America’s leading review of the arts and intellectual life
Franz Kafka & the trip to Spindelmühle
by Eric Ormsby
On The Castle & its translations
was right!Support The
There is a photograph still extant of Franz Kafka arriving in Spindelmühle, the winter resort where on the same evening of January 27, 1922, he began writing The Castle. Like the country doctor of his own incomparable story or like the formidable Klamm in The Castle itself, Kafka made the trip rather laboriously by horse-drawn sleigh; in the photo he stands, pinched and shy, by the rear runners, his ordinary street shoes heaped with snow. A faint smile appears to play upon his lips, but it is difficult to tell for the print is blurred. It is evening; snow is falling. Drifting snowflakes speckle the flanks of the two black horses that pull his sleigh. Kafka arrived in this north Bohemian town near the source of the Elbe just as K. himself, the truculent surveyor of The Castle, arrived. It was late evening when K. arrived, the novel begins in the new translation by Mark Harman, the village lay under ...
This article is available to subscribers and for individual purchase
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 17 November 1998, on page 32
Copyright © 2014 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.comhttp://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/kafka-ormsby-2976
E-mail to friend
by Eric Ormsby
On “Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
John Maynard Keynes’s revisionist history of World War I has had enduring—and harmful—consequences.
The complicated, often conflicted, life of Alexander Herzen.
by Marco Grassi
Summer exhibitions in Florence and Verona reconsider the work of Pontormo, Rosso & Veronese.
The Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity
Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"