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4,4 von 5 Sternen23
4,4 von 5 Sternen
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am 2. Dezember 1999
There are so many levels to Kafka's writing, it's hard to write about his masterpiece in such a small space. The Castle is a book that shows a political system the people cannot get in touch with, never really see, and can only guess at. This was written around 1920, pre-Orwell, pre-Huxley, even pre-Anthem, a distopia novel that is better than any others. Kafka's citizens, like America's, can never really contact the Castle like how we cannot ever really contact our castle, the white house, directly. This book may even be considered a work of prophesy by one of the greatest geniuses to ever live.
Another great thing about this book is how is shows nothing ever beginning or ending. K. tries to get to the Castle, doesn't; K. fires his assistants, he sees them again; K. is accepted as the surveyor, he is denied... Nothing seems to have a point, but that in itself is the point. Life is just and endless round of disappoints and no no clear cut endings or beginnings. Life is absurd, and while we may laugh at the antics of the assistants at first, doesn't it get kind of creepy after a while, kind of like you KNOW people like that, people who you can see through but everyone else loves for some reason?
This book is dense, long, and very dark. It may also be (next to Ulysses) the most important work of fiction of the twentieth century, showing us how absurd and useless are lives really are. No one can ever reach the castle, it stands in sight, but we can never achieve the enlighenment or promminence nessicary to get inside. Kafka's genius will astound you, but I would suggest reading The Trial and some of the short stories before attempting to tackle this difficult work. It pays to be "in the Kafka know" when reading The Castle, it'll be much more enjoyable.
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am 20. September 1999
I read somewhere that Kafka used to read the newly-written chapters of THE CASTLE to his friends who would laugh uproariously along with the author. I found this the scariest thing about the book, indeed one of the strongest clues that late 20th century America is immeasurably distant from early 20th century Austria-Hungary. This book will give you nightmares. It is nothing so childish as a Hollywood horror movie, but a somehow crumpled, twisted, horrifying view of human nature, especially as manifest in bureaucracies. K needs to speak to someone to get something done. He approaches the castle where the lord lives. The whole story involves his endless efforts to speak to someone, anyone, who can help him contact the servant who has the ear of the clerk who can speak to the courtier who might be able to talk to the cousin who occasionally is known to have the ear of the lord. And of course, K is continually frustrated. Not to mention you, the reader. It is the stuff of the worst nightmares. Thus, though it is extremely unpleasant,without any hint of beauty, love, or human feeling, THE CASTLE is a most powerful novel, one of the best I have ever read. I can't say I liked it, but it impressed me no end. If you have ever read anything else by Kafka and liked it, you will definitely like this one. It was never finished, but then such a novel can have no finish.
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am 16. Dezember 1998
This has to be, without a doubt, my favourite book. Close second "Great Expectations," Charles Dickens. Anyone who knows both of these books well, will definitely see the connection. One thing that a lot of people fail to pick up on with Kafka is his AMAZING sense of humour! This aspect of Kafka is possibly THE light at the end of his dark and brooding tunnels of thought. There are so many many much absurdity and gets trapped inside a straight jacket trying to rationalize the irrational. But at the end of it, one HAS to laugh, from sheer pain and agony. Are not the funniest things extremely painful? I like the scene where K's helpers play on playground equipment like monkeys. Isn't it strange how such monkeys can suddenly defend themselves in argument with the utmost eloquence and precision? Also the scene involving officials who shuffle papers in and out of doors. I was virtually on the floor with laughter. I was IN the scene with K...IN the corridor watching all this toing and froing.... Anyway enough talk....Read the book!
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am 3. August 1999
Primero leí El Proceso y creí que estaba ante lo mejor de un escritor excepcional. Era verdad que estaba ante un deslumbrante escritor, capáz de mostrar al lector "lo inalcanzable" con una historia burocrática hasta el infinito. El Proceso tiene mucho de la realidad: además de lo inalcanzable está la eterna curiosidad y la lucha, los temores, la inoperancia, la ineficiencia. Kafak, sin duda, fue un adelantado a su tiempo. Fue un visionario y eso lo convirtió en un genio. Escribió lo que pensaba y le pasaba, y eso alcanzó para mostrar una realidad que nadie veía. Su estilo de escritura es ameno, insorportable pero difícil de soltar. Creí que El Proceso era lo mejor de Kafka, pero cuando leí El Castillo entendía que el escritor se había superado a si mismo. Es un libro interminable, como El Proceso. No puede escribirse un final para estos dos libros de Kafka simplemente porque no lo tiene. No es una historia. Es un tramo de una historia sin principio ni fin. Interminable. Es muy recomendable.
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am 29. August 1999
The Castle is a powerful look at a town full of people trying to gain meaning for their lives from something outside of and wholy removed from their selves. The townspeoples alienation from each other and needy grasping toward a Castle that they can dream about but never touch is a disturbing one with strong parallels in today's celebrity worship, religious fundamentalism, and statism. Similiarly, K.'s descent from activism to conformity illustrates the power of mass society and the desire to fit in over the indivdual's need for a self-contained self.
The problem is the book is tooo long. Kafka induces a sense of futility and alienation by making his story move at a glacial pace with minute changes taking chapters to occur. And while this technique works, it's certainly not some great literary accomplishment.
So while The Castle is a relevant treatise on how we give, or fail to give, meaning to our lives; it's also an incredibly dense and difficult read.
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am 2. März 2000
I'm going to go out on a limb here and give this book a negative review. It's not that I don't like Kafka, I've read most of his fiction and I think he was a brilliant writer. But this book just disappointed me. It's a few hundred pages too long--he pretty much makes most of his main points in the first part of the book and the remaining narrative seems superfluous and, well, tedious. Although his other two novels are also "unfinished" I think he expressed himself much more clearly in them. I agree with the other reviewers that this novel was about many things, i.e. the quest for truth, the frustration of the invididual facing the state and society itself, etc., but I think it could have been done better, especially by someone like Kafka. While reading "The Castle" I couldn't get over the impression that I was reading the first draft of something the author probably would have refined and improved had he lived longer.
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am 14. Oktober 1999
Probably not the most recommendable place to start for someone unfamiliar with Kafka, but if you've read other works by Kafka and have enjoyed them, you'll need to get around to this one eventually. Personally, I think it's one of the best books I've ever read. It is true that nothing much really happens, in the typical sense, and that the book is distinctly unfinished and probably flawed on a number of levels. But in some senses this only enhances the mysterious nature of the book. It is utterly surreal and ultimately pointless as a conventional narrative, but rather resembles an epic, highly detailed, inherently meaningful, yet hopelessly ambiguous dream. I find this mix and this atmosphere extremely appealing, and I have never seen it in a purer, more innocently perfect form than here. A book full of magic.
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am 2. September 1998
This book is my favourite Kafka book. It is about a man who is very close to his goal but he can never reach it. There is always something that prevents him from getting there completely and when he believes he is there, he is further away then ever...
I had a strange experience relating to this. I was out driving outside of Vienna, Austria when I saw a roadsign towards a Kafka monument. I stopped my bike and went back to find the place were Kafka died. It was a museum. I tried to open the door, but it was closed. I rang the bell and I knocked on the door, but no-one answered. I could hear voices from inside and I could see people move through the curtains, but nobody would let me in. Then I suddenly realized that this was probably the monument itself; being that close, but never reaching it completely.
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am 21. Januar 1999
This novel had me pulling my hair out - I don't think I've EVER been so at one with the central character, as if I felt ever shiver of anger, despair, and frustration he felt. One becomes enveloped within K.'s angst, his frustration with the system, of overt-correctness, and with the underlying evil of following protocol without question - eternal protocol, the creator and purpose of which has been long forgotten. Set in today's backdrop of Dilbert and IRS audits and sex scandals, Kafka reaches within us to tap our frustration in a wholly unique way, leaving us unsatisfied yet self-aware. However, if we imagine ourselves in Kafka's shoes, a Jew in pre-war, pro-Nazi Eastern Europe, that dissatisfaction, that dissatisfaction transforms to true fear.
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am 20. August 2015
This book can be read as an introduction to dystopian literature.
Joseph K. (the protagonist) arrives in a village and struggles to gain access to the mysterious authorities who govern it from a castle.
K. believes that he's been invited to a town to do some land surveying, and realises upon his arrival that his invitation was maybe the result of a bureaucratic mishap. K. wants answers from the officials at the castle that overlooks the town.
This book is about bureaucracy, meaning, connection, relationships, and how hierarchy impacts the way we experience and live in this world.
It may be an unfinished work, but it is an amazing book that can test your conception of the real purpose in your life.
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