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The Trial by Franz Kafka
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The Trial (original 1925; edition 2005)

by Franz Kafka

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14,293158141 (4.01)506
Member:jdtchicago
Title:The Trial
Authors:Franz Kafka
Info:Vintage Classics (2005), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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The Trial by Franz Kafka (1925)

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English (132)  Dutch (5)  Italian (5)  Spanish (5)  French (2)  Danish (2)  German (2)  Norwegian (1)  Finnish (1)  All (1)  Hebrew (1)  Swedish (1)  All (158)
Showing 1-5 of 132 (next | show all)
Look, it's a classic. It's not the most scintillating read, and I think I would have enjoyed it more had I read it when I was a 20 year old English major. But it's fine, and it paved the way for a whole host of really great slightly surreal, absurd stories that deliver a bleak message in a readable package. ( )
  mhanlon | Jun 28, 2017 |
“The right understanding of any matter and a misunderstanding of the same matter do not wholly exclude each other.”

The novel opens with Josef K.'s sudden arrest in his room at his lodging house on the morning of his birthday. Two guards inform him that he is under arrest, but they don't tell him on what charges, nor do they know what the charges are. K. is then taken next door where he is subjected to an equally puzzling and brief interrogation by the inspector. The inspector informs K. that he is under arrest, but is free to go to work at his bank and otherwise live life as usual. The book carries on to cover the following year as K. struggles against an unseen and seemingly all powerful legal system.

The book was not published until after Kafka's death in 1924,despite being written over a decade earlier. Therefore published before the outbreak of Nazism in Germany and the rise to power of Josef Stalin in Russia. Many readers thus see this novel as a critique on totalitarianism and personally I find it hard to disagree with them. The image of all encompassing power seems to be the central theme as does the relationship between justice and the law. K. never discovers what he has been charged with and no one seems either able or willing to discuss his case directly with him. Much of the legal machinations seem to be based on crony-ism. Isolation of the individual is also a major theme. K. feels alienation against an indifferent society. This impression is not helped when a priest that K. meets appears in league with the legal system.

Yet strangely despite this isolation sex also seems to be a fairly important component of this novel. Once K. is arrested he appears suddenly attractive to members of the opposite sex.

Personally, although I found this a thought provoking read I found it hard going and did not particularly enjoy the author's writing style. Paragraphs that go on for several pages were just too much like hard work but there was just enough interest to keep me going. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Jun 13, 2017 |
Densely dark, and difficult to read because of extraordinarily long paragraphs, but it gets you in, and makes you read to the end. Morbidly funereal plot, and should not be read by anyone who thinks "they are out to get me". ( )
1 vote wcarter | Jun 5, 2017 |
The Trial by Franz Kafka is one of the masterpieces of existential literature. Or so it is said. Since I'm not up to date on my existential philosophy, the book was largely wasted on me. It's always a challenge to read books that come at life from a different world view than one's own, but to give them a fair chance requires wrestling with their philosophical underpinnings. I'm not at a point in my reading life or my intellectual life where I'm interested in exploring the existential experiences described by Franz Kafka in The Trial.

Kafka certainly knows how to create atmosphere and bring a story to life, but the problems for me were the absurdist plot and the unappealing main character, Josef K. While I admire Kafka's craft as a writer, and acknowledge The Trial as an important work of literature, it's simply not to my taste at this stage of my life. ( )
  nsenger | May 29, 2017 |
Fantastic. Simple prose, a sinister atmosphere. Josef K. is put on trial but cannot find out why, nor can he influence the proceedings. Slowly he becomes agitated and paranoid, and his relationships, from those with his fellow boarders to those with his colleagues and superiors, deteriorate. The trial haunts him mostly because it stays with him and cannot be ended, and one can't help but read this tale as being about someone dealing with something inexplicable and nameless, which manifests itself as a fear of all that can never be known, slowly grinding Josef down, taking over and in the end destroying everything.
  bartt95 | Mar 3, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 132 (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 (636 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kafka, Franzprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brod, MaxEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brod, MaxEpiloguesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Butler, E. M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cober, Alan E.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ferrater, GabrielTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fosshag, BengtIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hermsdorf, KlausAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koch, Hans-GerdEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kurpershoek, TheoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lambourne, NigelPhotogrammessecondary 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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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Someone must have been telling lies about Joseph K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one fine morning.
Quotations
"The Court wants nothing from you. It receives you when you come and it dismisses you when you go."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0805209999, Paperback)

The story of The Trial's publication is almost as fascinating as the novel itself. Kafka intended his parable of alienation in a mysterious bureaucracy to be burned, along with the rest of his diaries and manuscripts, after his death in 1924. Yet his friend Max Brod pressed forward to prepare The Trial and the rest of his papers for publication. When the Nazis came to power, publication of Jewish writers such as Kafka was forbidden; Kafka's writings, many of which have distinctively Jewish themes, did not find a broad audience until after World War II. (Hannah Arendt once observed that although "during his lifetime he could not make a decent living, [Kafka] will now keep generations of intellectuals both gainfully employed and well-fed.") Among the current crop of Kafka heirs is Breon Mitchell, the translator of this edition of The Trial. Rather than tidying up Kafka's unconventional grammar and punctuation (as previous translators have done), Mitchell captures the loose, uneasy, even uncomfortable constructions of Kafka's original story. His translation technique is the only way to convey the comedy and confusion of this narrative, in which Josef K., "without having done anything truly wrong," is arrested, tried, convicted and executed--on a charge that is never disclosed to him. --Michael Joseph Gross

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:13 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

A new edition of Kafka's classic work--certain to become the new standard.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 14 descriptions

Legacy Library: Franz Kafka

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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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