(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
Arriving in a village to take up the position of land surveyor for the mysterious lord of a castle, the character known as K. finds himself in a bitter and baffling struggle to contact his new employer and go about his duties. As the villagers and the Castle officials block his efforts at every turn, K.’s consuming quest–quite possibly a self-imposed one–to penetrate the inaccessible heart of the Castle and take its measure is repeatedly frustrated. Kafka once suggested that the would-be surveyor in The Castle is driven by a wish “to get clear about ultimate things,” an unrealizable desire that provided the driving force behind all of Kafka’s dazzlingly uncanny fictions.
Translated by Willa and Edwin Muir
About the Author
Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was one of the major fiction writers of the twentieth century. Among his most well known stories are "The Metamorphosis" and "In the Penal Colony," and his novels include "The Trial" and "The Castle".
Muir was an important Scottish novelist, poet, and critic.
“Of all Kafka’s fiction this is the most personal. K. is not of course a mouthpiece for Kafka–he lacks Kafka’s grave intelligence and humor–but his inner conflict between a taste for ordinary life and the demands imposed by his quest were in good part shared by Kafka . . . The Castle projects a greater strength of will than we have encountered in Kafka’s earlier writings–an effort to overcome the muteness of existence.” –from the Introduction by Irving Howe