Kafka's Castle

Kafka's Castle

Kafka's Castle

Kafka's Castle

Excerpt

The temptation when reading Kafka is to ask what he is driving at, instead of looking at what he says. This may account for the number of interpretations of his work that have appeared, claiming to give an account of his symbolism that will explain the mysterious fascination he undoubtedly does exercise. Yet the reader of these interpretations is likely to feel as dissatisfied when he has finished as he was when he had only the works themselves to go on. He will probably agree with Angel Flores, editor of The Kafka Problem , that 'everyone who has read Kafka, not to mention many who haven't, seems not to have the slightest doubt that he understands him perfectly, and moreover that he is the only one who does'. There is, at all events, complete disagreement between the interpreters who see in Kafka's novels and stories primarily the account of a religious quest, and those, chiefly psycho-analysts and sociologists, who find the theological versions 'totally unsupported by internal evidence'. After some study of these conflicting views, one might well conclude that Kafka had left his meaning unclear, that he had nothing definite to communicate, and that a writer so vague and ambiguous was not worth long attention.

Any further attempt at interpretation can only add to the numbers on one side or the other. It can also . . .

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