The Castle

The Castle

Paperback

By (author) Franz Kafka, Translated by J. A. Underwood

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 190mm x 22mm | 200g
  • Publication date: 3 March 1999
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 074939952X
  • ISBN 13: 9780749399528
  • Sales rank: 284,804

Product description

The story of K and his arrival in a village where he is never accepted, and his relentless, unavailing struggle with authority in order to gain entrance to the castle that seems to rule it. K's isolation and perplexity, his begging for the approval of elusive and anonymous powers, epitomises Kafka's vision of twentieth-century alienation and anxiety.

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Author information

Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was born into a Jewish family in Prague. In 1906 he received a doctorate in jurisprudence, and for many years he worked a tedious job as a civil service lawyer investigating claims at the state Worker's Accident Insurance Institute. He never married, and published only a few slim volumes of stories during his lifetime. Meditation, a collection of sketches, appeared in 1912; The Stoker: A Fragment in 1913; The Metamorphosis in 1915; The Judgement in 1916; In the Penal Colony in 1919; and A Country Doctor in 1920. Only a few of his friends knew that Kafka was also at work on the great novels that were published after his death from tuberculosis: America, The Trial, and The Castle.

Review quote

"Every time you read The Castle, you find something new in it" Sunday Times "Kafka discovered the hitherto unknown possibilities of the novel" -- Milan Kundera "Kafka may be the most important writer of the twentieth century" -- J. G. Ballard

Editorial reviews

Kafka's great allegory (originally published, posthumously, in 1926) of a supposed surveyor adrift in a "castle," which may be no more than a collection of random buildings, memorably expresses his distinctive vision of a formless and secretive world that frustrates our efforts to comprehend it. This compulsively readable new translation, based on a text "restored" from the author's original manuscript, labors to replace the standard English version (by Willa and Edwin Muir) that had "tone[d] down Kafka's ominousness" and "normalized" his deliberately eccentric syntax and punctuation. In either translation, The Castle is a major modern symbolist work, and it's good to have it in print once again. (Kirkus Reviews)