Words of Wisdom:

"The reward of suffering is experience." - Papyrus

Novel

  • Date Submitted: 08/03/2013 07:40 AM
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The Castle (novel)
History of the novel
Kafka began writing The Castle on the evening of 27 January 1922, the day he arrived at the mountain resort of Spindlermühle (now in the Czech Republic). A picture taken of him upon his arrival shows him by a horse-drawn sleigh in the snow in a setting reminiscent of The Castle.[1] Hence, the significance that the first few chapters of the handwritten manuscript were written in first person and at some point later changed by Kafka to a third person narrator, 'K.'[2]
Max Brod
Kafka died prior to finishing The Castle and it is questionable whether Kafka intended on finishing it if he had survived his tuberculosis. On separate occasions he told his friend Max Brod of two different conditions: K., the book's protagonist, would continue to reside and die in the village; the castle notifying him on his death bed that his "legal claim to live in the village was not valid, yet, taking certain auxiliary circumstances into account, he was permitted to live and work there",[2] but then on 11 September 1922 in a letter to Max Brod, he said he was giving up on the book and would never return to it.[3] As it is, the book ends mid-sentence.
Although Brod was instructed by Kafka to destroy all his works on his death, he did not and set about publishing Kafka's writings. The Castle was originally published in German in 1926 by the publisher Joella Goodman of Munich. This edition sold far less than the 1500 copies that were printed.[4] It was republished in 1935 by Schocken Verlag in Berlin, and in 1946 by Schocken Books of New York.[5]
Brod had to heavily edit the work to ready it for publication. His goal was to gain acceptance of the work and the author, not to maintain the structure of Kafka's writing. This would play heavily in the future of the translations and continues to be the center of discussion on the text.[6] Brod donated the manuscript to Oxford University.[7]
Brod placed a strong religious significance to the symbolism...

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