Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Castle

As in Kafka's Trial, the protaganist here is a "Mr. K". However, the Mr. K here is very different person. However, like the other Mr. K, this guy struggles against a crazy bureaucracy. Everybody else in the village accepts the ludicrous behavior of the bureaucracy as normal. The officials of the Castle seem to have no purpose other than being officials. Crossing them is a huge taboo. (The story is told of one family who's daughter dared refuse the advances of an official. The family was ostracized by the village and cut out of pretty much all economic life.)

Kafka takes bureaucratic inertia and stupidity to the extreme. Regular people are in a position of subservience to the officials. The official behavior is governed by a number of rules that people are expected to know and follow. These rules exist for the convenience of the officials. Failure to understand these "rules" is seen as a great offense by society.

The narrative is a little disjointed. You get the feeling there is a reason why Kafka wanted the book burned. It doesn't seem like he finished.

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