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The Trial

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Written in 1914 but not published until 1925, a year after Kafka’s death, The Trial is the terrifying tale of Josef K., a respectable bank officer who is suddenly and inexplicably arrested and must defend himself against a charge about which he can get no information. Whether read as an existential tale, a parable, or a prophecy of the excesses of modern bureaucracy wedded to the madness of totalitarianism, The Trial has resonated with chilling truth for generations of readers.

255 pages, Paperback

First published April 26, 1925

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About the author

Franz Kafka

2,508 books26.9k followers
Prague-born writer Franz Kafka wrote in German, and his stories, such as " The Metamorphosis " (1916), and posthumously published novels, including The Trial (1925), concern troubled individuals in a nightmarishly impersonal world.

Jewish middle-class family of this major fiction writer of the 20th century spoke German. People consider his unique body of much incomplete writing, mainly published posthumously, among the most influential in European literature.

His stories include "The Metamorphosis" (1912) and " In the Penal Colony " (1914), whereas his posthumous novels include The Trial (1925), The Castle (1926) and Amerika (1927).

Despite first language, Kafka also spoke fluent Czech. Later, Kafka acquired some knowledge of the French language and culture from Flaubert, one of his favorite authors.

Kafka first studied chemistry at the Charles-Ferdinand University of Prague but after two weeks switched to law. This study offered a range of career possibilities, which pleased his father, and required a longer course of study that gave Kafka time to take classes in German studies and art history. At the university, he joined a student club, named Lese- und Redehalle der Deutschen Studenten, which organized literary events, readings, and other activities. In the end of his first year of studies, he met Max Brod, a close friend of his throughout his life, together with the journalist Felix Weltsch, who also studied law. Kafka obtained the degree of doctor of law on 18 June 1906 and performed an obligatory year of unpaid service as law clerk for the civil and criminal courts.

Writing of Kafka attracted little attention before his death. During his lifetime, he published only a few short stories and never finished any of his novels except the very short "The Metamorphosis." Kafka wrote to Max Brod, his friend and literary executor: "Dearest Max, my last request: Everything I leave behind me ... in the way of diaries, manuscripts, letters (my own and others'), sketches, and so on, [is] to be burned unread." Brod told Kafka that he intended not to honor these wishes, but Kafka, so knowing, nevertheless consequently gave these directions specifically to Brod, who, so reasoning, overrode these wishes. Brod in fact oversaw the publication of most of work of Kafka in his possession; these works quickly began to attract attention and high critical regard.

Max Brod encountered significant difficulty in compiling notebooks of Kafka into any chronological order as Kafka started writing in the middle of notebooks, from the last towards the first, et cetera.

Kafka wrote all his published works in German except several letters in Czech to Milena Jesenská.

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Profile Image for s.penkevich.
962 reviews6,806 followers
January 4, 2023
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.
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11.2k followers
February 14, 2012
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.

Profile Image for Aubrey.
1,357 reviews794 followers
September 17, 2014
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.
Profile Image for Lynn Beyrouthy.
47 reviews113 followers
November 13, 2014

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.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews41 followers
August 3, 2021
(Book 701 from 1001 Books) - 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، انتشاراتیها (نیلوفر، فرخی، نگارستان، ماهی، نیلا، کوله پشتی، ...) تاریخ نخستین خوانش: در سال 1975میلادی

عنوان: محاکمه؛ نویسنده: فرانتس کافکا؛ مترجم: حسینقلی جواهرچی؛ تهران، انتشارات فرخی، 1353؛ در 216ص؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان آلمان - سده 20م

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، در310ص؛ شابک 9786006687087»؛ «کامل روزدار، تهران، اشاره، 1395؛ در 504ص؛ شابک 9789648936902»؛

صبح روز تولد سی سالگی «جوزف کا» صندوقدار بانک، ناگهان سر و کله‌ ی دو مرد ناشناس، از سازمانی ناشناس، در آپارتمانش پیدا می‌شود؛ دو مرد که به او می‌گویند: بازداشت است، و نمی‌تواند از آپارتمانش خارج شود، و دادرسی در جریان است؛ آن‌ها مطالبی نیز درباره‌ ی لباس‌ها، و وسایلش به «جوزف» می‌گویند، و از او می‌خواهند، آن‌ها را به انبار تحویل ندهد؛ مدتی بعد «جوزف»، برای دادرسی به آدرسی تحت عنوان دادگاه، فراخوانده می‌شود، که در واقع یک اتاق زیر شیروانی است، جایی که انگار همه «جوزف کا.» را می‌شناسند...؛

این‌ جمله‌ها را «فرانتس کافکا»، در یکی از نامه‌های شخصی خویش بنگاشته اند؛ و شاید بهترین توصیفی‌ باشد که می‌توان برای رمان «محاکمه» نوشت، رمانی که سال‌ها پس از انتشار نیز، هنوز حرف‌هایی برای گفتن دارد: (مدام می‌کوشم چیزی بیان ناشدنی را بیان کنم، چیزی توضیح ناپذیر را توضیح بدهم، از چیزی سخن بگویم که در استخوان‌ها دارم، چیزی که فقط در استخوان‌ها تجربه پذیر است؛ چه بسا این چیز در اصل همان ترسی است که گاهی درباره‌ اش گفتگو شد، ولی ترسی تسری یافته به همه چیز، ترس از بزرگ‌ترین و کوچک‌ترین ترس، ترسی شدید از به زبان آوردن یک حرف؛ البته شاید این ترس فقط ترس نیست، اشتیاق چیزی است فراتر از هر چه که موجب ترس می‌شود)؛

رمانی ناتمام از «فرانتس کافکا» است، که نخستین بار در سال 1925میلادی، چاپ شد؛ از مشهورترین آثار ایشانست؛ داستان مردی که، 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؛

نقل از متن: (سر و صدایی شبیه شکستن ظروف چینی، از سرسرا شنیده شد، و همه گوش تیز کردند، «کا.» گفت: «می‌روم ببینم چه شده»، و آهسته بیرون رفت، طوری که انگار به دیگران فرصت می‌دهد مانع رفتنش شوند؛ همین که وارد سرسرا شد، و کوشید راه را در تاریکی پیدا کند، دستی کوچک، بسیار کوچک‌تر از دست «کا.»، روی دستش که هنوز دستگیره را می‌فشرد، قرار گرفت، و آهسته در را بست؛ پرستار در انتظارش بود؛ با صدایی فروخورده گفت: «چیزی نشده، من فقط برای بیرون کشیدن شما بشقابی را به دیوار کوبیدم.»، «کا.» دستپاچه گفت: «من هم به شما فکر می‌کردم.»؛ پرستار گفت: «چه بهتر. بیایید»؛ پس از چند گام به دری از شیشه‌ ی مات رسیدند؛ پرستار جلوتر از «کا.» در را باز کرد؛ گفت: «بیایید تو.»؛ آنجا اتاق کار وکیل بود؛ در نور مهتاب که فقط مربع‌هایی کوچک، از کف اتاق را در برابر سه پنجره‌ ی بزرگ روشن می‌کرد، اینطور پیدا بود، که در اتاق میز و صندلی‌هایی سنگین و قدیمی، چیده شده است؛ پرستار گفت: «از این طرف»، و به صندوقچه‌ ای تیره با پشتی منبت کاری شده اشاره کرد)؛ پایان

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 30/05/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 11/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Fernando.
684 reviews1,128 followers
January 17, 2023
"Tener un proceso significa haberlo perdido ya."

La obra de Kafka es compleja, inquietante y genera usualmente en el lector el mismo desconcierto que en sus personajes, quienes terminan enredados en infinitas encrucijadas y laberintos que nunca logran desvelar.
Durante la primer lectura de este libro, hace muchos años, yo no había leído tanto a Kafka y tampoco había aprendido sobre los detalles sobre su vida.
De ahí el hecho de que yo escribiera en la reseña original, de pocas líneas: “El Proceso me ha desorientado justo al final. Un final que no esperaba, pero que a la vez demuestra la maestría narrativa de Kafka”.
Luego de haber completado la lectura de toda su obra y haber leído sus “Diarios”, su “Carta al Padre” y las “Cartas a Milena” (solo me resta leerlas “Cartas a Felice”) tengo mucho más en claro de que se trata lo “kafkiano” y de por qué se manifiesta de forma sucesiva tanto en sus relatos, parábolas y aforismos como en sus novelas: esto se manifiesta por la directa conexión de lo ficcional con Kafka empírico.
La gran analogía se produce, precisamente entre los vaivenes emocionales entre los que se movió a lo largo de su vida y la orientación de muchas de sus experiencias hacia su literatura.
Es como que un mundo no puede funcionar sin el otro. Gran parte de lo que uno lee en sus novelas, probablemente tenga una réplica, frase, conexión y origen en las entradas de sus Diarios.
Para ello, con sólo leer ciertos párrafos de este u otro libro, seguramente encontraremos algo relacionado a su vida personal, sus experiencias, anhelos y miedos.
Ahora bien, “El Proceso” es para mí el libro que más fielmente recrea la escena y proceder kafkianos. De hecho aún más que en “El Castillo”, aunque los intentos del agrimensor K. en esa otra novela se rodean de cierta persistencia y porfía que en Josef K. no percibimos. K. se encuentra en un estado que es para mí el mismo que el del lector: el de una constante desorientación.
A medida que nos vamos adentrando en las circunstancias que rodean la situación procesal de K., nos damos cuenta de que nos vemos imposibilitados de avanzar en algún sentido. Nosotros mismos como lectores carecemos al igual que K. de esa información necesaria para aventurar qué puede llegar a suceder más adelante.
Para complicar las cosas, Josef K. está acusado, le dicen que está detenido, pero no le clarifican por qué con lo cual se acrecienta su incertidumbre. Sucede esta conversación: "Usted está detenido, desde luego, pero eso no debe impedir ejercer su profesión. Tampoco debe ser un estorbo para su vida habitual." "Entonces estar detenido no es muy grave", dijo K., acercándose al inspector. "Nunca dije otra cosa", respondió él.
Lentamente ingresa K., a una serie de situaciones realmente absurdas -otro de los elementos claves de las novelas de Kafka- para tratar de acceder a un tribunal inalcanzable e invisible sin dejar de enredarse en una burocracia paralizante de abogados, jueces de instrucción, fiscales, ujieres y todo tipo de oscuros personajes del ámbito judicial (Kafka era abogado y entendía a la perfección dicho sistema) sin ningún tipo de avance positivo en su situación.
Realmente, algunas escenas parecen escritas más para una pieza teatral que para una novela. Incluso, diría yo que es una novela mucho más teatral que "La metamorfosis".
Hay momentos en los diálogos durante capítulos como "Primera investigación", "Las Oficinas". "Despido del Abogado" y "El comerciante Block" que son excesivamente exagerados, puntualmente en las reacciones y actitudes de algunos personajes. Cuando se presenta ante el tribunal para su primera declaración, esto sucede en un edificio atestado de la gente más rara y extraña posible, con un techo tan bajo que tienen que encorvar la cabeza y en un ambiente opresivo y de constante ahogo.
Cuando uno imagina esa situación como lector, se extraña y se sorprende. Uno piensa: "bueno, esto no puede ser real, o está exagerado al límite de lo insospechado, o puede ser una alucinación de K. o decididamente un sueño" -como lo que sucede en el capítulo "El flagelador", al que considero el más desconcertante y hasta ridículo del libro.
Otro aspecto muy desarrollado por Kafka a lo largo de la novela es el tema de la atmósfera oscura, asfixiante y claustrofóbica a la que está constantemente sometido K.
Eso sucede en varias partes, como por ejemplo en "Primera Investigación": "El vaho neblinoso de la habitación era sumamente denso: impedía incluso observar a los que estaban lejos", o como en el capítulo donde visita el estudio de Titorelli, el pintor: "El aire del cuarto le había ido resultando poco a poco sofocante y ya varias veces había mirado una estufa de hierro... el calor del cuarto era inexplicable."; y en el capítulo final: "Debajo de los faroles, K., intentó varias veces, por difícil que le resultara el ser llevado tan apretadamente, ver a sus acompañantes con más claridad de lo que le había sido posible en la penumbra del cuarto."
Todos estos detalles, creo yo, no fueron escogidos al azar por Kafka. Él quiso imponerle a la novela una asfixiante atmósfera interrumpida y lo logra a la perfección.
Prácticamente, no hay pasaje que no esté rodeado de oscuridad, penumbra y encierro. Ni siquiera en su visita a la Catedral, durante su conversación con el sacerdote que para variar es el capellán de la prisión y además forma parte del tribunal.
Ahora, luego de comentar este detalle remarco también que prácticamente todos los personajes con los que se cruza K. (la lavandera, el abogado Huld, algunos empleados del banco en que trabaja, su tío, la Leni, que es la empleada de Huld, el comerciante Block, cualquier personaje del ambiente judicial), todos, casi todos saben que tiene un proceso en curso y algunos hasta aventuran que es culpable y que no tiene buen fin su proceso.
Algo me dice que lo irreal debe inferir en la realidad de K., dado que es sorprendentemente llamativo y hasta incluso él lo reconoce. Parece que todos saben, se lo dicen y él luego no necesita presentarse, ya es una obviedad.
El ante último capítulo del libro, "En la Catedral" es, como indico en la primera reseña el más elevado del libro para mí, puesto que en él expone su famosa parábola "Ante la Ley", que a la vez dispara múltiples interpretaciones en los lectores.
El tema de la Ley es para Kafka supremo, inalcanzable, inaccesible, poderoso. Siempre ha sido así para él y de esta forma lo volcó en sus novelas, tanto en esta como en "El castillo", personificada por los señores propietarios del Castillo, a los que K. no llega, producto de su propia futilidad, sucede en la Ley impuesta por el padre de Gregor Samsa (en Samsa cambia las letras de Kafka, su propio apellido) confinándolo a ser recluido como una bestia dentro de su propio cuarto y que tiene conexión con la relación que Kafka tuvo con su padre, en el cuento "La condena", en un caso similar al de este libro Georg Bendemann (Bende sin -mann, concuerda con Kafka) cuyo padre lo condena a morir ahogado y en muchos más que podríamos seguir citando más ejemplos, pero volviendo al pasaje "Ante la Ley", yo sostengo que no es necesario más que leer la conversación de K., con el sacerdote para entender de que se trata esa parábola maravillosa, producto de la mente de este genio único que se llamó Franz Kafka.
Sigo sosteniendo que todo aquel que admire los grandes libros de la literatura mundial, debería detenerse al menos una vez ante un clásico inoxidable como éste.
Profile Image for Vit Babenco.
1,462 reviews3,611 followers
January 6, 2021
Guilt and innocence: Who can be considered innocent and who can be considered guilty?
After all, K. lived in a state governed by law, there was universal peace, all statutes were in force; who dared assault him in his own lodgings?

The state is an ogre… The citizen is a pygmy… And an ogre can do with a pygmy whatever it wishes… But ogres prefer to eat pygmies and for appearance’s sake they use law… And to apply law there are courts and bureaucracy.
The gradations and ranks of the court are infinite, extending beyond the ken even of initiates. The proceedings in the courts of law are generally a mystery to the lower officials as well; therefore they can almost never follow the progress of the cases they are working on throughout their course; the case enters their field of vision, often they know not whence, and continues on, they know not where.

Once the machinery of soulless bureaucracy started working, there is no way to stop it.
An apparent acquittal is handled differently. There is no further change in the files except for adding to them the certification of innocence, the acquittal, and the grounds for the acquittal. Otherwise they remain in circulation; following the law court’s normal routine they are passed on to the higher courts, come back to the lower ones, swinging back and forth with larger or smaller oscillations, longer or shorter interruptions. These paths are unpredictable. Externally it may sometimes appear that everything has been long since forgotten, the file has been lost, and the acquittal is absolute. No initiate would ever believe that. No file is ever lost, and the court never forgets.

To the state, there is no such thing as an innocent person. If an individual doesn’t obey the state, the state exterminates an individual as a vermin.
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,118 reviews44.8k followers
October 26, 2016
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, The reader has very little idea why it has happened.

"Someone must have been spreading slander about K., for one morning he was arrested, though he had done nothing wrong."

Indeed, the Trial uses fragmentation in its plot to further establish the ungraspable nature of K’s encounters, such as in chapter three when he attempts to save a washerwoman from an evil and lustful student. He chases the couple at the stair is where he encounters a fog and is forced to retreat. The event is never mentioned again. The situation is nightmarish, and like a dream, is forgotten about quickly. This tells us that no meaning will be had from the Trial; it tells us that there will never be any answers.

What exactly is this wierd court?

The court that conducts the trial is shrouded in even more mystery. Just who are these people that can psychologically manipulate with so little effort? They are a powerful order, which is indicated by their sessions always accruing on the highest floor of the building; this evokes their, strange, authoritative presence. There are even suggestions that this court hold sessions in each, and every, building in the city, which again creates more weirdness.

"The faces that surrounded him! Tiny black eyes darted about, cheeks dropped like those of drunken men, the long beards were stiff and scraggly, and when they pulled on them, it seemed as if they were merely forming claws, not pulling beards. Beneath the beards, however – and this was the true discovery K. made – badges of various sizes and colors shimmered on the collars of their jackets


Is this a dream?

However, one thing that remains clear through the novel is the characterisation of K. He is completely bland; he has no endearing qualities whatsoever, yet the women seem to throw themselves at him on multiple occasions. This resonates in the dream world, because only in a dream world could a man like K be such a womaniser. He is meek, powerless and accepting of his unjust fate, so only a dream could a shadow of a man like K be so attractive an irresistible.

"I recruit women helpers, he thought, almost amazed: first Fraülein Bürstner, then the court usher's wife, and now this little nurse, who seems to have an inexplicable desire for me."

In spite of his blandness and alienation, he is the only rational character within the novel. I like to think a little bit of Kafka comes through here. I’ve been reading up on his personal history, and he was a very segregated man; he was disbeliever amongst the Jewish religion; he was distant to his overbearing farther and the opposite sex. He didn’t seem to fit in, perhaps a little bit of Kafka comes through in K. Perhaps he wanted to show what it would be like cut off from the rest of civilization.

Overall, this is an iconic piece of literature; it is one that every serious reader should read before they die because it is completely unique. Its strange narrative resembles a dream; its events are pointless and impenetrable like a nightmare that stays with you forever. Indeed, this book will never be forgotten by those that have read it, as the unanswered questions will haunt for the rest of their days. I’ve quite literally been unable to sleep when thinking about this book, as the question “what exactly does it mean?” lingers in my mind.

Review Update: I bought a Folio Society edition of this and just has to show it off.....



Doesn't it just look great?

Profile Image for Luís.
1,941 reviews605 followers
July 26, 2023
His language was German, his religion was Judaism, and his passion was literature. Franz Kafka (1883-1924), who was to languish for years as an employee of a commercial insurance company that made him do acts he disapproved of, mostly when they were not under morality or simple humanity, spent his free time, often solitary, to write. Still, he wanted nothing to come to light of his work, a desire that, remarkably, fortunately, his friend, the poet Max Brod, would refuse to grant.
I was between fifteen and sixteen years old when I read The Trial. I have unforgettable memories of it simultaneously as a more or less accepted attraction for this writing which can frighten and disturb at the same time as it opens our eyes to the reality of relations between citizens and administrations. Connections, where the city will consistently be subservient, are humiliating in the face of administrative agents who regard their dialogists as anonymous pawns and draw their force on what they hold if they wish to access this information. Files that can reveal what they want to know about the people who come to present their requests. However, the novel's hero, Joseph K., is precisely in this situation of powerlessness and dependence. When learning that he is dealing with justice for facts, he does not know anything. He suffers heavily from being in this situation to becoming a daily victim of an obsession. The more worried as he considers himself innocent and has nothing to be ashamed of when he sees the gazes of people indifferent to his problem turning towards him, incredulous, even suspicious. Even when one has compassion for him, and even if some are ready to help him, they cannot do anything, coming up against a wall like him. It goes as far as the absurd, and it is indeed ridiculous. Yet, this fantastic has something objective. It describes the absurdity of our lives when we have reduced to being just a number in a confrontation with an administration, especially before the legal authorities. - that of a file handled among thousands, even millions of others, which reduces us to no longer being an object and no longer a subject, still less an active subject. Ultimately, we could tolerate an obedient issue. However, we still prefer a topic that is content to silently undergo what happens to him because it is the law and the "logic (illogical and unjust but unstoppable) of things.". Joseph K. refuses this state of affairs; he has his way of reacting, contesting, or rebelling (without making too many waves). Still, it is his concern to know which revolt is a subversive act in the eyes of authority and public opinion, as if it were futile. The one who rebels is embarrassed that he does not allow himself to stop by anything in this quest. The first step towards justification and rehabilitation attempts is to fight to forgive oneself and reestablish the truth and its honor, which ultimately is never entirely satisfied because justice is decidedly not of this world. Yes, Mr. Joseph K., therefore, stop asking to have access to your file and to consult it because we do not even know where it is: how do you want us to know that we know where to look for him since we do not know exactly where he ended up arriving. Just know that you charged and that it has happened. And besides, everyone knows what's the use of fighting, what's the use of raising mountains of files. It won't change anything.
I will not describe the end of this novel as a disturbing work that forces us to ask ourselves the right questions: are we not concerned, too, each on our own? Is this book realistic? Does he show us the "blind monster" to whom we hand over our identities in the oppressive stranglehold he maintains, individually and collectively?
Is there any adherence to a Dostoyevsky fatalism below? It's up to everyone to find the answer that they think is the most accurate.
The fact remains that this book, even if it seems unbearable, does not let you go: you finish reading it, and you come out of it troubled and forever marked.
Profile Image for Kevin Ansbro.
Author 5 books1,469 followers
October 6, 2022
"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 are 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 each time he speaks. 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! : )
Profile Image for emma.
1,865 reviews54.3k followers
July 20, 2023
It's important, in this life, to have goals.

Sure, they are often a lesson in the enduring power of futility, our lack of free will as demonstrated by the ever-present arm of bureaucracy.

If your goal, for example, is à la our protagonist's, you will spend several years or 341 pages or the rest of your life or a wasted afternoon attempting to extricate yourself from mysterious charges from an absurd institution, progressing not at all in the achievement of this objective but at least proving both of the above arguments as well as manage to psychically predict the pointless cruelty of the American justice system a hundred years later.

But if your goal, à la my own, is simply to be able to use the word "Kafkaesque" whenever your little heart desires, you can read this, draw on your memories of the two times you've read The Metamorphosis in school, and be on your merry way.

Both sorts of aim give us purpose. And without the drive they grant us, even though it merely distracts us from the reality of what we are putting ourselves through daily at the hands of society, the government, and what have you...without the illusion of progress provided...

We have nothing.

Like our poor Josef K.

At least I have a whole new word to use.

Bottom line: This will make you look very melancholy and sophisticated when you read it on public transit (especially if you have the same vintage Modern Library edition I do), which is one of the best compliments I can pay a book.


"the real treasure was the friends we made along the way," except the real bureaucracy was our own lack of free will.

you know?

review to come / 4 stars

currently-reading updates

just trying to unlock the ability to use the word "kafkaesque"

clear ur shit book 36
quest 17: read a book you've been putting off
Profile Image for Pakinam Mahmoud.
812 reviews3,469 followers
August 26, 2023
"من الأفضل غالباً أن يكون المرء مكبلاً بالأغلال من أن يكون حراً طليقاً.."
هل معني كدة إن مفيش حاجة إسمها حرية؟
هل هي مجرد كلمة موجودة فقط في الكتب والروايات؟!
هل هذا ما يعنيه كافكا من هذا الإقتباس؟
علي ما أظن..آه:)

المحاكمة...الرواية التي لم ينهها كافكا و أوصي في وصيته أن يتم تدميرها و لكن لحسن الحظ صديقه والوصي علي إرثه الكاتب ماكس برود خالف إرادته وقام بتكملتها و نشرها لكي نقرأ جميعاً هذا العمل الممتع...

تدور أحداث الرواية حول جوزيف ك وهو موظف مصرفي محترم ،إستيقظ ذات يوم في عيد ميلاده الثلاثين ووجد نفسه معتقل ضد تهمة لا يستطيع حتى الحصول على معلومات عنها ومع ذلك هو لم يسجن ولكن ترك حراً في إنتظار محاكمته!
الإجراءات القضائية تجري بصورة سرية في هذه المحاكمة ..قضية لن يري فيها القاضي و محكمة عُليا لن يصل إليها أبداً!

"من طبيعة هذا القضاء أن يُدين المرء،ليس وهو برئ فحسب،بل وهو غير عارف أيضاً.."

الرواية تحمل الكثير من المعاني و الكثير من التأويلات أيضاً...
أنا شوفتها رواية تندرج تحت أدب المدينة الفاسدة أو الديستوبيا..فكرتني شوية بالأخ الأكبر في رواية جورج أورويل ١٩٨٤...
كافكا هنا بيتكلم عن غياب العدالة ،عن إمكانية إعتقالك في أي وقت بدون وجه حق و حتي الدفاع عنك غير مسموح به قانونياً إنما تتساهل المحكمة في أمره و غالباً إن وجهت المحكمة أي إتهام لمتهم فهي تكون علي قناعة تامة بذنبه ومن المستحيل زحزحتها عن موقف الإقتناع..

من خلال الأحداث ألقي كافكا الضوء علي فساد المؤسسات القضائية أو الحكومية بصورة عامة اللي بدوره بينعكس علي المواطن العادي وبتجعله فاسد أيضاً حتي لو كان مستقيم...
"هذه المحكمة مؤلفة كلها تقريباً من صيادي النساء..اعرض امرأة من بعيد علي قاضي التحقيق وستجده يقلب طاولة المحكمة مع المتهم،فقط ليصل إلي المرأة في الوقت المناسب.."

في كل الرواية كافكا كان يطلق علي اسم البطل"ك" ..هل ك هو كافكا؟
كافكا الذي كان يعاني من معامله أبيه السيئة و قسوته عليه كما وضح في رسالته له..
هل ممكن نعتبرها رواية نفسية و إنها بتعكس صورة لكافكا المضطهد عندما كان طفلاً وأصبح ك في الرواية هنا معتقل ،مظلوم،و مش عارف يدافع عن نفسه؟
يقول كافكا في رسالته إلي والده 'كانت كتاباتي تتمحور حولك' و الجملة دي علي ما أظن تفسر الكثير...

الرواية الصراحة أصعب وأعمق من إني أحاول أحلل كل جوانبها..
نحن أمام رواية إستثنائية..تقرأ علي مهل ..حتعيد فيها فقرات وساعات صفحات عشان تحاول تفهم قصده إيه..
وبعد ما تخلصها حتقول لنفسك حاجة واحدة بس..
what a novel..what a writer..what a master piece😍
Profile Image for Orsodimondo.
2,191 reviews1,817 followers
December 15, 2022

Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Qualcuno doveva aver calunniato Josef K., perché un mattino, senza che avesse fatto niente di male, fu arrestato.
Tutto comincia di mattina, al risveglio, come la pazzesca vicenda di Gregor Samsa in La metamorfosi, che un mattino si svegliò e si scoprì trasformato in scarafaggio. Il risveglio è il momento più rischioso del giorno, quello di maggiore fragilità esistenziale.
La storia dura un anno: dal trentesimo compleanno del protagonista alla viglia del suo trentunesimo, giorno in cui la Giustizia degli uomini lo condanna ed esegue la sentenza di colpevolezza.

Maurits Cornelis Escher

Per quanto incompiuto, e pubblicato postumo, io lo giudico il miglior Kafka insieme a La metamorfosi. Siamo a vertici altissimi considerato che i due romanzi conclusi, America e Il castello sono praticamente due capolavori.
E, sbrigo subito pratica che sento ineludibile: il protagonista del magnifico romanzo di Coetzee, Michael K (Life and Time of Michael K.), mi pare un palese omaggio all’immenso scrittore di Praga (che scriveva in tedesco).

Altro omaggio che sento di voler pagare è al bistrattato ma magnifico film omonimo di Orson Welles, The Trial, con l’inquietante Anthony “Psycho” Perkins, il nostro grande Arnoldo Foà, che era perfettamente in grado di recitare in inglese, e un parterre di attrici da brivido: la nostra Elsa Martinelly, Romy Schneider, Jeanne Moreau.

Paul Delvaux

Il processo per un’accusa che non viene mai davvero enunciata. E quindi, qual è la colpa? Come difendersi? Come dimostrare la propria innocenza?
E se non si conosce il capo d’imputazione, sappiamo davvero chi sia l’accusato Joseph K., omonimo del protagonista dell’altro romanzo Il castello: nient’altro. Perché a quella kappa maiuscola non segue mai il resto del cognome?
Ansia, angoscia, inquietudine: tutte servite su un piatto d’argento costituito da questi dieci capitoli.

René Magritte

Emozioni che crescono con lo scorrere delle pagine: Joseph K. è accusato, ma non gli dicono di o per cosa – però lo avvisano che c’è un processo in corso a suo carico, hanno già cominciato a processarlo senza avvertirlo! Ma non deve preoccuparsi, i poliziotti, che si sono ben guardati dall’identificarsi con chiarezza, lo lasciano libero, e può perfino continuare a lavorare in banca.
Tuttavia Joseph K. vuole affrontare la questione senza aspettare. Ma fatica a trovare il tribunale, che è in un quartiere periferico, in un palazzo anonimo, e la sua aula è in soffitta! Non basta: l’udienza è affollatissima, ma perché mai tutta quella gente è curiosa di seguire la sorte processuale di Joseph K. che neppure conosce?

Max Ernst.

Joseph commette il primo errore: nel primo interrogatorio si lancia in una lunga dichiarazione che è un atto d’accusa all’intero sistema giudiziario. Come se le cose funzionassero secondo logica. Come se Kafka non avesse trascinato il suo protagonista e il lettore nel regno dell’assurdo.

Romy Schneider, Anthony Perkins e Orson Welles sul set.

Segreta è la colpa, sconosciuti sono i giudici, misterioso il funzionamento giudiziario: il Potere si difende aumentando le difficoltà. Non è neppure certo che le difese scritte inviate alla corte vengano davvero lette, men che meno prese in considerazione. Appare sempre più evidente che nessuno viene ritenuto mai davvero innocente: e una volta che l’accusa è lanciata, la colpa verrà provata, e la sentenza eseguita.
Incubo? Allucinazione? Paradosso? Surreale? Distopia? Sedimenti cabalistici, racconti talmudici, frammenti di mistica ebraica?
Eppure ci sono momenti comici, divertenti.
Atmosfera che più kafkiana non è possibile.

Gli parve che la vergogna gli dovesse sopravvivere.

Orson Welles impegnato nella regia del film.

Profile Image for فؤاد.
1,065 reviews1,757 followers
April 17, 2020
چند شب پیش فیلم «بزرگراه گمشده» از دیوید لینچ را دیدم. بعد از فیلم، به عادت همیشگی، فوری مرورگر اینترنت را باز کردم و سرچ کردم:

Lost highway WTF?!

قبل تر که فیلم «کله پاک کنی» را دیده بودم هم مشابه همین را سرچ کردم و همین طور قبل ترش که «مالهالند درایو» را دیده بودم. هر بار هم کلی نتایج خنده آوری پیدا کردم! بیننده هایی که از روند آشفته و هذیان گونۀ فیلم به سر درد افتاده بودند و با عصبانیت می خواستند بدانند این دیگر چی بود که دیدند؟ و دیگرانی که جواب داده بودند و سعی کرده بودند برای اتفاقات نامربوط فیلم به هر زور و زحمتی که شده توجیهی عقلانی پیدا کنند، حتی توجیهاتی خنده دار و آبکی. تماشای این تلاش های مذبوحانه برای جا دادن یک تجربۀ آزاردهندۀ غیرعقلانی در قالبی که نظم و معنایی عقلانی پیدا کند، همیشه برایم خنده دار بوده و هست. نه فقط راجع به فیلم های دیوید لینچ. راجع به تمام به اصطلاح تفسیرها و تحلیل هایی که سعی می کنند وقایع یک داستان را به شکلی نمادین یا به هر ترتیب دیگر، به گونه ای بازسازی کنند که آن آزاردهندگی ناشی از توجیه ناپذیری را از دست بدهند، و با فهم هر روزه سازگار شوند.

داستان های کافکا از همین دستند. داستان هایی که وقتی در آن ها غرق می شوی دنیایی غریب و وهم انگیز را تجربه می کنی. دنیایی کاملاً شبیه به همین دنیای خودمان، ولی غیرقابل توضیح با قواعدی که به آن خو کرده ایم. به همین دلیل وحشتی بیان نشدنی در طول داستان جریان دارد. در مقابل، تفسیرها و تحلیل هایی که از داستان های کافکا شده، به طور کامل از دنیایی که کافکا می خواسته خلق کند بیرون است، و حتی تلاش می کند آن را تخریب کند. تلاش می کند همۀ آن احساس های بیان نشدنی را با تفسیرهایی پیش پا افتاده، در قالب های عقلانی جا بدهد:

سوسک مسخ؟
انسان ازخودبیگانه، دستمالی شده ترین و در نتیجه پیش پا افتاده ترین مفهوم قرن نوزدهم و بیستم.

دادگاه محاکمه؟
بوروکراسی فاسد.

و فاجعه تر از همه، قصر: ملکوت آسمان!

وقتی در صفحات اینترنت می چرخم و توجیه های خنده دار آدم ها راجع به فیلم های لینچ را می خوانم، همیشه یک فکر در ذهنم چرخ می خورد: این هایی که فیلم را این طور تفسیر و فهم کرده اند، پس از چه چیز فیلم لذت برده اند؟

پ ن:
این ریویوی قدیم من از محاکمه است، آیا من هم به دنبال تفسیر عقلانی این رمان بودم؟

معروفه که میگن اسم «ک» برای شخصیت اول، نشون دهنده ی اینه که کافکا نمیخاد شخصیت پردازی بکنه. نمیخاد شخصیتش حتا اسم داشته باشه. این، شاید مهم ترين خصوصيت «ک» باشه. بی هویت و بی شخصیت بودنش. شخصيت انفعالى داشتنش. او همواره محكوم بوده، همچنان كه در دادگاه بى نام و نشان محكوم میشه. محكوم بوده كه جهان و ديگران هويتش رو تعيين كنن. همیشه همراه با جهت جهان اطرافش حرکت میکنه. عموش به جاش تصميم میگیره. دخترك ناقص الخلقه به جاش تصميم میگیره. وكيلش به جاش تصميم میگیره. رييسش به جاش تصميم میگیره و نهايتاً، دادگاه به جاش تصميم میگیره. سعی میکنه كه مبارزه كنه و عليه همه ى اين ها بشوره، ولى شكست میخوره.
Profile Image for هدى يحيى.
Author 9 books16.2k followers
March 20, 2021

تخيل معي للحظة أن ماكس برود -ناشر كتب كافكا ‏
قد قام بحرق جميع كتبه بناءً على وصيته‏
هل كان ممكنًا لعالم القراء تخيل مكتبة كونية
‏ لا تحوي خلاصة الكافاكاوية بها ؟
إن طلب كافكا المجنون ببساطة يستكمل رحلته الحياتية ‏
وفلسفته الخاصة كما يليق بها كروح عدمية ‏
وما فعله ماكس برود – ليرقد في سلام أينما كان ‏
هو ما يليق بكاتب عظيم وروح شفافة‏
‏ كان ليخلو عالم الأدب منها إن نفذ تلك الوصية


ذهب القفص يبحث عن عصفور

تتناول الرواية الشهيرة مشكلة السلطة العليا
وقد أولها الكثيرون إلى الأب الذي عانى منه ومعه البائس فرانز لآخر نفس
كان كافكا ينظر إلى نفسه من خلال عيني أبيه
كما في العلاقة التي بين السيد والعبد
كافكا لا يتمرد في الحقيقة ‏
إنه يختبئ ويخاف ويكره
ويفرز أوجاعه أدبًا عجيب التكوين‏
لقد أوصله هذا الخوف –بجانب أسباب أخرى إلى تحقير للذات مستمر ومتنامي
وكل مرة كانت هناك حادثة مع السلطة
يجعل كافكا من نفسه المخطئ لا غيره‏
‏-يظهر ذلك بوضوح في المسخ


تبدو المدينة غائمة ،،باردة
غارقة في الضباب والكآبة

يستيقظ (ك) ليجد رجالًا غرباء يدورون حوله
لقد قبض عليك
لا أحد يجيب
وبرغم أن ك يعترض إلا أنه يسايرهم
بلا قاضي ولا تهمة تستمر أحداث الرواية
و ك مع الوقت يتحول

إنه يبدو في البداية مثابرًا على المحاولة‏
أن يعرف لما يدان
لما يحال إلى هذه المحاكمة العبثية
ومع اقتراب النهاية يتحول ك إلى الاستسلام
لم يعد يبالي بشيء

مشى بصرامة بينهما(جلاديه)‏
وشكل ثلاثتهم كيانًا واحدا
وكان كيانا يمكن له أن يتشكل فقط من انعدام الحياة


عند غرس المدية في رقبته بدا الأمر وكأن خزيه سيستمر بعد موته ‏

" هذا السطر الأخير يصيبني بالقشعريرة"

المحاكمة إن لم تكن رواية نفسية ،،فكيف يمكن للرواية النفسية أن تكون؟؟
استدعى كافكا الرعب الداخلي إلى الخارج مجسمًا وحيَّا ‏

يظهر الاغتراب في أدبه جليًا
تخرج حكاياته المبهرة من لاشعوره مكتنفة بالغموض‏

لقد برع كافكا دومًا في تصوير الانفعالات البشرية
الأكثر سوداوية ،،وعمقًا ،،وحيوانية‏
القلق ،،الرعب،،الشعور المتأصل بالدونية،،العزلة
احتقار الذات،،احتقار السلطة والخوف منها في الوقت ذاته‏

تمت ترجمة المحاكمة إلى تأويلات لا حصر لها ‏
منها هذا التأويل العجيب الذي رأى الرواية يكمن فيها ‏
شذوذ جنسي يتوق الكاتب فيه لممارسته مع أمه!!‏

ربما أفضل تفسير للرواية يرتبط بتحليل‏
‏ شخصية كافكا نفسها- أو ما نستطيع الامساك به لتحليله منها ‏
نظرة كافكا إلى العالم تنبع من نظرته إلى نفسه

والمشكلة الكبرى هي :‏
كافكا لا يجد في نفسه ما يجعله يقتنع بأنه أهلًا للحياة ‏


لقد عبر كافكا عن العبثية في الرواية كما لم يفعل قبلًأ
ويقال أنه ضحك بهستيريا حينما كان يقرأ صفحات المحاكمة على بعض من أصدقائه

غرز الرجل الساطور عميقًا في قلبه ولفه مرتين
كما يموت الكلب-قال ك

كتب كافكا في يومياته أنه يعتبر الحرف
‏ مقززا مثيرا للاشمئزاز
‏ ومع ذلك أصر على استخدامه في الرواية نعتا واسما لبطله المعذب‏

هذا بالضبط ما أحاول قوله
هذا هو كافكا

Profile Image for Fergus, Quondam Happy Face.
1,028 reviews17.7k followers
September 3, 2023
Isn’t our Whole Life a Trial, in an existential sense?

If, like me, you walk a plain and decent path, the world is probably none too friendly toward you.

That’s understandable. And I think you should also know that should you plainly persist in it, you’ll probably be Put on Trial. Figuratively speaking.

Welcome to the Absurd.

But there’s also an UP side to that.

I think that anyone who has lived a highly idiosyncratic life, like Franz Kafka and my own totally colossally unsuperstar self, has in time developed a larger ideological container for their intellectual life.

Sorta like quantum mechanics does, for we have come to see the laws and customs of the world under that selfsame Aegis of Absurdity.

And that is the sense in which we appreciate the Rule of Law in this world. The law is itself idiosyncratic and accretive, but it WORKS.

Under quantum mechanics, if something works MOST of the time, we can allow that as a constant FOR US. Even if should we ourselves should be put in the dock.

But, allowing it to be a constant, can we learn to Love it, as being in itself in a state of Absolute momentary transcendence over an Absurd physical universe?

Even if that transcendence means our death?

For that’s the vision Kafka seems to have attained as his life drew to a close...

That’s - or so I believe - Kafka’s premise in this novel. If a thing works most of the time, that’s normal - and good in a practical sense.

And that’s a start. Even though we’re implicated in the machinery of Law, the Law’s Good.

And we ALL have to take the Fire as punishment - now - or later.

Don’t laugh. I’m serious.

I could be wrong, but this seems to be the one novel the great hag-ridden Franz Kafka completed. I believe that that’s for a good reason.

OK. Many of you may not know this, but at one point in his later Diary, Kafka wrote the words (as best as I can remember and can now paraphrase):

‘If you disagree with the rules of the world, the world is invariably Right.’

He wrote those words to mark a critical split in his personal path that, as I believe, he had finally and irrevocably decided to take. It would give him Closure. And pain.

Except now, in the Pain - was Hope.

And it’s not just that the law is just a rule to follow, not that it’s wrong-headed but nevertheless our duty, not that it’s dumb but the best people can manage - no.

The law of the world is right. That’s the Real Way of the World. And the universe, in fact.

It’s just, you may say, that we are in a world that’s Absurd. But actually, then we’re of no importance, suddenly. Remember that feeling?

That’s called waking up.

Anyone for Hegel? For this is just Hegel rehashed. But a Hegel Redux for postmodernists!

But it’s surely more than that... on a personal level. Because it’s the result of a long personal struggle with Angst.

We know the Law’s something Kafka’s imperious Dad really believed in, and something he felt it was young Franzl’s duty to believe, too.

So Kafka senior pounded it into his son’s soul.

You see that in spades in that famous story in which his Dad tells him to jump off the long end of a short pier. And he does.

Why, in the name of all that’s right and proper?

That’s just the way it is. My way or the highway, kid!

And so Franz wrote, and wrote, and WROTE - to let the steam out. As you and I do too.

Finally, here, he couldn’t argue with his superego anymore. He was finally gonna take the straight and narrow path. Cause it was so right, it was absurd.

And that’s what K learned when he came of age. We are NOTHING to the universe.

Did he go ballistic as a result?

You bet! That’s the Meaning of the Absurd, which all of us must face. Every day of our lives!

For the Trial IS our daily workaday grind. You can’t Pooh-Pooh your coming of age again.

We are accused; we are belittled; we are slandered behind our back. And we go on. We NEED our job. We get enraged. But we go on...

It’s built into our lives. It’s a total disconnect - like COVID-19, it’s a great Grand Canyon that makes a huge gap in our minds between subjectivity and objectivity.

When we’re at home, we try to relax. We let loose on the phone; we harangue our tormentors in our dreams; we get even. But that’s not what Kafka meant.

We HATE the conditions that are laid out for our life.

Auden memorably says our pet dogs often “wish their Tall Conditions (us) Dead” - just as we often see daggers in our minds when we see our absurdly condition-imposing leaders.

But law is law. Can we learn, maybe, to follow it in spite of itself? For we’re really just:

Men and bits of paper.

Not one law at the office, and one law at home and on vacation.


For Kafka now, The Soul is Answerable to the law of God. THAT was his Dad’s message. And this little realization was K’s first reluctant step towards Faith. One small step...

And his ultimate faith in the Law as Love.

A faith he finally starts to absorb in his last work, America.

Yes, the Self - in time and space - answers to the Law.

It hurts!

We kick and scream in pure anguish!

Agenbite of Inwit.

But like him, we DO as we are told. What option do we have?

But the Way that opens up to us in our books is really the same long and winding path that leads to the final reconciliation of Law and Love in the total transcendence of our pain.

Which Franz chose at the end.

Which I believe all started in this simple fork in the road:

Where we choose the Way of Obedience.

And in itself -

It’s a long and winding road.

I’ve seen that road
So many times before -
Don’t leave me standing here
Lead me to Your Door!

And He will open it to you.

But where it all starts, is in a place we all love to hate:

In His Law.

A Law that means our Death, and our Life.
January 19, 2018
Οι εσωτερικοί δαίμονες και το ανελέητο χάος μιας αιώνιας δίκης-καταδίκης.

Ο Γιόζεφ Κ. (Καημένος- Κατηγορούμενος-Κάφκα) είναι ένοχος. Αυτό αποτελεί αρχικά και τελειωτικά την ιδιότητα του.

Δηλώνει αθώος,αλλά κατά την εξέλιξη της ιστορίας παρασύρεται μοιρολ��τρικά απο την συνείδηση του και τα διαφορά γεγονότα και τελικώς αποδέχεται την ενοχή του χωρίς -μεταφορικά- να γνωρίζει αυτό για το οποίο κατηγορείται.
Ουσιαστικά το ξέρει πως είναι ένοχος,έτσι τον έπεισε η υποσυνείδητη διαταραχή του.

Ο Γιόζεφ(Κ) είναι ένας μοναχικός άνθρωπος. Ελάχιστα και κατά ανάγκη,τηρουμένων των αναλογιών της διακριτής θέσης που κατέχει ως τμηματάρχης σε τράπεζα,διατηρεί κάποιες κοσμικές επαφές και δεν ζει στο περιθώριο της κοινωνίας.

Όλο το βιβλίο της "δίκης" είναι μια υπαρξιακή αναζήτηση χωρίς ουσιαστικό αποτέλεσμα.
Απο τη μια πλευρά το άτομο και απο την άλλη η κοινωνία. Με τις ευρύτερες έννοιες.

Εργάζεται σε μια τράπεζα, ζει σε μια πανσιόν και η καθημερινότητα του είναι συγκεκριμένη,προβλέψιμη,βάρβαρη,απάνθρωπη, χαοτική.

Όλοι γύρω απο τον Γιόζεφ είναι πάντα τυπικοί, ξένοι,επίφοβοι,άπονοι, μυστηριώδεις και κακόβουλοι.
Δεν έχει φίλους. Δεν αισθάνεται την οικειότητα και τη θαλπωρή των συγγενών. Όλοι,πέρα απο τον ίδιο,ανήκουν σε έναν μικρόκοσμο που οδηγεί στην άβυσσο.
Είναι ένας εφιάλτης που τον βιώνει καθημερινά.
Ένας μη πραγματικός κόσμος. Ένας σκουπιδότοπος υπάρξεων που δεν θα μπορέσουν ποτέ να συναισθανθούν,να συμπονέσουν, να νιώσουν, να αγαπήσουν με την ψυχή τους.

Σε αυτόν τον παράδοξα χαοτικό κόσμο του απαγγέλλεται η κατηγορία της ενοχής του. Παραπέμπεται σε δίκη. Η ενοχή του δεν χρειάζεται αποδείξεις. Απλώς υπάρχει.

Ζούμε μαζί του απο την πρώτη στιγμή αυτό το ανεξήγητο συνονθυλεύμα ασάφειας,αδικίας,ρευστότητας,επικινδυνότητας.

Οι δικαστές άφαντοι. Κλητήρες, συνήγοροι,εισαγγελείς,μυστήρια πρόσωπα, ύπουλες διαβουλεύσεις,ακαθόριστα κτιριακά συγκροτήματα δικαστικών αιθουσών, όλα μια άβυσσος, μια απειλή, μια μόνιμη τρομακτική ανασφάλεια.
Νιώθουμε μαζί του ανίκανοι να τα αντιμετωπίσουμε. Νιώθουμε κίνδυνο. Ενοχή... Ο νόμος είναι ο θεός. Όμως εδώ λειτουργεί μια παράπλευρη δικαιοσύνη. Μια συνομωσία. Με σκοτεινούς και ασαφείς όρους.

Σε αυτήν μπλέκεται ο Γιόζεφ. Κατηγορούμενος χωρίς δικαίωμα υπεράσπισης. Είσαι εξ αρχής ένοχος,δεν υπάρχει τίποτα υπέρ σου. Στέκεσαι απέναντι στους Δικαστές ταπεινωμένος. Καταδικασμένος. Εξευτελισμένος.
«δεν αναζητά με δική της πρωτοβουλία τους πολίτες με ένοχη συνείδηση, αλλά, όπως ορίζει ο νόμος, έλκεται από την ενοχή. Αυτός είναι νόμος απαράβατος».

Προχωρώντας η ιστορία όλοι πια γνωρίζουν πως ο Γιόζεφ είναι ένοχος.
Οι ανώτεροι κοινωνικά είναι ανάλγητοι,απαθείς,αυταρχικοί,αμείλικτοι,ανεξέλεγκτοι,παντοδύναμοι.
Οι κατώτεροι τους είναι υποταγμένοι,αναξιοπρεπείς,χωρίς υπερηφάνεια και με πολλή δουλοπρέπεια.

Ο Γιόζεφ κυκλοφορεί ελεύθερος περιμένοντας τη "δίκη" με το στίγμα του ένοχου.
Έχουν οριστεί τακτικές ανακρίσεις παρωδίας και διαπόμπευσης.

Πρόκειται βεβαίως για δικαστήριο συνείδησης. Δεν σε φυλακίζει ποτέ, μα πάντα σε παρακολουθεί. Σε στοιχειώνει,σε τρελαίνει.

"Το δικαστήριο δεν ξεχνά ποτέ".

Κατηγορείσαι. Δεν ξέρεις γιατί. Δεν έχεις υπεράσπιση. Ξέρεις ότι αυτό δεν τελειώνει.

Ξεπερνάμε τα όρια της διαταραχής. Συμπέρασμα ανεξιχνίαστο. Δέος και εκμηδενισμός μπροστά στο παντοδύναμο και το απροσδιόριστο που ο υγιής ανθρώπινος νους διαισθάνεται με ανατριχίλα.
Αιώνια κόλαση και τιμωρία.

Η "Δίκη" υπάρχει. Μπορεί να είναι ο θεός, μπορεί να ειναι οτιδήποτε πανίσχυρο,σκοτεινό και απρόσιτο.
ΕΤΥΜΗΓΟΡΙΑ: Ψυχολογική διαταραχή-Ανθρώπινος αφανισμός- Αυτοεξάλειψη-Αιώνια τιμωρία.


Καλή ανάγνωση!
Ορίστε ημερομηνία για Δικάσιμο.
Profile Image for Valeriu Gherghel.
Author 6 books1,442 followers
July 9, 2023
Chiar dacă ne place sau nu, acest roman a schimbat radical concepția noastră despre ce este (și poate însemna) literatura...
„Nu da prea multă importanţă comentariilor. Scriptura e invariabilă şi comentariile nu sînt, adeseori, decît expresia deznădejdii comentatorilor”.

Nota mea de lectură nu va fi, totuși, o expresie a deznădejdii. Din motivul cel mai simplu: cînd citea prietenilor din Procesul, Franz Kafka era cel dintîi care izbucnea în rîs. Intenția lui fusese să stîrnească ilaritate. Prietenii erau probabil uimiți, intrigați de bizara desfășurare a întîmplărilor. Dar cum să nu vezi în paginile cărții o intenție comică?

Joseph K. (30 de ani) este arestat, dar nu va afla niciodată motivul acestei decizii. Nu e dus în temniță, are voie să meargă la slujbă (lucrează la o bancă) și să trăiască după bunul lui plac. Nu e căutat de anchetatori, ci el trebuie să pornească în căutarea lor. Nu există o acuzație propriu-zisă. Totul pare un zvon. Cînd este convocat la interogatorii, nu i se precizează locul întîlnirii și e nevoit să rătăcească prin clădiri insalubre, cu odăi mizere, cu scări care nu duc nicăieri, cu paznici abulici și femei care spală rufe (întîlnirea cu Leni). Un astfel de edificiu meschin contrazice vădit măreția unui Palat de Justiție. Totul e o parodie caricaturală. Mai mult: cînd răsfoiește cărțile de pe masa anchetatorilor, protagonistul nu găsește enciclopediii juridice, tomuri de legi și nici lucrări de specialitate. Judecătorii sînt pasionați de literatura erotică și privesc fotografii deocheate. Citind pasajul de mai jos, nu-ți poți reprima rîsul:
„K. luă volumul de deasupra, îl deschise şi dădu cu ochii de o gravură indecentă: un bărbat şi o femeie şedeau goi pe o canapea; intenţia gravorului fusese vădit obscenă, dar stîngăcia desenului făcea să se vadă doar un bărbat şi o femeie exagerat de ţepeni, care păreau că ies din cadru şi nu izbuteau decît cu greu să se privească, din pricina perspectivei greşite. K. nu răsfoi volumul mai departe, ci deschise un altul, la pagina titlului; avea acum în faţă un roman intitulat: «Torturile pe care Grete le-a îndurat de la soțul ei, Hans»”.

Executorii din final au aspectul cel mai ridicol și stupid cu putință: „În redingotă, palizi și grași, cei doi domni purtau țilindre înalte, care păreau țintuite pe țestele lor”. Cine a mai văzut un gîde împodobit ca pentru un bal mascat? Prozatorul înfățișează o lume pe dos. Evenimentele sînt imprevizibile. Așteptările cititorilor nu se împlinesc niciodată. În catedrală, în locul Scripturii, preotul citește și comentează o parabolă kafkiană, „În fața Legii”. Sensul parabolei este perfect obscur și orice încercare de a o descifra eșuează.

Franz Kafka avertizase în altă parte: „Ceea ce e de neînțeles rămîne de neînțeles”. Dorința naturală de a găsi un sens (chiar și acolo unde sensul este absent) e contrazisă de autor la tot pasul. Procesul e un roman profund ironic, o satiră a mecanismelor greoaie ale birocrației și justiției omenești...

P. S. O opinie a lui Susan Sontag cu privire la interpretarea lui Kafka la care subscriu:
„Opera lui Kafka a fost supusă unui adevărat viol în masă de către nu mai puțin de trei armate de interpreți. Cei care-l citesc pe Kafka drept o alegorie socială văd studii de caz ale frustrărilor și absurdității nebunești ale birocrației moderne și ale manifestării ei ultime în statul totalitar. Cei care-l citesc pe Kafka drept o alegorie psihanalitică văd dezvăluiri disperate ale spaimei în fața tatălui, anxietăți de castrare, sentimentul propriei neputințe, starea sa de sclav al propriilor vise. Cei care-l citesc pe Kafka drept alegorie religioasă arată cum K. din Castelul încearcă să obțină accesul în ceruri, cum Joseph K. din Procesul este judecat de tainica și inexorabila dreptate a lui Dumnezeu...” (Împotriva interpretării, București: Editura Univers, 2000, pp.18-19).
Profile Image for فايز غازي Fayez Ghazi .
Author 2 books3,894 followers
April 14, 2023
- قصة رمزية بكل جوانبها، ثقيلة ومتعبة جداً، قد يبدو ظاهرها عادياً لكنها تحتمل مئات التأويلات. لكن بمجملها تصل لنتيجة واحدة: غياب العدالة وغموضها. وهي على تعقيداتها قطعة فنية نادرة تظهر قدرة كافكا على الدفع بالرواية من دون خلق عقدة واضحة، ونسج الأحداث المتتالية بعبثية وكلما ازدادت الأحداث توسّع المعنى وزاد الغموض وتعددت التفسيرات!

المنظور الديني: اعتدت النظر الى روايات كافكا من زاوية دينية، لذلك سأبدأ من هذا المنظور اولاً رغم أن الرواية نفسها تتجنب الإشارات الدينية بشكل محدد (تعرج عليها بشكل رمزي) ويبرز ذلك في الفصل الثاني عشر (في الكاتدرائية)، حيث يتعاون كاهن السجن مع القضاء ويقدم محاضرة عن النظام القانوني وهذا ما يؤكد فساد السلطة الدينية وتحولها الى نظام محاكم حيث كبار المسؤولين (الكهنة الكبار) غير قادرين على التواصل مع الناس العاديين.

تمتلك المحكمة نصوصها المقدسة، مثلها مثل الدين، (وثائق المحكمة القديمة حول القضايا السابقة) وكما هي الحال في النصوص الدينية، فإن وثائق المحكمة تتطلب طريقة تفسير خاصة، لكن إمكانيات التفسير يمكن أن تكون لامتناهية ومتناقضة وهذا ما نفهمه من تفسيرات كاهن المحكمة، الذي يبدو أنه يسعده أن يستنبط التفسيرات أكثر من مجرد التوصل إلى نتيجة نهائية. لكن كافكا يشبه كل هذه النصوص بالروايات الإباحية، فينسفها مجتمعة!

المنظور القانوني-الحياتي: (وهذا ما نعيشه في معظم عالمنا العربي حيث ان اي معاملة بسيطة ستلف وندور على عشرات المكاتب كي يتم توقيعها، ببروقراطية سمجة وتافهة الى ابعد الحدود). هذه البيروقراطية التي ينتقدها كافكا حولت يوزف "ك" من مواطن "شريف" الى انسان دوني وافسدته، فهو وخلال ملاحقة قضيته وازدياد همومه ضاجع كل من التقاهم، ولربما مضاجعة "لايني" بينما عمه يتوسّط له هي المثال الصارخ عما يفعله هذا النظام القضائي بتحويل الناس الى طريق الخطيئة والشر. تكتسب المحكمة طابع مميز وهو عفونة هوائها ورطوبته (ادى الى اغماء "ك"). في حين يبدو أن موظفي المحكمة يتعايشون مع هذا الجو! المفارقة هنا ان الهواء الذي لا وزن له هو رمز لتأثير النظام القضائي-الديني وامتداده وسيطرته في كل مكان!

المنظور الفلسفي: هل "ك" هو الإنسان نفسه؟ هل المحاكمة هي "المحاكمة الأخيرة"، هل القاضي الكبير والمحامين الكبار (الذين لم يراهم) هم الله والشفعاء في الآخرة؟.. ربما.. لا ادري
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 30 books14k followers
October 9, 2014
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.

Profile Image for Lisa.
991 reviews3,321 followers
October 9, 2018
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!
Profile Image for BookHunter محمد.
1,430 reviews3,343 followers
November 4, 2022

الكل متهم إلى أن تثبت براءته و لكن كيف السبيل إلى البراءة و الحرية؟
لقد نسيت أن أسألك أي نوع من إخلاء السبيل تريد؟ فهناك ثلاثة أنواع: الأول و هو إخلاء السبيل النهائي. و الثاني إخلاء سبيل صوري. و الثالث تأجيل غير محدد المدة.
إخلاء السبيل النهائي هو محض اسطورة لم تحدث إلا في حكايات الزمن الغابر و لا سبيل للتأكد منها.
أما إخلاء السبيل الصوري فهو مجرد شكليات و سيدخلك في دورة لا نهائية من عمليات إعادة القبض عليك ثم إخلاء سبيلك ثم إعادة القبض عليك فإخلاء سبيلك دون نهاية لهذه الدورة الجهنمية و كأن حياتك بالكامل تتحول لخدمة قضية الذنب فالندم فالتوبة فالعودة فالندم فالتوبة فالعودة إلى ما لا نهاية له في الواقع.
الحل الأخير و هو التأجيل غير المحدد المدة هو حل يلجأ له الكثير من الناس لأنه يجعل قضيتك تقف عند الإجراء الحالي و لا تتقدم التحقيقات فيها أبدا إلا إذا أثارها أحد القضاة من جديد.

إذا لا سبيل للتخلص من الاتهام و الشعور بالذنب و العار لك و للعائلة بأكملها و الفضيحة المستمرة في المجتمع في نظام قضائي مترهل و غير عادل بالمرة.
الميزة الوحيدة هي أنك مطلق السراح رغم أنك مقبوضا عليك! لا ضير في أن تمارس عملك المعتاد و حياتك الطبيعية و توافي المحكمة كل يوم أحد لمتابعة القضية التي ستشغلك طوال الأسبوع أيضا و تضغط على أعصابك و تجعلك متوترا دائما تبحث عن أي سبيل لمراضاة هيئة المحكمة و الوصول إلى حلول أو أنصاف حلول للنجاة بنفسك من مصير لم ينج منه أحد. يوم الأحد هو يوم الذهاب لمتابعة القضية في المحكمة أم هم يوم الذهاب لمتابعة القضية في الكاتدرائية؟ لقد اختلطت الأمور تماما فلم أعد أميز بين الإثنين.
لكن الناس جميعا لا يفكرون في قضاياهم مثلما تفعل أنت. فأنا مثلا قد قبض علي أيضا لكنني لم أقدم أية مستندات و لم أحاول أن أفعل شيئا من أي نوع. هل تعتقد أن لهذه الأشياء أهمية؟
بطل الرواية هو جوزيف ك. أما جوزيف فهو اسم النبي يوسف أشهر بريء في هذا العالم الغير عادل بالمرة و على مر العصور. و أما ك فقد يكون هو كافكا نفسه و قد يكون أنت أو أنا أو أي فرد أرّقه مصيره و فكر في لحظة النهاية و جدوى الطريق.
مثلما كان يوسف مؤتمن على خزائن الأرض كان أيضا جوزيف موظف كبير في البنك. و مثلما تعثر يوسف بالنساء تعثر فيهن أيضا جوزيف و ان اختلف رد الفعل من النقيض للنقيض.
قال الكاهن و هو يمد يده لمصافحة ك:
حسنا تستطيع أن تذهب.
لكنني لن أستطيع أن أجد الطريق إلى الخارج بمفردي وسط هذا الظلام.
انعطف إلى يسا�� الحائط ثم سر بجوار الجدار حتى تصل إلى الباب.
قال الكاهن ذلك و ابتعد عن ك خطوتين فاضطر ك أن يصيح:
انني أنتظر.
ألا تريد مني شيئا الأن؟
لقد كنت تعاملني برقة لفترة و قد شرحت لي الكثير و الأن تتركني أذهب و كأنك لا تهتم بي مطلقا.!
لكنك مضطر للرحيل.
نعم. و لكنك ترى أنني لا أعرف الطريق.
و من منا يستطيع أن يتبين الطريق في هذا الظلام الدامس. ظلمات بعضها فوق بعض إذا أخرج يده لم يكد يراها. و سُبُل متفرقة على رأس كل منها شيطان مستعد و متشوق لأن يأخذ بيدك إلى طريق الضلال.
لا عجب أن يكتب كافكا عن العدالة و هو رجل القانون الحاصل فيه على أعلى الدرجات و لا عجب أن يشغله المصير و هو المبتلى بالمرض ربع عمره القصير و لا عجب أن يموت بعد هذه الرواية بعامين فقط لأنه كان من الواضح جدا أنه يرثي نفسه هنا و يرثي كل من مات قبله وكل من سيموت بعده بلا جدوى و على حد تعبيره كالكلب.

تبدأ الحكاية يوم عيد ميلاده الثلاثين و تنتهي يوم عيد ميلاده الحادي و الثلاثين في دلالة واضحة مرتبطة بعمر المسيح و تاريخ دعوته التي بدأت بعمر الثلاثين و انتهت بفارق ثلاثة أعوام لا عام واحد كما حدث مع جوزيف.

يأتيه في النهاية الملكان الموكلان به أو المعينان له حسب تعبيره ليسدلا الستار على قصة تحدث كل يوم.

من الروايات التي يجب أن تقرأها مرار و إن لم تفعل فمرة واحدة و إن لم تفعل فقد خسرت الكثير.
الرواية متعددة المستويات و لها عدة قراءات دينية و سياسية و اجتماعية و تاريخية و سريالية أيضا. كل من قرأها أدلى بدلوه و امتلك تفسيره و هذا هو سر جمال كافكا و سر آلامه أيضا.
Profile Image for Perry.
632 reviews533 followers
September 2, 2019
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.
Profile Image for J.L.   Sutton.
666 reviews926 followers
May 26, 2022
“No," said the priest, "you don't need to accept everything as true, you only have to accept it as necessary." "Depressing view," said K. "The lie made into the rule of the world.”

Kafka's Last Trial - The New York Times

Reading Franz Kafka's The Trial is a frustrating experience, but that's at least partially the point. Our protagonist, Josef K is arrested, but neither he nor the reader know why he's been arrested. The remaining narrative is a sort of judgment on all the decisions he's made. Although he is 'free' for most of the novel, K's trial consumes all his time, and he is locked in a course of events over which he has little or no control.

How are we to judge K's trial? Indeed, K's entire ordeal is impossible to come to grips with. The process of the trial playing out even if it is not outwardly 'in session' and K's own processing of events, forces us to recognize that our decisions are consequential. Even decisions that don't seem significant. This is especially apparent at the end of the novel (which brings us to a sort of tragic anticlimactic climax). It's difficult to determine if such an end is inevitable, or, for that matter, whether K's fate is for him alone or for all of us.
Profile Image for Henry Avila.
468 reviews3,253 followers
August 19, 2020
Josef K. (just his initial is revealed), a banker in the beautiful city of Prague, now the capital of the Czech Republic, during the last days of the crumbling Austro- Hungarian Empire, before World War 1, such a man at the young age of thirty, to be in charge of a large bank's finances, yet he lives in a boarding house of Frau Grabach, why a successful person does, is a mystery. Maybe he likes the attractive women there, especially Fraulein Burstner, Josef is a bit of a wolf, then out of the sky, two men come to his room and arrest him, the arrogant guards even eat his breakfast, and try to take his good clothes too, the charge, they don't say or know or care! K. is shocked to the bone, but permitted to continue his ordinary work routine, a Twilight Zonish situation develops, K. ordered to see an examining magistrate and goes to an old apartment building, in a poor, shabby suburb of the city, finally after asking directions, Josef arrives on the fifth floor, late and finding the filthy hall full of people of various kinds, all of them look at Josef, as the main attraction there . The uncaring judge thinks he's a house painter, when K. informs him that he's the chief financial officer of a bank, the crowd has a big, long laugh, how can Josef take his trial seriously? The angry magistrate is powerless to control the boisterous gathering, and after many more such meetings , in rooms with dirty air, which makes the defendant quite sick, Josef in one place, is carried out of the building, to get fresh air, to resuscitate him. Days and weeks pass, Uncle Karl, from the country visits K. the concerned uncle, has heard of his nephew's troubles, and takes him to an old lawyer friend, Dr. Huld, the lawyer has lots of contacts but Huld is a very sick, old man, K. doesn't trust him either or anybody else. Other men he sees for aid, a painter, merchant, manufacturer and a priest, as his final hope, but nothing can get him off, his unknown perilous path, his darkness increases steadily. A nightmarish life hits hard the accused , and still no one tells him what crime was committed! The helpless banker feels the power of the State's Bureaucracy and his work at the bank suffers, as a consequence, substantially, it matter not that K. is innocent, no one asks him if he is guilty! Will this bad, horrendous dream ever end? The limited rights that any man has against an omniscient , totalitarian government, is shown in this remarkable novel.
Profile Image for MJ Nicholls.
2,049 reviews4,114 followers
February 8, 2016
Somebody must have made a false accusation against me, for I was accused of not having read The Trial without having even raised the topic. I fixed up a brew, poked in a madeleine, and summoned up the liars of recall. I recalled my sixteen-year-old self, in his bedroom in his backwater home town, feasting on Vonnegut, Poe, and Kafka one miserable summer . . . then the liars spoke to me: “Are you merely inserting Kafka’s The Trial as a book you ought to have read during that summer of pain, when in actual fact . . . ?” I knew I had seen Orson Welles’s frenetic adaptation from the 60s, because I recall thinking: ‘I can’t remember this section from The Trial, I wonder what Welles invented.’ Because, perhaps, in actual fact, in spite of those proud teenage brags, I hadn’t actually read The Trial at all? I writhed in agony for two days, desperate to prise details of that first reading to appease my accusers. Then I simply checked out The Trial from the library and read the bastard. Quite possibly for the FIRST time. There we are. Masterpiece. Screw you, memory.
Profile Image for Mohammad Hrabal.
294 reviews201 followers
August 5, 2021
دوستان بعضی اوقات فیلمی می‌بینم که به شدت من را به مطالعه‌ی کتاب ترغیب می‌کند و گاهی بالعکس. در مورد محاکمه، مدتی پیش فیلم محاکمه‌ی آقای اورسن ولز را دیدم و خیلی خیلی این فیلم را دوست داشتم و به دلم نشست. از آن موقع فکر خواندن کتاب محاکمه‌ی کافکا مثل خوره به جانم افتاده بود که بالاخره آن را خواندم و دوست داشتم. من ترجمه‌ی آقای حداد را خواندم ولی ترجمه‌ی آقای اعلم هم کنار دستم بود و بخش‌هایی را مطابقت می‌دادم. به نظر من ترجمه‌ی آقای حداد خیلی شسته رفته‌تر، امروزی‌تر و دلنشین‌تر بود. یکی دو تکه رندوم برای مقایسه‌ی ترجمه در ادامه برایتان می‌آورم. راستی اگر فیلم آقای اورسن ولز را ندیده‌اید حتما ببینید.
The trial (1962) 7.8
برای فهمیدن رمان‌های کافکا یک راه وجود دارد: خواندن آنها به عنوان رمان. به جای اینکه به دنبال چهره‌ی نویسنده در شخصیت ک. بگردید و حرف‌های ک. را چون یک پیام مرموز سربسته تلقی کنید، به رفتار، حرف‌ها و افکار شخصیت‌ها توجه دقیق مبذول کنید و سعی کنید آنها را جلوی چشمتان مجسم سازید. وصیت خیانت شده. میلان کوندرا. فروغ پوریاوری. ص 168 کتاب
بی‌اختیار صدای خود را بالا برده بود. کسی در گوشه‌ای با دست‌های بالا گرفته کف زد و به صدای بلند گفت: "احسنت! چرا که نه؟ احسنت! و باز هم احسنت!" برخی از افراد ردیف اول به ریش خود دست کشیدند. هیچ یک از آنها به واسطه صدا سر برنگرداند. کا. هم هر چند به شوق آمد، ولی برای آن اهمیتی قائل نشد. حالا دیگر ضرورتی نمی‌دید که همه کف بزنند. همین که همه درباره‌ی موضوع به فکر فرو رفته بودند و گاهی یکی از آنها قانع می‌شد برایش کافی بود. ص 51 ترجمه حداد
او بی‌اختیار صدایش را بلند کرده بود. کسی دست‌هایش را بالا برد و کف زد و فریاد کشید: "آفرین! چرا نه؟ آفرین! و باز هم آفرین!" چند نفری در ردیف اول ریششان را می‌کشیدند ولی هیچ کدام از این ندایی که گفتار را گسیخت سر برنگرداند. ک. نیز اهمیتی به آن نداد، ولی به هر حال به شوق آمد؛ او دیگر لازم نمی‌دانست همه برایش کف بزنند؛ به همین دلخوش بودکه انجمن را به فکر کردن درباره‌ی سوال وا دارد و گاه به گاه کسی را قانع کند. ص 58 ترجمه اعلم
گوش کنید: حدود ده روز پیش مرا بازداشت کردند. به نفس بازداشتم به عنوان یک واقعیت می‌خندم، ولی فعلا کاری به آن ندارم. صبح زود توی تخت خواب به سراغم آمدند. شاید ماموریت داشتند یک نقاش ساختمان را بازداشت کنند- چیزی که طبق گفته‌ی قاضی تحقیق چندان بعید نیست-، نقاشی را که مثل خود من گناهی مرتکب نشده است، ولی به سراغ من آمدند. ص 51 ترجمه حداد
بهم گوش کنید. حدود ده روز قبل بازداشت شدم، جوری که حتی برای خودم مضحک می‌آمد، هرچند که این عجالتا اهمیتی ندارد. پیش از آنکه بتوانم پا شوم مرا تو رخت خواب گرفتند، شاید- با توجه به گفته‌ی بازپرس نامحتمل نیست- دستور داشتند که یک نقاش خانه را که مثل من بی‌گناه است بازداشت کنند، ولی آمدند به سراغ من. ص 58 ترجمه اعلم
نیت زشت نقاش کاملا مشهود بود، ولی ناشیگری‌اش به حدی بود که در نهایت فقط مرد و زنی به چشم می‌آمد که با حالتی بسیار نفسانی سر برداشته، با حالتی به شدت شق و رق نشسته بودند و به واسطه‌ی پرسپکتیو نادرست به زحمت به هم رو کرده بودند. ص 59 ترجمه حداد
نیت قبیحانه‌ی طراح پیدا بود، با این همه خام دستیش چندان بود که هیچ چیز از تصویر پدید نمی‌آمد جز پیکرهای بسیار یکپارچه‌ی مرد و زن که شق و رق نشسته بودند، و به خاطر پرسپکتیو عیبناک، ظاهرا خیلی سختشان بود که حتی رو به هم برگردانند. ص 68 ترجمه اعلم
چند شب بعد وقتی کا. از راهرویی می‌گذشت که دفتر او را از پلکان اصلی جدا می‌کرد- این بار او تقریبا آخرین کسی بود که به خانه می‌رفت، فقط در بخش توزیع دو خدمتکار ��ر شعاع نه چندان گسترده‌ی یک لامپ مشغول کار بودند- از پشت یک در صدای ناله شنید، دری که تا کنون گمان می‌کرد در پس آن چیزی جز یک انباری وجود ندارد، بی آنکه خود نگاهی به درون آن انداخته باشد. شگفت زده ایستاد و یک بار دیگر به دقت گوش داد که ببیند آیا اشتباه نکرده است، چند لحظه چیزی شنیده نشد، ولی بعد دوباره صدای ناله به گوش رسید. نخست تصمیم گرفت یکی از خدمتکارها را بیاورد، چه بسا حضور یک شاهد ضرورت می‌یافت، ولی بعد دچار کنجکاوی مهارناپذیری شد و به یک ضرب در را باز کرد. ص 85 ترجمه حداد
چند شب بعد، ک. در راهرویی از دفترش به طرف پلکان اصلی رد می‌شد- او تقریبا آخرین کسی بود که می‌رفت، دو کارمند در دایره‌ی ارسال زیر نور کم گستر یک لامپ برقی هنوز سرکار بودند- که صدای آه و ناله‌ای از پشت دری شنید. او همیشه خیال می‌کرد که این در یک انبار خرت و پرت است، گیرم هرگز بازش نکرده بود. بهت زده واایستاد و گوش داد ببیند که آیا اشتباه نکرده است. یک دم سکوت پیش می‌آمد، سپس آه و ناله‌ها از سر گرفته شد. ابتدا به فکرش افتاد که برود یکی از کارمندان ارسال را بردارد بیاورد، شاید شاهدی لازمش بشود، اما بعد چنان کنجکاوی غلبه ناپذیری او را گرفت که به ضرب در را گشود. ص 109 ترجمه اعلم
Profile Image for χθόνιος.
344 reviews
September 26, 2020
First, a quick summary of this horrible, horrible novel. Some jackass gets arrested, he does things you would not do, sees people you would not see and has thoughts you would not have. After that, a priest and a parable then, mercifully, the end.

Now my thoughts. K. is a pompous ass with a very important job - to him. The bureaucrats are the best part of the whole story, all job description, no brains (like now!). K's uncle, lawyer and landlady are very forgettable. Fräulein Bürstner is intriguing, so is Titorelli. The priest is a tool and his parable made me think I was reading the novelisation of "The Never Ending Story". The ending made me smile, it was the end after all.
Profile Image for Maureen .
1,442 reviews7,063 followers
June 19, 2021
Strange, bleak, not really for me.
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