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The Trial (1925)

by Franz Kafka

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
17,301199204 (4.01)547
The story of the mysterious indictment, trial, and reckoning forced upon Joseph K. in Franz Kafka' s "The Trial" is one of the twentieth century' s master parables, reflecting the central spiritual crises of modern life. Kafka' s method- one that has influenced, in some way, almost every writer of substance who followed him- was to render the absurd and the terrifying convincing by a scrupulous, hyperreal matter-of-factness of tone and treatment. He thereby imparted to his work a level of seriousness normally associated with civilization' s most cherished poems and religious texts. Translated by Willa and Edwin Muir… (more)
  1. 203
    The Stranger by Albert Camus (chrisharpe, DLSmithies)
    DLSmithies: Two protagonists on trial without really understanding what they're being accused of - it's just a question of degree.
  2. 161
    The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (haraldo)
  3. 130
    Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings (New Directions Paperbook, 186) by Jorge Luis Borges (johnxlibris)
  4. 121
    Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (SanctiSpiritus)
  5. 100
    Biblioteket i Babel : en antologi sammanställd ur novellsamlingarna Ficciones och El Aleph by Jorge Luis Borges (YagamiLight)
  6. 50
    The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy (SanctiSpiritus)
  7. 50
    Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov (SCPeterson)
    SCPeterson: Nabokov's book parallels Kafka both in style and theme. According to his Forward, Nabokov had not read Kafka when he wrote this, but he grudgingly nods toward Kafka as a "kindred soul".
  8. 40
    Kafka by David Zane Mairowitz (haraldo)
  9. 30
    The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (markusnenadovus)
  10. 30
    Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler (chrisharpe)
  11. 20
    Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature by Gilles Deleuze (S_Meyerson)
  12. 20
    Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman (gust)
  13. 10
    Arrêtez-moi là ! by Iain Levison (Babou_wk)
    Babou_wk: Chronique d'une erreur judiciaire/policière.
  14. 00
    Bleak House by Charles Dickens (Osbaldistone)
  15. 00
    Waiting for Godot: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts by Samuel Beckett (SandraArdnas)
    SandraArdnas: Both masterpieces of the absurd
  16. 00
    The Memorandum by Václav Havel (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: absurdist take on the workings of bureaucracy
  17. 00
    The Investigation by Philippe Claudel (jodocus)
  18. 22
    The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (markusnenadovus)
  19. 11
    Herzog by Saul Bellow (SanctiSpiritus)
  20. 00
    Un hombre al margen by Alexandre Postel (caflores)

(see all 20 recommendations)

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» See also 547 mentions

English (161)  Italian (7)  Spanish (6)  Dutch (5)  French (4)  German (3)  Catalan (3)  Swedish (2)  Danish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Finnish (1)  Greek (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (198)
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
Possibly one of the most procrastinated reads of my lifetime, staring accusingly from the shelf for years and when I finally had the courage to start it, I couldn’t put it down. I found some familiar favorites in there, like the doorkeeper story, fastidious first person voice and dreamlike world, but as I went on, the proceedings aligned so well with everything I’ve read about late-thirties Germany that the book seemed to foreshadow a bureaucratic apocalypse that Kafka didn’t live to see. ( )
  DellaWanna | May 1, 2021 |
Clearly, "The Trial" by Franz Kafka is essential reading for anybody who is serious about literature and understanding modern society. As a bureaucrat myself, I should be offended by the entire premise of the book, but I can appreciate the harm that can be caused to people by the combination of a totalitarian state run by a faceless bureaucracy.

In this particular translation reviewed here, please beware that in the translator's preface to the novel, he gives away the entire (surprise) ending to the story. Being a first-time reader, I was not amused, as he spoiled the sudden, rather abrupt and dramatic ending for me.

No need to go into the plot here, as it is apparently well-known to most people who read. The writing is surprisingly absurd, as he invents surreal events that could not happen in real life. In some ways, he was on the early cutting edge of the Dadaist movement championed by Dali and other artists. Also, although the story itself is genius, the actual writing is often difficult to get through, because it does not flow well. Perhaps it is a function of the translation, but I found the actual language to be less than poetic.

Kafka was one paranoid dude, with a seemingly genuine fear of government which I do not share (I think corporations have much more power over the average person than the government does these days.) Nevertheless, as a Jewish person in Germany in the 1920s, I guess you could say Kafka's paranoia over the government was well-justified, given the terrible events that were to happen shortly. Anybody who can even conceive of the basic story of "The Trial" must have been a very unhappy camper indeed. ( )
1 vote 064 | Dec 25, 2020 |
Since I read another Kafka book in schools this is my second Kafka I read. And I am very impressed. The wonderful german and the very strange and amazing story is just two wonderful things that make this book really amazing. Highly recommended. ( )
  gullevek | Dec 15, 2020 |
Rated: B
Fanciful farce that foretells the injustices of a totalitarian state and its inevitable tragedy. So well imagined and written from the prospective of a fallible character charged and arrested for never revealed crime. ( )
  jmcdbooks | Nov 21, 2020 |
La prima volta che mi sono accostato a Kafka ho incontrato storie quasi paradossali. Poi, tentando di rinvenirne un filo logico, ho scoperto la storia di un uomo che, contraddistinto da natura e sentire profondamente particolari, per quanto si produca in accurate analisi, mai riesce a vedere il contesto circostante se non come un insieme di situazioni e personaggi grotteschi e incomprensibili. Ho sempre visto gli eroi di Kafka sforzarsi di far parte di quanto li circonda, ma mai sacrificando la propria individualità. Talora han vinti. Talora han perso. Ma non si sono mai arresi. ( )
  Carlomascellani73 | Oct 30, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
Una mañana cualquiera, Josef K., joven empleado de un banco, se despierta en la pensión donde reside con la extraña visita de unos hombres que le comunican que está detenido -aunque por el momento seguirá libre-. Le informan de que se ha iniciado un proceso contra él, y le aseguran que conocerá los cargos a su debido tiempo. Así comienza una de las más memorables y enigmáticas pesadillas jamás escritas. Para el protagonista, Josef K., el proceso laberíntico en el que inesperadamente se ve inmerso supone una toma de conciencia de sí mismo, un despertar que le obliga a reflexionar sobre su propia existencia, sobre la pérdida de la inocencia y la aparición de la muerte. La lectura de El proceso produce cierto «horror vacui» pues nos sumerge en una existencia absurda, en el filo de la navaja entre la vida y la nada.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia
 

» Add other authors (575 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Franz Kafkaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Čermák, JosefTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Babuta, Subnivsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Banville, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bragg, BillIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Branner, H.C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brod, MaxEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Butler, E. M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cober, Alan E.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Degas, RupertNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ferrater, GabrielTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fosshag, BengtIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hermsdorf, KlausAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howard, GeoffreyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koch, Hans-GerdEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kurpershoek, TheoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lambourne, NigelPhotogrammessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Magris, ClaudioIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martinell, IngegärdTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, BreonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muir, EdwinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muir, WillaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nahuys, Alice vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oldenburg, PeterCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parry, IdrisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raja, AnitaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salter, GeorgeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simojoki, AukustiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zampa, GiorgioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Someone must have been telling lies about Joseph K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one fine morning.
Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested. (tr. Breon Mitchell)
Quotations
"The Court wants nothing from you. It receives you when you come and it dismisses you when you go."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

The story of the mysterious indictment, trial, and reckoning forced upon Joseph K. in Franz Kafka' s "The Trial" is one of the twentieth century' s master parables, reflecting the central spiritual crises of modern life. Kafka' s method- one that has influenced, in some way, almost every writer of substance who followed him- was to render the absurd and the terrifying convincing by a scrupulous, hyperreal matter-of-factness of tone and treatment. He thereby imparted to his work a level of seriousness normally associated with civilization' s most cherished poems and religious texts. Translated by Willa and Edwin Muir

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Book description
A Josef K., un giovane impiegato di banca che conduce una tranquilla vita borghese, viene notificato di essere in arresto per una colpa misteriosa. Il giovane cerca di difendersi, ma non riesce neppure a sapere di che cosa precisamente venga accusato. Lenta ma inarrestabile, la macchina processuale invaderà a poco a poco tutta la sua esistenza finché, solo e abbandonato da tutti, Josef K. accetterà di soccombere. Scritto nel 1925, capolavoro della letteratura europea, Il processo è forse il romanzo di Kafka che meglio descrive l’angosciosa condizione dell’uomo in una società divenuta ormai troppo complessa, vissuta come un meccanismo implacabile e fine a se stesso, minacciosa e indifferente a qualsiasi autentico valore.
(piopas)
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141182903, 0141194715

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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