que as duas estrelas significam que eu sou má leitora, nunca que o livro é mau, mas é sempre bom lembrar.
Profile Image for P.E..
718 reviews494 followers
February 16, 2020
To me, along with The Trial, the short stories of In the Penal Colony (éditions Garnier Flammarion) and the Metamorphosis, The Castle comes as the pinacle of the absurd : readeable, zany and utterly disturbing.


Turntable :
Inertia Creeps - Massive Attack

------------------

À mes yeux, entre Le Procès, les nouvelles de La Colonie Pénitentiaire chez Garnier Flammarion, la Métamorphose, il ressort comme le récit "absurde" le plus lisible, et le plus cocasse !


Tourne-disque :
Inertia Creeps - Massive Attack
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,905 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.