Der Prozess PDF Ú Paperback

Der Prozess PDF Ú Paperback

Der Prozess [Reading] ➺ Der Prozess By Franz Kafka – Grundlos wird Josef K an seinem Geburtstag verhaftet und verhört Die Umstände sind grotesk, niemand kennt das Gesetz, und das Gericht bleibt anonym
Die Schuld erfährt Josef K hafte ihm an, oh Grundlos wird Josef K an seinemGeburtstag verhaftet und verhört Die Umstände sind grotesk, niemand kennt das Gesetz, und das Gericht bleibt anonym Die Schuld erfährt Josef K hafte ihm an, ohne dass er dagegen etwas tun könne Verbissen, aber erfolglos versucht er, sich gegen die zunehmende Absurdität und Verstrickung zu wehren, schlägt jede Warnung vor weiterer Gegenwehr in den Wind und wird schleißelich ein Jahr später vor den Toren der Stadt exekutiertFranz Kafka hat mit diesem Roman ein Jahrhundertwerk geschaffen, das auf beispielhafte Weise die wesentlichen Existenzfragen des modernen Menschen neu formuliert.

10 thoughts on “Der Prozess

  1. Stephen Stephen says:

    Kafka is tough.
    Kafka doesn’t play and he doesn’t take prisoners.
    His in your grill message of the cruel, incomprehensibility of life and the powerlessness of the individual is unequivocal, harsh and applied with the callous dispassion of a sadist.

    Life sucks and then you die, alone, confused and without ever having the slightest conception of the great big WHY.

    Fun huh?

    Finishing The Trial I was left bewildered and emotionally distant, like my feelings were stuck looking out into the middle distance not really able to focus or provide me with any input. I felt numb and a bit soul-weary and I can’t say I enjoyed the feeling.

    That said, should you read this?

    Absolutely and without question. Kafka’s insight and ability to plumb the depths of the mysteries of existence, dark and gloomy as his answers (or lack thereof) may be, is something to behold. His work…is…brilliant.

    Reading it made me feel at times awed and at other times incredibly stupid. Awed occurred when I would catch a glimpse of the deeper meaning that he was trying to convey through his prose. In those moments I would try desperately to create a sturdy mental foothold from which to explore Kafka’s next idea.

    Unfortunately…Stupid, which happened more often, would occur when that next Kafkaesque lesson would bounce off my thick head, making me lose my tenuous foothold and go sliding back down Mount Ignorance. It was a difficult summit to reach and I was I'll-equipped.

    Still, the moments of clarity and flashes of insight were more than enough to make this an experience I intend to repeat until I get it right…or at least die trying.


    “Someone must have traduced Joseph K., for without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested one fine morning.” Like Gregor Samsa in The Metamorphosis, we are introduced to Kafka’s protagonist after the damage has been done. We are not observing a downfall, it has occurred. We are witnesses to the aftermath, the clean up.

    Joseph K, an officer of a prestigious bank discovers he has been accused of a crime the nature of which he is never told. We follow him from situation to situation as his desire to learn the nature of his offense leads only to more confusion and greater strife. He is meant to remain in ignorance. “I see, these books are probably law books, and it is an essential part of the justice dispensed here that you should be condemned not only in innocence but also in ignorance.”


    So many themes are present here that it is hard to keep it all straight in my head. On the surface, we have a skillful attack on totalitarianism and the evil of a mindless bureaucracy fueled by momentum and accountable to no one as it grinds up the individual as grease for its continued motion. This alone is frightening enough and Kafka’s images of oppressive inertia unquestioned routine are tiny snapshots or hell itself.

    However, there seemed to be so much more that Kafka was saying, so many more levels on which his dark secular benediction could be understood. The System as life itself and the bureaucracy as fate and man’s useless struggle against the forces arrayed against him by the universe. Kafka also delivers a blistering rebuke of religion in the form of a parable in the Cathedral. I’m still trying to get me tiny brain entirely wrapped around this one, but the sense of sadness and crushing hopelessness of the story was still a gut punch.

    ‘Everyone strives to attain the Law,' answers the man, 'how does it come about, then, that in all these years no one has come seeking admittance but me?' The doorkeeper perceives that the man is nearing his end and his hearing is failing, so he bellows in his ear: 'No one but you could gain admittance through this door, since this door was intended for you. I am now going to shut it.’
    And later in this same conversation, “it is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary.”

    Still, as somber and dreary as the story is there are moments that are so brilliantly written that I actually found myself smiling despite the overall tone of the story. The Painter’s lecture to K about the difference strategies and processes involved in seeking among “actual acquittal,” “apparent acquittal” and “protraction” was nothing short of genius. In fact, given that the novel is only 200+ pages, I think those 15-20 pages are worth reading the entire novel.

    Overall, I am very satisfied to have finally read this as a personal exercise rather than a school-enforced trauma. I got a lot out of this. There were chunks of the book that I found slow and plodding, probably because I was stuck at the base of Mount Ignorance and didn’t absorb the ideas Kafka was dishing. Still, it did make for some dry reading time as Kafka’s writing is not ear-pleasing enough that you can simply enjoy the prose. His prose is good, but it is more a functional delivery system for his mind-rupturing ideas than for the beauty of the words themselves.

    Thus, for the moment, and given my imperfect understanding of all that Kafka had to say in this brilliant novel, I am going to say 4 stars. 4 stars full of staggering intellect and multi-layered, nuanced insight into “what it’s all about” delivered with the skill of a surgeon.

    I’ll be in the recovery room for a while.


  2. s.penkevich s.penkevich says:

    It is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary

    Nothing speaks a more profound truth than a pristine metaphor…

    Funny, us, worming through the world ascribing meaning, logic and order to the dumb, blind forces of void. It’s all one can do to maintain sanity in the absurd reality of existence, but what is it worth? Are we trees in gale force winds fighting back with fists we do not possess? Is life the love of a cold, cruel former lover bating us on while only concerned with themselves? What use is logic in an illogical prison where the opinion of the masses reigns supreme? Franz Kafka’s The Trial is the world we all live in, unlocked through layers of allegory to expose the beast hidden from plain sight. On the surface it is an exquisite examination of bureaucracy and bourgeoisie with a Law system so complex and far-reaching that even key members are unable to unravel it’s complicated clockwork. However, this story of a trial—one that never occurs other than an arrest and a solitary conference that goes nowhere—over an unmentioned crime serves as a brutal allegory for our existence within a judgemental societal paradigm under the watch of a God who dishes out hellfire to the guilty. This is a world where man’s noose is only a doorway. The Trial is not for the faint of heart or fragile psyche yet, while the bleakness is laid on thick, it is also permeated with a marvelous sense of humor and a fluid prose that keeps the pages flipping and the reading hours pushing forward towards dawn. This is a dark comedy of the human comedy, full of the freeing chortles of gallow humor. Kafka’s nightmarish vision is the heartbeat of our own existence, chronicling the frustrations of futility when applying logic to the reality of the absurd, yet factual, nature of life.

    Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested.

    This memorable opening line is the perfect establishing shot for Kafka’s, and Joseph K.’s, world. One can be sure of their innocence, yet fall to the blade all the same. The most startling and accurate portrayal of mankind is found when K. goes to visit the painter in the slums and finds

    ...a disgusting, steaming yellow fluid poured forth, before which a rat fled into the nearby sewer. At the bottom of the steps a small child was lying face down on the ground, crying, but it could hardly be heard above the noise coming from a sheet metal shop…
    We, humanity, are prostrate and bawling in a toxic wasteland, unloved and ignored by the absent parents. Not even passersby stop to help the child, or are even away, for the noise of industry drowns it out. This is a world where corporations are ‘people’ and actual lives are thrown to the gutter for ‘the good of the company’, where soulless abstract money-making concepts are given a higher priority than our own shared flesh-and-blood. The worst part is that we accept this. We tow the party line, we uphold something meaningless and only given power by our collective acceptance. ‘You may object that it is not a trial at all,’ says K. to the courtroom, ‘you are quite right, for it is only a trial if I recognize it as such.’ These are not political opinions I am presenting, just the fact that much of our society, economy and political structure exists only because we recognize it as so and prescribe meaning to something inherently meaningless.

    Children, such as the child crying in a pool of yellow filth, are a key motif in the novel. Their parents are never apparent and they run like wild animals. The gaggle of young girls outside the painters apartment perfectly reflect the wild masses of ignorance, defying respect for privacy and barging into places they aren’t wanted, needed or even should be simply because they can. One girl is described as hunchbacked and not yet an adult, yet full of sexuality which she asserts over K. ‘Neither her youth nor her deformity had prevented her early corruption.’ These girls, we are told, also belong to the court, another place where the persona is depicted more like beast than man, preying on those around them with their lusts. Take, for example, the student in the attic courtroom who asserts his dominance over the married women through his power. He, too, is slightly deformed with bow-legs that call to mind classic depictions of Satan with his animalistic torso and hoofed feet, and bushy red beard like something from nature and not urban society. He also snaps at K.’s hand with his teeth in defense, like a dog(Like a dog’ is the final line of dialogue in the novel, concerning a violent and abrupt execution. Seemingly we are nothing above the beasts of the world.), which isn’t how one would expect an educated man of the Law to respond. Even all the textbooks are actually just pornography, the court filled with carnal desires instead of logic and learned reasoning.

    This is the force of nature K, and all of us, fight against when attempting to address our condition with logic. We are nothing but dogs pit into a dogfight of which we had no free will in being placed. K. is a free-thinker drown by the obdurate glare of the masses, condemned for something unknown and never given an opportunity to prove innocence.
    They're talking about things of which they don't have the slightest understanding, anyway. It's only because of their stupidity that they're able to be so sure of themselves.
    How like our world today where we accept opinions without wondering the qualifications; internet slander or a simple viral meme can destroy a life or an idea simply because it is funny even if it isn’t rooted in reality. K. is all of us, K. is the everyman, K. is us faced with the world around us. A world where trying to go up against it will only lead to frustration and futility. Through all his proceedings, all his legal advice, nothing is learned. Lawyers and confidants only seem to discuss the workings of the trial and court system; the more we learn, the less we understand. The system is so complicated that it stalemates itself, and it seems almost pointless to investigate. Is there purpose in assessing our lives, our condition in the world? Not if we address it with logic. This is futility. But, perhaps, if we assess it on it’s own terms, then even if our fate is still sealed we can glean a bit of insight.

    That is why this story is presented as an allegory. The Trial is not a story about the Law or bureaucracy despite the outward appearance. This is society as a whole and pushes towards a religious allegory that is difficult to swallow. K. is told that even if he is acquitted, he may return home to be arrested again. Our reputation is unshakable and even when you prove your innocence over slander, people will still hold it against you. The word ‘allegedly’ is wonderfully damning in this way. K. hears that there is legend of lawyers getting clients fully acquitted, but no proof of this exists. Nobody even knows who these lawyers are. There is also higher courts, higher judges that nobody knows the name of that also seem to exist only in legend. These unseen, unknowable eyes of justice are like the eyes of God. One may be acquitted amongst their peers, but their soul goes to a higher court that will rule the final verdict. ‘Can’t you see two steps in front of you,’ the Priest shrieks at K., chastising him for his inability to look beyond his assumptions of the world and his logic. He proceeds with a parable that summarizes K.’s, and everyone’s, fate in the world in which a man is denied entrance into the halls of the Law. He waits his whole life, pestering the gatekeeper. Moments before his death of old age, the gatekeeper reveals that the entrance was meant solely for him, then closes the gates. The perfect expression of futility. K. protests that the man was deceived, yet the Priest argues that deception is not in the story. What we have is the absurd, K. wishing to assess his trial through due-process and logical reasoning, but failing to see that such verdicts are beyond that.
    I always snatched at the world with twenty hands, and not for a very laudable motive, either. That was wrong, and am I to show now that not even a year’s trial has taught me anything?
    His fate was already decided, and his efforts are in vain. It should come as no surprise, then, that K. is so suffocated in the stifling air of the court houses. Who wouldn’t feel faint and overcome with illness when beleaguered by the absurd where no assertion of innocence matters?

    The court wants nothing from you. It receives you when you came and it dismisses you when you go.

    The painter shows K. a portrait of a judge, depicted above his own post (the portrait a gift to a woman—yet another example of the abuse of power for carnal desire), but the most striking image is that of Justice. Justice is painted with winged feet, in motion at the request of the court, to also represent Victory. Yet the real horror is revealed when K. discovers the blending creates an image more akin to the God of The Hunt. We have a court system, a religious system, a moral system, that is more concerned with victory than actual justice, and seeks out prey for sport. We are all victims to this system, a system that is self-sustaining, ‘too big to fail’, and incorporates everyone. Nobody is safe from the system, and nobody is not a part of it. K. is the sacrificial victim of all of us, his death and futility a parable of our own endeavors in this, and the next, life. Kafka’s The Trial is just as important today as when it was written. It is a book that will leave you gasping for air, and thankful for it.


    ‘One must lie low, no matter how much it went against the grain, and try to understand that this great organization remained, so to speak, in a state of delicate balance, and that if someone took it upon himself to alter the dispositions of things around him, he ran the risk of losing his footing and falling to destruction, while the organization would simply right itself by some compensating reaction in another part of its machinery – since everything interlocked – and remain unchanged, unless, indeed, which was very probable, it became still more rigid, more vigilant, severer, and more ruthless.’

  3. Aubrey Aubrey says:

    Has this ever happened to you? You're chugging your way through a book at a decent pace, it's down to the last legs, you've decided on the good ol' four star rating, it's true that it had some really good parts but ultimately you can't say that it was particularly amazing. And all of the sudden the last part slams into your face, you're knocked sprawling on your ass by the weight of the words spiraling around your head in a merry go round of pure literary power, and you swear the book is whispering 'You know nothing, you snot nosed brat' through its pages of magnificence as the author leaves you far behind.

    If you haven't, read this book. If you have, and crave more of the same, see the previous.

    Now, what did the Goodreads summary call this book again? 'A terrifying, psychological trip'. Yes, I suppose you could say that. I mean, it is terrifying, it is psychological, and it makes for one hell of a ride. But, you see, those three words strung together convey the sense of otherworldliness, some diabolical satire that's made a nightmare of a reality that's usually pretty good about behaving itself. The problem with that is the fact that this story adheres more closely to reality than most books dare to dream of doing. There's no phantasmagorical twisting of the entire face of reality. This is reality. And it needs no aid in inspiring the most abject of terror.

    Arrests of innocents. Hazy procedures. Courts obscured by other courts. Files disappearing into the dark.

    I see, said K., nodding, these books are probably law books, and it is an essential part of the justice dispensed here that you should be condemned not only in innocence but also in ignorance. That must be it, said the woman, who had not quite understood him.
    Judgment determined by accusation rather than by trial.
    We are only being punished because you accused us; if you hadn't, nothing would have happened, not even if they had discovered what we did. Do you call that justice?
    Guilty until proven less guilty. Less guilty via the right connections rather than the right evidence. Innocence with an expiration date. Complaints about any of the previous injustices accelerating the inevitable, and for what? The hope that the future might be better? What difference will that make to you, the individual life currently at stake? The invisible pendulum will still be suspended over the more invisible pit, and your every forthright movement will still be swallowed in the obscurity of the Law, and nothing will result but a building sense of anxiety and despair.

    Look at the Law of the past and more importantly the Law of the present, and tell me none of this applies, in the days where banks are 'too big' to be brought to justice and everything from the individual to the government is held hostage from a better tomorrow by the inane struggles of today.
    No, said the priest, it is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary.
    History repeats itself.
    History repeats itself.
    History fucking repeats itself.

    Get it? Got it? Good.

    Doing something about it is another matter entirely.

  4. Ahmad Sharabiani Ahmad Sharabiani says:

    701. Der Prozess = The Trial, Franz Kafka

    The Trial is a novel written by Franz Kafka between 1914 and 1915 and published posthumously in 1925.

    One of his best-known works, it tells the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime revealed neither to him nor to the reader. Heavily influenced by Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, Kafka even went so far as to call Dostoyevsky a blood relative.

    Like Kafka's other novels, The Trial was never completed, although it does include a chapter which brings the story to an end.

    محاکمه - فرانتس کافکا (نیلوفر، فرخی، نگارستان، ماهی، نیلا، کوله پشتی، ...) تاریخ نخستین خوانش: در سال 1975میلادی

    عنوان: محاکمه؛ نویسنده: فرانتس کافکا؛ مترجم: حسینقلی جواهرچی؛ تهران، فرخی، 1353؛ در 216ص؛

    عنوان: محاکمه؛ نویسنده: فرانتس کافکا؛ مترجم: امیرجلال الدین اعلم؛ تهران، کتابسرا، 1370، در 342ص؛ تهران، نیلوفر، 1370؛ در 342ص؛ چاپ هفتم 1387؛ چاپ یازدهم 1395؛

    عنوان: محاکمه؛ نویسنده: فرانتس کافکا؛ مترجم: منوچهر بیگدلی خمسه؛ تهران، نگارستان کتاب، چاپ دوم 1395؛ در 314ص؛

    عنوان: محاکمه؛ نویسنده: فرانتس کافکا؛ مترجم: علی اصغر حداد؛ تهران، ماهی، 1388؛ در 271ص؛ چاپ ششم 1393؛ شابک 9789649971544؛

    مترجمهای دیگری که محاکمه را ترجمه کرده اند: خانمها و آقایان «حمید احیاء تهران، نیلا، 1392، در 100ص؛ شابک: 9786001221026»؛ «سارا رحیمی، تهران، قاصدک صبا، 1389، در 283ص؛ شابک 9786005675016»؛ «محمد رمضانی؛ تهران، کوله پشتی، 1391، در 310ص؛ شابک 9786006687087»؛ «کامل روزدار، تهران، اشاره، 1395؛ در 504ص؛ شابک 9789648936902»؛

    رمانی ناتمام از «فرانتس کافکا» ست، که نخستین بار در سال 1925میلادی، چاپ شد؛ از مشهورترین آثار ایشانست؛ داستان مردیکه، به دست حاکمی خارج از صحنه، و دور از دسترس، به جرمی که ماهیت جرم، در طی داستان نیز برای خوانشگر، مشخص نمی‌شود، دستگیر و مجازات می‌شود.؛ همانند سایر آثار «کافکا»، محاکمه هم کامل نشد، اگرچه فصلی دارد، که در آن، داستان به سرانجام هم می‌رسد.؛ پس از درگذشت «کافکا»، دوست و فعال ادبی اش «ماکس برود»، نوشته‌ ها را برای چاپ آماده کردند؛ برای دانستن اینکه چه کسانی به جای «ک» تصمیم میگیرند، و سرانجام چه میشود بهتر است کتاب را خود بخوانید.؛

    تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 30/05/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  5. Sean Barrs Sean Barrs says:

    This book haunts me. I can’t stop thinking about it because I have questions, questions and more questions; I have so many unanswered questions that I will never know the answer to, and it’s slowly killing me!

    What is the trial? Is K actually guilty or is he innocent? Is this novel a nightmare sequence or a paranormal encountering? Why are so many characters never heard from again? And who is that mysterious figure at the end of the novel that witnesses K's fate? There are just so many questions, but no damned answers!

    This is frustrating, so frustrating. The novel leaves the reader with an overwhelming sense of perplexity. There is no definitive explanation as to what has actually happened; there is no logical sense of the events. But, then K doesn’t know either; he is just as confused by the strange happenings as the reader. The events are completely unexplainable and unfathomable; thus, Kafka’s trial will stay with the me for the rest of my life, as I ponder this bizarre novel again, and again.


    There are no answers!

    K wakes up on the morning of his thirtieth birthday; he goes outside his room and finds several men eating his breakfast. He is informed he is under arrest; the men don’t tell him why; they leave and he is able to go about his daily life although he must attend court next week. They give him a location, but no time. He arrives; he is accused for something they don’t inform him of. He storms out of the room and is hounded by the situation ever since. He attempts to prove his innocence, but what he is innocent of he doesn’t know. A year later, on his thirtieth birthday,(view spoiler)[ two men arrive and sentence him; he is taken to a quarry and murdered. (hide spoiler)]

  6. Lynn Beyrouthy Lynn Beyrouthy says:


    I have read many reviews and saw that I belong to the minority who just didn’t like or get this book.

    Like the author, I am going to leave The Trial unfinished and surrender to the fact that, unfortunately, Franz Kafka’s writing is way too bizarre, inane and unrealistic for my tastes.

    The protagonist, a pretentious banker named Josef K. woke up one morning to find two strangers in his room who told him he was under arrest. The reason for his conviction is never revealed and even the officers who came to deliver the news are uniformed.
    In the next chapters, we follow K. in a series of encounters that are ground for meaningless and empty discussions with various characters that seldom reappear throughout the story and don’t seem to have an efficient role in the progress of the narrative.
    K’s so-called quest to seek answers and vindicate his name turn out to be futile as he never musters enough courage or audacity to extract definite answers and instead, allows his complacency to let him act in a way that harms him more than it helps him in his case.
    (I especially loved how almost every female character seem to want him, which feeds his arrogance all the more)

    For a year, Josef K awaits a trial that never happens; he’s never told the reason behind his criminal charge and the ultimate zenith of befuddlement comes with K’s death that is also underdone in mystifying circumstances. Nothing is explained or elucidated and yet people seem to abundantly laud Kafka for an unfinished, miserable excuse for a novel which the author himself wanted to be burned posthumously.

    It really saddens me ‘cause after hearing copious praise for Kafka, the anticipation upon starting this novel was great and I was eager to be acquainted with his “genius”, but my high expectations were annihilated by an immense disappointment.

    The Trial is among the most disturbing books I’ve laid eyes on to this day. It was an excruciating experience from which my brain cells are still suffering aftershocks. The atmosphere of the novel was so odd and gruesome; the rooms with low ceilings and stuffy, fetid offices made me feel like I’m having a bizarre nightmare. (Well, at least it’s better than his other unfinished book about a man metamorphosed into an insect).

    Kafka intentionally delineated an inhuman world inflicted with the depravity of the law (which is ironic because Kafka was a lawyer himself). And when you finally finish this story of 200ish pages (but you feel like it’s 2000, I don’t know how Kafka managed to do that), you’re supposed to be in a state of awe ‘cause it’s so fucking deep and philosophical, aiming to depict life and the big fat interrogation point behind our existence and its purpose.

    Well. That was a waste of time. Max Brod should’ve listened to Kafka and set fire to his manuscripts. There, I said it.

  7. Kevin Ansbro Kevin Ansbro says:

    A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open.
    —Franz Kafka

    Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K., he knew he had done nothing wrong but, one morning, he was arrested.
    This famous opening line becomes yet more intriguing as it pitches us directly into a scene whereby the first two protagonists are granted a degree of anonymity by the author, as he seeks to lure us into his philosophical daydream.
    K is clearly under house arrest, but his perplexing captors aren’t at liberty to tell him if he has been arrested. Who are they, K wonders? They look as if they might be policemen, but neither he, nor the reader, can be certain. They could be pranksters for all he knows. Even the country he lives in isn’t name-checked.
    So many unanswered questions:
    Who is he?
    Who are they?
    Why has he been arrested?
    Where are we?
    Does time have a beginning or an end?
    Why did the chicken cross the road?

    This, my fine bibliophilic friends, is an enigma burritoed in a paradox.
    There is something farcical about the situation he finds himself in; the ensuing cockeyed exchange of dialogue was almost Monty Pythonesque.
    I shall paraphrase (apologies to Mr Kafka)...
    Take me to your superior!
    He will see you as soon as he wants to see you.
    Who are you?
    We’re free, you’re not, and you’re going to be put on trial.
    On trial, for what?
    Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, isn’t it, eh? Beautiful plumage.

    The absurdity continues.
    There follows a kangaroo court and the comically surreal appearance of a whip-man, whose job it is to give people a damn good flogging. I don’t know if I was meant to be outraged, but I found it really funny (there’s something wrong with me, I’m sure of it).

    Kafka uses existentialism like Banksy uses a spray can. K is trying to remain rational while the world around him has become irrational - something most of us have experienced at some stage in our lives.
    As is also the case with Orwell’s 1984, this book hints at the totalitarian regimes that were likely to follow.

    I don’t profess to understand much of what Kafka hoped to symbolise in this allegorical mystery (I suspect he didn’t want anyone to unlock all of its secrets anyway), and one gets the feeling that he deliberately leads us into a literary cul-de-sac of his own choosing.

    The blurb describes the book as being ‘terrifying’ and ‘chilling’. I found it to be neither.
    If anything, I found it rather droll.
    Let me explain myself thus…
    I have a lugubrious friend. His name is Mark.
    Mark is so overly pessimistic and melancholic, that he creases me up with laughter. Then, when he asks me what it is that’s so funny (with that glum look on his face), I crack up even more!
    He’s a hoot, and so is this book!
    I thoroughly enjoyed being trapped in Franz Kafka’s web and I must revisit Metamorphosis, his crowning achievement.
    I read it years ago, when I was too young to properly ‘get’ it.
    Not that I’m likely to totally understand it even now! : )

  8. Perry Perry says:

    A Crazy Train
    All Aboard!

    No novel comes close to this one in the intensely nightmarish portrayal of the type of dark justice of dictatorial governments, particularly those that came to power after its 1925 publication.

    THE TRIAL, also like no other, gives the reader a special, and by all means necessary, appreciation for the criminal justice system and the fundamental rights of life and liberty that we take for granted in a democracy.

    Imagine: you are charged with a crime, but no one will tell you what that crime is, who specifically (what part of government) is charging you with the crime and/or is tasked with prosecuting the charges against you, where to read the law that prohibits the forbidden act, omission or conspiracy, when you committed the crime, who accused you, the substance of the evidence against you (even in general terms), who or what was harmed, when your trial will take place, who will be charged with finding you guilty or innocent, what type of punishment you may face, whether you may appeal, among other missing items. Then, when you talk to court workers and even your own lawyer, there may be some nebulous way to avoid prosecution but no one can say exactly what that is and otherwise it's a foregone conclusion that you will be found guilty, your best hope being to drag out the process as long as you can just to stay alive as this crazy train hurtles toward your inevitable end.

    A historic classic masterwork that plants in its reader bad-dream seeds that may not germinate for years, but they will... yes, they will.

  9. Manny Manny says:

    The tortured bureaucratic world described in The Trial always strikes me as startlingly modern. I wondered

    How The Trial might have started if Kafka had been an academic writing in 2010

    K's latest conference paper had been rejected, and now he sat in front of his laptop and read through the referees' comments. One of them, evidently not a native speaker of English, had sent a page of well-meaning advice, though K was unsure whether he understood his recommendations. The second referee had only written three lines, in a dismissive tone that hurt K's feelings. K had an appointment with his thesis advisor later that day, and wondered whether it would appear more constructive to rewrite the paper for submission to another conference, or to say that he was drawing a line so that he could concentrate on his dissertation.

    He was trying to decide between these two courses of action, neither of which greatly appealed to him, when his officemate arrived. Fräulein Müller, a pale, slightly-built, earnest girl with wispy brown hair, was writing an extremely dull dissertation on the discourse semantics of phone sex; K had never dared ask her why she had chosen this topic, which seemed singularly ill-adapted to her general demeanour. Today, she was also in a bad mood. She sat down and opened her own laptop without saying a word, and typed industriously. After about twenty minutes, she looked up and sighed.

    Problems? asked K.

    Fräulein Müller sighed again. Then, in an uninflected monotone, she read a crude and unimaginatively pornographic passage, to which K listened attentively. He was, as usual, embarrassed to discover that he had become sexually aroused; but Fräulein Müller never once allowed her eyes to stray from her screen, and K was fairly sure that his momentary excitement had passed unnoticed. She concluded, and opened a spreadsheet.

    Do you believe that she is actually touching herself here, or that she is merely saying that she would do so in her fantasy? she asked tiredly.

    K considered the matter. I think it's only in the fantasy, he said after a while. But I'm not sure. Maybe 60%.

    Fräulein Müller filled in two boxes in her spreadsheet.

    Now, suppose that she had said `will' instead of `must' in the last sentence. Would your judgement still be the same?

    K asked her to read the sentence again. I would say that made it more likely, he said, after further careful thought. 80%. I'm definitely not certain.

    Fräulein Müller filled in two more boxes, and examined the new figures that appeared at the bottom of the sheet. Not statistically significant, she said in a dejected tone. I know I shouldn't keep checking all the time, but I can't help it. I need more data.

    K had several times been on the point of asking Fräulein Müller where her examples came from, but was afraid that this might appear intrusive; he knew almost nothing about her private life. He suddenly realised that he was meant to be seeing his advisor in a quarter of an hour. Apologising awkwardly, he put on his coat and left. The walk across the campus was, however, shorter than he had remembered, and he arrived in good time. Professor Holz appeared surprised to see him, and K reminded him that they had agreed to meet.

    K's advisor was thickset and completely bald, despite only being in his mid-forties. He had a second position at another university, and was rarely to be found in his office; normally K would have been glad to have cornered him and be able to ask for advice, but today he could not think of anything to say. He waited for Professor Holz to take the initiative. K's advisor seemed equally at a loss. He took off his rimless glasses, and polished them carefully before speaking.

    So, K, he began, typing as he did so. I understand your paper was rejected.

    K confirmed that this was indeed true.

    Well, continued Professor Holz, I think we both agree about the nature of the problem.

    K was in fact unsure what the professor was referring to; he knew though that he had reservations about the research direction K had chosen, and assumed that this was a veiled allusion to the objections he had raised at their last meeting. He cleared his throat in a way that could be interpreted as assent.

    I understand, however, said Holz, that your collaboration with Fräulein Müller has been more successful.

    K looked at his advisor carefully, trying to guess whether he was being ironic, but was unable to tell. He agreed hesitantly, trying to sound as noncommital as he could in case it was a trap. But the professor suddenly looked at his watch and rose, exclaiming that he had forgotten another meeting. He smiled apologetically to K as he escorted him from the room, and locked the door.

    I would appreciate a progress report before the end of the week, he said, as they stood in front of the elevator. You have heard, of course, that the new funding cuts oblige us to reexamine our priorities.

    This sounded vaguely familiar to K, who had however assumed that he was not one of the people affected.

    It's mainly a formality, said the professor. None the less, I would like you to take it seriously and do a thorough job. It is particularly important that you describe your short-term objectives.

    There were several questions that K urgently wished to ask, but at that moment the elevator arrived. The professor disappeared into it, saying something that K was unable to catch. He took the stairs down to street level, and walked slowly back to his office. Fräulein Müller now seemed much more animated, and suggested to K that they eat lunch together at the Italian restaurant they both liked.

    I'm sorry I was like that earlier, she said as they finished their spaghetti. It's this horrible report. I'm so glad I've finally turned it in. I suppose you did yours days ago.

    K waved his hand in a gesture of vague assent, though he was now starting to feel rather concerned.

    Oh good! said Fräulein Müller, and smiled at him in a way that, for a moment, almost made her look attractive. Then maybe I can ask you to give me some more linguistic judgements? I think the new batch of stories is better than usual.

    K could think of no way to decline this offer; so, for the rest of the afternoon, he listened to Fräulein Müller and patiently answered her questions. Around 4 pm, he received an email reminding him that the progress report was due by the end of the following day. He attempted to think about it while simultaneously listening to Fräulein Müller, but this proved to be impossible. Twice, she interrupted him with a puzzled air, and pointed out inconsistencies in his answers. K was forced to give her his full attention.

    When it was time to leave, he had still not begun the report. He tried to muster his ideas as he walked home, and had almost reached his apartment when he realised that he had forgotten his laptop at the office.

  10. Lisa Lisa says:

    Such is life that some people are convicted of nonexistent crimes while others are elevated to brilliant careers despite evident character deficiencies.

    Who but Kafka can show the absurdity of justice in a world where power trumps reason, and political strength trumps fairness?

    Is it only me turning paranoid, or does Kafka become more and more realistic, as our world turns more and more kafkaesque?

    Maybe the Non-Nobel Prize in Literature this year could go posthumously to all those dystopian, surrealistic writers that saw our world of today before it existed? To Kafka, Orwell and Borges - from the Swedish Non-Academy, convulsively in the Process of Metamorphosis to Kafka's bugs? A Non-Nobel to Kafka for prophetically writing his Cassandra-call to a blind and deaf-mute humanity!

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