This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Campbell Source: The Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Vol. 85, No. 3 (Jul., 1986), pp. 386403 Published by: University of Illinois Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27709690 Accessed: 11/04/2010 11:49
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=illinois. Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact email@example.com.
University of Illinois Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The Journal of English and Germanic Philology.
). 'Gef?hl'. metamorphoses torture machines. Das Schlo? mundane to the point of tedium (a traveler gets lost in line that is low-keyed red tape) and a development which is relentlessly continuous and chronological. while the is. pp. Otto F. (to use a favorite particularly "nightmarish" criticism). 1976).2 works It as Ein is not." in Franz Kafka. Frankfurt Verlag. Kausalit?t. Wissenschaftliche (Darmstadt: 1973). a plot Beschreibung here. only Schlo?. nor is it luridly phantasmagorical. Best (ed. pp. p.1 rest of Kafka's oeuvre can hardly be subsumed the rubric of under its influence in him is evidence either. 1974).?Kafka. like those earlier qualifier of much on able the order of. Einstein plot altogether (in explicitly championed his "Anmerkungen ?ber den Roman" of 1912) a new prose style that set itself against . works. und Deskription" Erotismus in narrative and pro "Psychologie to make it into "eine Sache der Willk?r.of English and Germanic Journal ? 1986 by the Board of Trustees Philology?July of the University of Illinois KAFKA'S SCHLOSSAND THE SUBVERSION OF PLOT Karen J. da? sie beabsichtigt Widerspr?che. 442. . 386-405. 83 and 139 f. ed. Sokel in Franz Kafka: by Walter Tragik und Ironie: Zur Struktur seiner Kunst am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch (1964. 2 This is the opinion voiced H. Campbell. this novel appears to submit itself to more conventional Although narrative controls than do many a of Kafka's earlier pieces?and more cer tainly more writers3?its than many structure prose presents works of contemporary all the Expressionist arresting be puzzle 1 For a general discussion of the limited applicability see Paul of this term to Kafka. to if affirm their difference from Das Written noting. . no eines Nor Kampfes. Heinz Politzer Raabe. par upon Expressionism more in the the fact is worth earlier. ticularly experimental pieces. Expressionismus und posed Dadaismus (Stuttgart: Philipp Reclam. presents a more are no there remark unheard-of tale. this novel represents a turning-away on Kafka's part from the sort of Landarzt "surrealistic" and even Der technique Proze? evident to a more in such earlier "realistic" method. there. from Expressionism. Santa Barbara so sichtbar. literary Das Schlo? vogue at the stands time of its inception?that To be sure. in 1924 and published shortly before Kafka's death by Max Brod in 1926. sie waren Das Schlo? As Kafka's at an enormous last and arguably remove from most the important reigning novel. to achieve its phantasmagoric effect. verminous salesmen. 386 . Kafka say. Buchgesellschaft. sein mu?ten. University Das waren zweifellos of California. rpt. 3 At the radical end of Expressionist were now little-remembered innovations works like Carl Einstein's which dispensed with traditional constraints of Bebuquin (1906/1909). "Franz Kafka und der Expressionismus." Cf.
after he has been awakened by the castle emissary who his right to be there. When this emissary. I shall examine three K. makes his first.Kafka's Schlo? and the Subversion of Plot cause it cannot 387 with "dream be explained self logic" or any other at in "modern" fashion the of time its technique consciously composi that has eluded critics for decades. already noted by some critics. ous contradictions of himself. p.'s problem see Peter U. after all.'s aforementioned equivoca the implications second concerns of such peculiarities for two as of These I are shall larger questions poetics. inconsequential those key junctures of the text. 1 For clarity's sake and as a point of departure for discussing what is a as about Kafka's novel let us carefully review whole. two questions particularly the no very arise. and (3) his that suggestion he has left wife and family behind in order to set out for the village of Graf Westwest. These claims are. contradicts himself and pre any doubt beyond varicates in dealings with the village people. am Main: Athen?um Fischer Taschenbuch (Frankfurt 1974). K. demonstrate. I will be concerned with examining the relationship Kafka's narrative of structural sustains with the most with the conventions. 329 ff. The in the ear liest phases peculiarities tions). some twenty years for for example. of Kafka reluctance or subverts then scholars." he is more about this point here than in his earlier (1970).4 in K. failure the to recog numer underestimated: nize. homogeneous by straightforward as to I wish Kafka's novel?which is not. No. of Das Schlo? at all (such as K. questions. principle fictions informed causal patterns.'s account In the following. Franz Kafka: Eine kritische Einf?hrung in die Forschung account. especially tion of first coherent and the plot. If. Franz Kafka: Tragik und Ironie. argue. but related aspects of one underlying problem. 5. The to remark on certain of the structural of Kafka criticism. Schwarzer. general Aristotelian of plot: a principle that prescribes coherent. Beicken. 267?68. K. It is in large part a structure a structure and almost as often that they have recounted endlessly witness. Verlag. the after their novel's curious publication.5 which demonstrate that K. of course. emphatic study. concerns does homogeneous?actually so consistently. 5 For an overview to the of some approaches of Widerspr?chlichkeit in K. tion.'s claims: that assertion he is the land whom the (1) specific surveyor count has summoned.'s first response is in "Kafka und Sartres has observed Arcadia. most general claim on the evening of his arrival in the village. challenges points out that the village officially belongs to the castle. 3 Existenzphilosophie. all interrelated. statement two en are his that his assistants (2) route to the village with the surveying gear. 4As Sokel .
hatte und die Kraftverh?ltnisse alles ?ber abgewogen N?tige Es war auch aber andererseits aufnahm. justifies his presence with his professional . Ihrer hier im nach. Und wenn seiner man durch glaubte. as a "fight". 1974). begn?gt. auffallend "Genug gehen. 9?10) K. emphasis mine) manner If K. sagte K. further calls his motives into question: K. kommen Schnee Belehrung. denn zeigte. Landvermesserschaft man sich. job. morgen Der Wirt und die Herren dort sind Zeugen. den der Graf hat kommen Gehilfen Apparaten durch den Weg war. es im Schlo? da? man ihn. a land surveyor who was officially own to In do his his his confirmation view of fact. Das Schlo? (1935. ich schon noch im Schlo? mich wu?te eigenem. einerseits d?rfen. soweit zur?ckkommen.388 Campbell to profess of the castle: "'In welches Dorf habe ich mich ignorance to It is only when his efforts verirrt? Ist denn hier ein Schlo??'"6 to fail?and the latter him Schwarzer orders leave? placate angrily status: that K. Erkl?rungen gesagt?Unh?flichkeit Gute Nacht. und ihn untersch?tzte denn seiner da? man nach. . his him only in order to intimidate that the castle recognizes suspicion makes of these reflections him?neither any sense if he is who he summoned and has claims to be. horchte Das war auf. sein. Meinung von vornherein er mehr hoffen da? Freiheit haben als er h?tte w?rde. so t?uschte halten war aber alles. (pp. den l?chelnd g?nstig. da? ich Zeugen ?berhaupt mit den der Landvermesser lassen. ein wenig und ich werde noch auf Ihr Benehmen Mann. Frankfurt are to this edition. das sind Deshalb zu meine habe st?ren Sie ich mich auch mit diesem Nachtlager meine die?gelinde beendet.'s peremptory here seems to belie his initial ignorance to the castle switchboard's confirma of local geography. Damit Herren. Ich wollte mir den Marsch morgen Wagen vom bin aber nicht leider lassen. junger zu weit. p. his reaction tion of his story. .'s assessment of the es ?berschauerte situation in antagonistic terms. All further in the text. jetzt abgeirrt vor aus zu melden. gests he fears being exposed by them as an incompetent The legitimacy of his first claim is additionally undermined by his visit to the Gemeindevorsteher in Chapter the official concedes 5. Although that there had been a bureaucratic slip-up involving a land surveyor at am Main: Ver Fischer Taschenbuch Kafka. rpt. 8. after its initial rejection of his claim. das Anerkennung zu k?nnen. diese ?berlegene geistig gewi? in Schrecken ihn dauernd ihn leicht. einigemal entgehen zu es erst so sp?t Da? und deshalb sp?t angekommen. ich Sonst aber lassen Sie es sich gesagt brauche. ung?nstig ihn wu?te. 6 Franz . hatten. "Sie leise der Kom?die"." (p. Meine bin. in parentheses references and are given lag. 7. duly appeared as a possible tactic of intimidation on the part of the authorities sug and a fraud. Das Schlo? hatte f?r ihn also zum Landvermesser ernannt. Kampf es bewies.
"Ach. nach versp?tet. sagte K. . "Das ich erwarte?" Sie bejahten ist gut". sagten fragte anvertraut die ich euch wiederholten habe". (p. . p. im Dorfe zu wohnen. 10). nicht bestand?. m??t Haus.. "Wo habt ihr weitere sie. deliberately K.. seid K.Kafka's Schlo? and the Subversion of Plot 389 some point in the past. sagte K. wiederholte Schlosse kamt. 19) If the reader charade here.'s second claim. consistent with Brod's account of how the novel was to have ended? . gekommen seid. Artur and Jeremias. sagte K. finally. "Wenn ihr aber sagten das verstehen". K. "Euere fragte antworteten sie."?"Es Weg". weiter ich habe euch wie ihr vom K. When K. demurs all.'" is haben. "Ihr seid meine Wirt. war ihr seid sehr ein weiter "Ein sagte der eine. Although unteers to Schwarzer on his first evening this information in the vil to the innkeeper the following lage (p. "Wie?" alten Gehilfen. as his assistants at the of Chapter 2. Afterword am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch 1974).s. keine". 54). encounters two to be a after strange men whom he has already come upon in his meanderings through the village: er und zum ihr?" sah vom "Wer einen seid anderen. mir hier 'sie sind "'Nein'. is left with these are any doubts dispelled is by that K. objects annoying. "Die Apparate. 8) and again day ("'Nun werden bald meine Gehilfen wirst du sie hier unterbringen kommen. This. best?tigte K."?"?brigens". "aber getroffen. And zugelaufen'" with the two dissolves. Verlag. that after 7 Max Frankfurt to the first edition of Das Schlo? by Franz Brod. 53). that the presence and the councilman of Artur counters interview K. die ich nachkom fragte men es. later. he promptly adopts two locals. sagte k?hl. 301."7 K. Kafka (1935. K. "Wir haben von Landver ihr Leute!" "versteht ihr etwas sie. lie?. in what appears beginning move. ihr doch seid. . die sagte K. ."?"Ja" sie. leise der Gehilfen".'s acceptance by the community despite the fact "da? Rechtsanspruch K. keine"." by the of surveying ignorance notwithstanding. cannot have been the man in question: "'Dieser Erla? kann nat?rlich nicht Sie betroffen . nach "es ist gut. k?nnen?'"?p. "ihr habt einem weiteren euch sehr Weilchen. their been assigned reveals that he and Artur had originally to "cheer him up. (p. spurious. erst K. his own assistants. As he returns to the Br?ckenhof bizarre improvisational his first vain attempt to reach the castle. sagte Weg". decisively. they are. "Wir haben die Apparate?" sie. rpt.'s comments to enters the into a Gemein devorsteher and Jeremias in Chapter at his 5. "Es sind die Gehilfen". ein with K. that his two assistants will shortly be arriving with the surveying is also patently he vol equipment. nachl?ssig. .'s ill-fated association Jeremias to K. und meine schob alten sie vor Gehilfen sich ins messung?"?"Nein". after K. ohne sagten Erkl?rung. he clearly states that K. denn das war vor vielen Jahren (p.. ihr einem da? Weilchen.
but (lago. . not ultimately marry is an issue quite separate from the problem of K. does that fact satisfactorily the peculiar blindness of the first explain of Kafka commentators? for example. his intentions met the barmaid at the rival Herrenhof. Mephistopheles. Since his "original" two assistants have never we are left to conclude in the meantime appeared with the gear. Kind reist. in die p. He is conversing here with the proprietor of the Br?cken Chapter hof: "'Ich kenne den Grafen noch nicht.. sagen. da? ich es f?r das beste halten w?rde.. of course. To be sure. 16).'s ostensible motives in passing himself off as a married man in the first place.39? Campbell castle official Galater (Ch.). were it not for the fact that two days later. an die Frauen. behavior marks him as a liar at best and a potential bigamist at such as these from the text of Das Schlo?. K. early in 1. die seinen Kampf um Liebe und um Eingliederung zu einem religi?sen Kampf macht. zeigen ausschlie?enden nicht freilich in einer und Weise?denn gerade anders Strenge Gesellschaft 8 Brod. is openly announcing to marry Frieda. is that K. Max Consider. he has Having only just her in his her from and has installed Klamm. 'er soll gute Arbeit ist das wahr? Wenn man. generation Brod's early verdict on K. that they in all likelihood never existed. to put it most bluntly. 10). that the Now. to strengthen his position vis-?-vis local authorities. so weit von Frau und gut bezahlen. states his intentions to her: "'Dann kann ich Ihnen also.' sagte K. K. Frau Wirtin.'s suggestion left wife and child at home for the sake of his surveying work. her. K. briefly alludes fleetingly ostensible situation at home before he sets out for the castle. die ihm den rechten alles Weg. but were fabricated instead by K. K. 42?43). ist es. and Frieda do und zwar sehr bald'" (pp. which is surely startling in light of the pas sages Wie die sche w?rde rehearsed im "Proze?" rechte und K. wenn Frieda und ich That K. wie ich. What matters here. diese Lebensm?glichkeit sollen. Fal diese Lebensm?glichkeit alles L?genhafte Halbe. ismade so to his that one can easily read past it. learning proprietress he boldly here (Gardena) has long been Frieda's trusted confidante.'s "story" is fraught with inconsistencies.8 akzeptieren. above: h?lt sich K. dann will man auch etwas heimbringen'" (p. 303. one By isolating passages can easily demonstrate that K. has a relatively low profile when compared with many of literature's most devious figures et al. The third claim to be considered that he has here.'s contra dictory worst. already appropriated own room at the Br?ckenhof. heiraten. This allu sion would be unremarkable.
. K. 10). where to the length of his projected stay hergekommen'" (p.9 Indeed. he himself to the complains . seems deliberately to all the contradictions oblivious in K. ses ?de Land als das Verlangen locken k?nnen.. Gemeindevorsteher that he has been "zu b?sem Ende hergelockt" his claims call this into question?for (p. 141). am Press. 201). hierzubleiben?'" '"[i]ch bin f?r die Dauer gekom (p.'s own as they are recorded in the fourteenth he thoughts chapter. where not reflects upon the course events might have taken had Schwarzer him on his first night in the village: he might awakened have un as a hired hand. left his home at all. Beyond these contradictory references to K. 1983). too identifiable!?fictional ceased writer by their approval of his?all the K.s. in this light." he writes.'s to K. or even of when he did so. But then again. To be sure. "'Ich bin aus eigenem Willen hier 15. "The is freely broidering Land-Surveyor . . In to the boy Hans that he has "einige medi 13. If K. accepts ambiguities uncritically as own em will his bolster of the often novel.. past interpretation on the of scantiest evidence..Kafka's Schlo? and the Subversion of Plot 391 to the first edition of Das in the afterword If Brod. Was h?tte mich denn um hier zu bleiben in die hergekommen. suggests Chapter 9 Born See J?rgen (ed. 168). (p. Heinz interpretation. . it is almost as if Kafka's critics.'s intentions in coming to the vil lage. 10 Parable Franz Kafka: and Paradox Heinz Politzer. in Chapter he says. these assertions conflict with K.. but elsewhere example."10 The truth is that we have no clear idea of why K. writing Schlo?. or (to the driver Gerst?cker) men'" (p. clearly implies to return home Br?ckenhof that he intends proprietor (p.. While he concedes that there are in K. The K. an expatriate. one who has "left his home under no other compulsion than the lure of sinister powers in a faraway land. he announces intentions bin hier elsewhere: (to "'[I]ch Frieda) opposite . 219. (Ithaca: Cornell 1962). taking their cue from Brod (sometimes were determined to show their good will toward the de explicitly).'s he such references story. the Wandering Man. Jew.). p. 118). then so too do the popular press reviews of the novel for the next twelve years (until the outbreak of World War II).'s account and actions. f?r work "nur ein found paar Tage obtrusively bleiben" denn l?nger [wollte] er keinesfalls nat?rlich. Everyman. of the Schlo? is thus continually lionized as proxies. 64). Politzer still sees K. Allusions to the in the village are also contradictory. we have also only the sketchiest of details about his past life. (Frankfurt Univ. and so on in what have become the commonplaces of Kafka As late as 1962. Franz Kafka: Kritik und Rezeption 1924 ?1938 Main: Fischer.
For paraphrase. Artaud. dann will man auch etwas with its troubling connotations of contem heimbringen. 125).). one might say that what is typical of it?and for much of Kafka criticism. A.. admits However. he briefly recalls his "Milit?rzeit. 129). so weit von Frau und Kind reist. p.'s own flashbacks. since he inadvertently offers a clue as to why K. to the as a bache village genuine seem not to notice and does that this introduc variety as a . Muir's actual translation of Das Schlo? into English."12 to belabor While it is not necessary such readings at much greater to Politzer length. to Carol Jacobs' Foreword The Dissimulating The Image of Harmony: in Nietzsche. Knopf. it is worth returning briefly. . Univ. Unlike many other critics. and hide discontinuities and disruptions in the of its own discourse. ix. back with something in his pockets.'s questionable so behavior long deflected critical scrutiny. . Thus the line "Wenn man. as Paul de Man has aptly observed. and children [at family. it appears. "is the best way to distract the mind from genuine obstacles and to gain approval. purpose to blur. diese gl?cklichen Zeiten" (p."11 This pervasive use of a homogeneity simplify illustrated Politzer's "translation" of K. home town (p.] home]. by into an amenable too in Edwin and Willa is evident interpretation. 12). In Chapter 1.'s account of himself?is its reliance on paraphrase: as a critical reflex." for the later has been rendered the Muirs as action. .392 Campbell zinische Kenntnisse" which had earned him the nickname "das bittere Kraut" back home to and he to fashion claims know how (p. Rilke. 12 Edwin Muir and Willa Muir (trans. he remembers a boyhood in which incident he had scaled a high cemetery wall 27 f. which often glosses and suppresses many of the crucial contradictions in K. the burden of replacing with the of its Its is understanding mimicry performance. The Castle by Franz Kafka (New York: A.'s actions ing paraphrase. To return now to the question of Politzer's reading. . in Chapter 2. man is apt to work to his desire family against the It is that he fabricates the village girls. confound. [K. lor of . and Benjamin Interpretation (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press. 1930).). 8. plated bigamy by a man me so "When like travels far from wants to go home he simply. p.'s mendacious but he fails to gauge its relative importance: behavior. against threatened eclipses of meaning. But the only reliable details are those re wanderer's ported through K. and a few pages later. 19). the Kafka a wife. he mentally com pares the contours of the castle with those of the church tower of his .. 1978). (pp. quite possible to his life in order to the and previous impress villagers to a candidly having he introduces himself tion of himself one of marry few allusions 11 Paul de Man. wie ich. staffs (p. Politzer does recognize K.
K. Lasemann tells him Stimme. as contradictory is ever exposed claims K. this apparently baseless ani in K. p.13 may What is more than K. is never advanced. 221. he makes each claim publicly. sichtbaren eine "Ach. . . even more overtures. in which truth and fiction interwoven. and reports of his words and although the village with great speed. An old man admits Lasemann's door requesting him to the house's dim interior: "Wer seid Ihr?" "Warum rief eine hast du herrische Stimme und wohl zu dem Alten man ihn hereingelassen? Kann alles herein bin der Gassen auf den herumschleicht?"?"Ich gr?fliche suchte sich so vor den noch Un immer Landvermesser".'s Are the villagers. Frankfurt Verlag. K. has appeared through to be let in to rest. actions obviously circulate through to the contradictions in K. Cf. 243 ff.14 by his inability to reach the castle and ex Nonplused from his futile march at hausted the snow. fragte schien kannte. sagte nun und "Ihr kennt eine vollkommene Stille. Franz Kafka. as the "Gewi?". folgte gewendet: was lassen. und zu verantworten. K. Later.'s ostensible here is striking shortsightedness the surprising fact that K. Da? man unwelcome guest only half apologetically: geringe Gastfreundlichkeit '"Ihr wundert Euch wahrscheinlich . to Das Schlo? are obvious. Parallels Kafka's diary was an early study for the novel. is ad it would almost appear account? Paradoxically enough. Tageb?cher fragment am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch ed. simply oblivious so. but any specific rationale In the first chapter. words have. Max Brod 1974). prepares kurz die (p. . 14 is the single most toward a stranger unmotivated This striking hostility apparently as an entry in im Dorf. Yet past inseparably to realize that his lies have shorter he is not smart than his enough wings He the undesirable without effects his speaks considering imagination. who mosity and then. invents for present advantage are if he lies. ihn nicht sagte zu noch empfehlen. coldly rebuffs his friendly eerily. and tions actually have no direct consequences not simply his inconsistent which renders behavior. (1948. mich?" K. 1910?1923.Kafka's Schlo? and the Subversion of Plot officials 393 or at least that he a in his favor. sagte K. at the house he gets that evening in the reception of the tanner Lasemann.'s prevarica what Politzer himself misses: for the action! It is this. rpt.'s initial encounter is already evident with the teacher. to gleiche 14) leave. fundamentally Not a single one of the suspicious the plot of the novel problematical. aber Gastfreundlichkeit ?ber die ist bei uns 13Politzer. this and according in 1914. makes by the village people. es ist der Landvermesser". a friendly welcome not accorded mittedly by them from the begin for their general hostility toward him ning. pp. then. weibliche Stimme." which of the short fragment feature appeared "Verlockung to Brod.
K. in his The Disinherited Mind: inModern German Literature and Thought. notably with the Br?ckenhof proprietress nouncing who faults him for his brazen disrespect of Klamm.394 nicht Campbell G?ste'" never (p. p. Kafka. telling against on enters into with characters intent de periodically disagreements Gardena. he evidence True. an offhanded offered without and it fazes comment. a vain and flirtatious woman. (New York: Harcourt. and his presumption generally. his prevarica to be discredited. only justification. him.'s professed cf. they but vague. for all their animosity toward K. that preserves the logical the opacity of K. p. The relatively insignificant renhof proprietress. 261). after art the land his of but it is hearing explanations surveyor's (p. Erich Heller Sokel notes first to the wordplay in K. his about behavior: his mediately suspicious conflicting The result is a series of strange dislocations in the nexus of the nar rative. these people were secretly conspiring with him to avoid exposing?to the reader or the authorities?the most him. On the one hand. But such "explana rise above this level of dis keine Sitte.'" she says rather indifferently. 216. in obvious causal stands relationship position statements. never has any problems them while he maintains the appear refuting ance of being Her the injured party. 621. 1975). his "The World of Franz Kafka. these denunciations going fight generally so that K." pointed occupation. after plot all. is the only charac ter who comes really close to challenging K. course?categorical The hostility of the villagers toward K. tions suggest Yet the general op that he deserves no to what is im to K.15 He disagrees worst warnings with Frieda. confirmed after she has watched him skillfully extract from a information he needs for his on (Hans Brunswick) guileless pupil are But with the castle. exp. who reveals that she has seen Gardena's about K.'s motives by so constructing exposure the consequences of K.'s prevarications?his as a fraud and expulsion from the village?are not forthcoming. . '"Du sagst nicht die Wahrheit.'s fundamental claims. Essays Brace. 15). his ignorance of even local customs." where offered. him. not at all. on the other hand. It is almost as if. makes the more incongruous to precisely in his those inconsistencies obliviousness their apparent reason to would mistrust and actions that them greatest speech give of K.. Yet 15 As Walter in Franz Kafka: Tragik und Ironie. Jovanovich. most of those he encounters disapprove and seem inclined to discredit him. around lengthy and diffuse and not constructed specifics. wir brauchen are tions. silence of the other characters This generally regarding perplexing reason why the the legitimacy of K. ed.'s basic claims is surely a major in his story went so long unnoticed inconsistencies by readers.
p. thirty intervening Einsinnigkeit three years. 17 Texts and European Dimensions Theodore Ziolkowski. of the latter. actually If K.'s interaction with the villagers in the overall scheme serves to de-emphasize behavior his inconsistent of the novel. stets nur in der sondern nicht Ich-Form." sleeping K. predispose us to accept K. . calling attention position without ob of third-person the appearance to endorse K. . problem 1961). This 16 Ein Vortrag Franz Kafka: Der Erz?hler Friedrich Bei?ner."17 events are from whose perspective then. is the pivotal character is to this of the result Das then in narrated technique Schlo?. rpt. "Gastfreund in Lasemann's like that conveyed prejudices lichkeit ist bei uns nicht Sitte.. Another relevant factor is the unusual narrative perspec tive that Kafka K. however. . Contexts (Princeton: Press. become one of the basic assumptions of Kafka scholar ship. . Kohlhammer. a perspective This that also preserves has met the opacity with consider of phenomenon ably Schlo?. der Erz?hler wei? dern. more Before critical we attention examine than more has closely the problematic what accounts plot for of Das the per to consider it as well. DVLG." in cause-and-effect of conventional This displacement patterning the only factor that is not. 1969). As Bei?ner Kafka erz?hlt observes. of theModern Novel: German Princeton Univ. ihn. p. K. Friedrich Bei?ner in the which in narrative Kafkan has.. And pre has it superficially cisely because narrative this perspective jectivity. this perspective they do not directly (although to the talks at great length in which B?rgel of the passage Fietz's treatment e. An interesting affect my analysis). . it will be helpful mutations of perspectival the principle elaborated In 1952. gesehen nur in seiner Abwesenheit ihn oder wird ohne erz?hlt.g. it finds its ostensible justification apparently so alienate a reader upon a first reading.. nichts gegen an und keines Gedanken Karls ausschlie?lich seine Gedanken. actually amounts to a first-person narrative told in the third person. einsinnig.Kafka's Schlo? and the Subversion of Plot 395 at the same time as the disapproval of the villagers is deflected from in those the key issues. erz?hlt nichts und ist von Karl Ro?mann wird. in "M?glichkeiten 1 (1963).'s serves unobtrusively in to the fact that it does so.. motivations. 37 No. which irrational prejudices terse phrase.'s innermost employs. ganz und ist es im "Proze?" Und ebenso mitzuteilen. 28. . in der dritten auch Alles. empfunden. . was in dem Roman "Der Verschollene" Person. Lothar von Kafkas einer Deutung und Grenzen Schlo?-Roman. associated with third-person of authorial objectivity" "the expectation so "that the result narration with the point of view of the first person. of Einsinnigkeit Cf. im "Schlo?."16 As is to combine the effect of this technique others have observed.'s view of things as authoritative. in breaks is that of the occasional W. 47. Stuttgart: (1952. 76.
there?to appreciate what subtle the narration accrues to K. ob ich die fr?heren Mitteilungen nicht vielleicht getr?umt h?tte"). narrator and written his novel exactly throughout other respects. but so does the narrative perspective spective reinforces the action. and subsequently the pronoun in the ear revising lier chapters.g. which during writing opening dicate to that Kafka an to make had check his repeatedly impulse into an schemer. before nally begun his manuscript the ?cA-narrator with the cipher K. The without intro protagonist aggressive lexical then further his latent reduced ducing changes. of the novel in the first person. script. This in person which plays down the obviousness of the ori change ich's a is nexus consistent with causal then.'s motives in Das inscrutability of the animal equivocations frightened laid painfully bare by the first-person.396 Campbell turn inclines us as readers to let our (at least upon a first reading) to the strange and inimical behavior attention be drawn of the vil lagers who confront K. the reader's continual awareness of the original ich the same in all this ich's self conscious deviousness (conveyed by such constructions of Person as "als wolle in Kafka's Manu 18Dorrit Cohn..'s action in the final version (e. 37. ginal "villainy. '"Und illogical original. . it is useful to recall that Kafka had origi sinnigkeit. In her suggestive analysis of this "radical mutation. This is reinforced impression by sentences crossed out the of the in scene." Euphorion..18 of meaning in alerts change conjectural phrases was as a more the ich of the "Urschlo?" conceived us to the fact. fragte ?berzeugen. K.. while at the same time we accept uncritically his own conflicting claims. say. only Schlo? with.'s prevarications from them the level of keep noticing plot. The that negative figure than a few the K. of the final version. esp. als wolle ich mich davon ?berzeugen. given first-person point man mu? die Erlaubnis zum ?bernachten haben?' fragte ich. "'Und man mu? die Erlaubnis zum ?bernachten haben?' er als wolle sich er davon ob die fr?heren K. this third-person of Ein advantage through technique In this connection. itself. 62 No. In this way. As Cohn observes.'s claims go con dislocated Had Kafka maintained spicuously unchallenged). nicht vielleicht getr?umt h?tte") had sounded stilted and Mitteilungen in the its of view (cf. p. revision. the pathetic in Der Bau?equivocations stream-of-consciousness We have to contrast of K. villainy. near the beginning of replacing the third chapter. the per then. "K. Enters the Castle: On the Change 1 (1968)." Dorrit Cohn points out that the frequent and subjunctive conjectural constructions which heighten the ambiguity of K. 28?45. Not only do the missing of consequences us on K." plot qua so as to de-emphasize this same feature (K.
erst Aber besonderen dieser Erkenntnis Vorz?ge. observes waren from Klamm he has received "Das zwei early in the novel: so sichtbar. da? sie sein fellos Widerspr?che. erhalten.'s prevarications narration. But what are the implications of this sort of idio of the action for the question of plot? Can the syncratic patterning K. In at to recourse to I show shall have of Kafka's how. . to perspective with the strangely character of K. die entstehen getr?bt ist das . as K. sogar aber es bleibt ihm nichts anderes als dieser letzte Versuch. subtly veiled by the third-person to any careful reader. of contrast with exist one from the collection may take two aphorisms. auch der urspr?ngliche Sinn des nat?r nun er sich.'s men gether inconsequential to dacious behavior vis-?-vis the villagers. from long critical readers." to clarify the notion as it applies been elaborated to of motivation Kafka's fictions: Seit dem S?ndenfall und sere B?sen sind wir in der F?higkeit zur Erkenntnis des Guten trotzdem suchen wir gerade hier un gleich.) Erkenntnis des Guten und B?sen lichen "S?ndenfall" r?ckg?ngig geht gemacht. Hoffnung (by Brod) "Betrachtungen den wahren Weg" and the other from the collection which have "Er. aber daher sich zerst?ren. ing criticism?one entitled ?ber und S?nde.'s contradictions of to the failure of be reconciled story underlying to I the antagonistic them? believe expose villagers they can. sie waren beabsichtigt mu?ten" (p. evident after reviewing the contents himself of a letter And. ihr gem?? Dazu begn?gen. 24). We have seen now how the unique of Das Schlo?. sondern mu? sich bestreben. Der wird Schein durch gegenteilige Niemand kann sich mit der Erkenntnis allein folgendes hervorgerufen: zu handeln. tempting portions on that have occasion been other critics aphoristic writings applied by to various of Kafka's narratives. still undeniably there in the final text. worked shield K. jenseits beginnen die wahren Verschiedenheiten. . ist ihm die Kraft er mu? nicht mitgegeben. 11 As a point of departure?and.Kafka's Schlo? and the Subversion of Plot 397 .")would ich mich davon ?berzeugen conflict noticeably with the to remark on it. f?rchtet lieber will er die machen (die Bezeichnung r?ckg?ngig auf diese Angst aber das Geschehene kann nicht zur?ck): nur Zu diesem Zweck sondern werden. Leid. Thus fictional characters' failure the final version achieves a truer integration of perspective and action than the novel could possibly have had if narrated in the first person. to some extent. (Das vom Baume ist auch der Sinn der Todesdrohung beim Verbot des Essens im Wesentlichen der Erkenntnis: vielleicht Vor diesem Versuch Todes. zu selbst auf die Gefahr dadurch die notwendige nicht Kraft hin. Yet however are K.
214. few insights into the process of motivation that we are offered in particular. emphasis Suhrkamp.21 In his analysis of that in discussions for relates Josef K. "motivating. pp. 22 Ziolkowski. 20 Martin Walser (ed. Motivationen.19 das alte Unrecht. and Munich: Francke." in the first aphorism of which Kafka mythologizes above. the product of his it must be conceded from the first page of the novel. Hoffnung S?nde. rpt. . begangen er nicht dem Erbs?nde besteht abl??t. see Werner Hoffmann. 21 are specifically two aphorisms See also Ingeborg discussed These by Ziolkowski. Martin Walser (1936. (Berne 1975). generally Kafka 1958). Kafkas Aphorismen pp. Er: Prosa von Franz Kafka. "Betrachtungen am Main: in Er: Prosa von Franz Kafka. is not so much en The substance of the first aphorism. in the case Instanz of Der that Proze?. on the in The Das Schlo?. da? hat. ihm die begangen these apho Given the thematics of guilt and freedom with which it is not surprising risms are concerned. in dem der Mensch den Vorwurf." But rather with the than acknowledge the fact of his guilt.'s "sin been the done ominous unto and him. 50?70. By concentrating is different situation a we can so of the latter detect work. p. Henel. that they have been brought to bear especially of Der Proze?.'" DVLG. Erbs?nde.20 das der Mensch und an von macht ist." mine. acted by Der Proze?. ment 19 und den wahren Franz Kafka. resides in the very fact that he insists an injustice has Josef K. particularly problematic plot into of Kafka's the the substance of aphorisms phisticated integration in a novel structure of the novel itself. sion. voll.fait accompli. Josef K. pp. 181 -83.'s accept apart unconventional and places him under arrest as a. ed. und f?r Kafka's "Die T?rh?terlegende ihre Bedeutung 'Proze?.'s refusal to Ziolkowski Theodore novel. ?ber Leid. consistent . 37 to Kafka's Der Bau in Franz the first aphorism Emrich (1963). erst zum Ziel zu machen. p. That this integration is effected it both subtler less "garish" than several of Kafka's earlier works makes and more latently disturbing.398 Campbell Die nichts Welt ist ihrer ganze anderes als eine Motivation die ganze ist sichtbare Welt ja des einen Augenblick lang ruhen zu die der Erkenntnis die Tatsache f?lschen. freedom vidual's assumption of full responsibility for his own "sins.).?consistent own onto world the first aphorism?attempts "to project [his] guilt with the second aphorism. Menschen. vielleicht wollenden Erkenntnis Die Ein Versuch. outside and thus to deny it". as presupposed by it. 47 ff."22 If. example. ihm ein Unrecht da? geschehen wurde. 1968). the genesis admit his own guilt to the human process of "motivating. Wilhelm applies a more discus oriented For (Bonn: Athen?um. Frankfurt Weg. 204?05." itself. . Since no one can be attained only by the indi is innocent of wrongdoing. 45. occupies we have Josef to K.
incite") does not the sense of deliberate falsification involved in convey necessarily zum Ziel. to K." To say that one "rationalizes" erst Erkenntnis "die making one's creditable tives"?comes a "rationalization.. . of history. diesem Weg wenn man im Gegenteil. In them we see the telltale dence traces of K. mo That pretense. in the than more not village. unglaublichen hineinzwingt. the as he must present version of a version its own notes. diversionary from the final version of Das Schlo??it is the In a passage omitted a K. wenn auf ist nicht man leicht." the pretexts and rationalizations he fab in the village acceptable ricates in order to make his presence he well knows. which unambiguously Momus K. That K.23 be self-serving behavior?that motives closer one without to like the the "attributes adequate sense of related course. The is. Man kann so es sich. with the Einsinnigkeit which would have been strikingly incompatible text?we of the remaining read the following: Des n?mlich auch sich her weit Landvermessers auf seine K. in theory.'s "Motivationen. erst ist man nicht dann ist. ("excuse. heartless opportunism). of critical. to divert someone are inventions designed from the truth (including.Kafka's Schlo? and the Subversion of Plot 399 to the text of the aphorism Let us return for the moment describing the genesis of "Motivationen. common is that they feature of all these terms. else and . has never been summoned order events does to remain suasive include him.. process "pretext" or actions) of Kafka the to rational true describes. zu beweisen. truth of "Erkenntnis. the about text of Protokoll prepared by village secretary Momus." They are all essentially tactics. 304) ?brig. ganz Gedankengang wenn man beirren nicht lassen. Schliche Schuld nur kommen. to its But in anterior which For. gew?hnen. inhabitants. it is useless.'s claims without 23All Language. we have seen. peinlich man Hierbei mu? zu einer von au?en so ist in seinen ist. (one's analysis the term. impel. dann gewi? gekommen irregegangen. definitions are from endorsing Webster's them: Third New '"Sie sind als Landvermesser International Dictionary of the English . oneself)?in Kafka's from the excessively hard scheme. . man am Hat man dann die haarstr?ubende Ort. there is ample evi inconsistencies in the problematic to support Momus's view of things. village's the Gemeindevorsteher acknowledg ing K." cover"). Schlechtigkeit gelangt. depicts courtship is accordingly absent from the final text." While the term is usually rendered in a as this is somewhat translation "motivations.." inadequate English since "to motivate" ("provide with a motive. aber es bleibt nichts anderes (p. Wahrheit richtigen man auch mu? sich freilich noch sie zu glauben. Yet. gefunden. English and German. the basest of mo attributes This passage.'s of Frieda as tives (in the part omitted.
toward the of the first chapter. After first having professed beginning ignorance to leave the of the castle. the villagers' of K. 52). K. village inauspiciousness The diversionary function of his initial claims becomes clearer when we reconsider those junctures of the text in which they occur. wir brauchen keinen Land In effect. and mistrustful trauen dieses Mannes nicht zu gewinnen" (p. later contradicts as his assistants H. sagte: k?nnen?" mine) unterbringen (p. f?r den ihn ablenken. we have seen. is ordered who has village by Schwarzer. briefly conversing to mention his family back home. as he is with the Br?ckenhof pro lowing day. posits a false causality with which own from interlocutors the of his situation. K. are not. To prietor. (p. hielt? K. Consequently. Fensterbank.4oo Campbell wie Sie sagen. switchboard embellishes little more: Der er Wirt sich nicht upon sa? K. verlassen m?ssen'" eviction imminent. ?ber weglaufen. hatte Augen herangedr?ngt. allayed. er als Ehemann und Familienvater in weiter Ferne dessen erscheint." Arcadia. K. Jeremias 24 Walter 270-71. That K. K. It is only now. the man is at once intimidated of him: "Leicht war das Ver by K. vertiefen. emphasis ?ngstlichen schien es. 10. Er blickte auf die "Herrn". from K. 3 (1970). braunen. Sokel. he takes the opportunity on his part: "Das Wohlwollen do so is eminently f?r seine expedient um es K. Zeit ganze bequemer ?ber mit wagte gro?en. 8). strained and uncomfortable. wenn geht. ence. und sah K. Despite the Beh?rde! Ich habe Sie deshalb gr?flichen da? Sie sofort das gr?fliche Gebiet mitzuteilen."24 with the innkeeper is. aufgenommen. mu?te und "Nun werden bald meine Gehilfen wirst du sie kommen. with the threat of forcible that K. das wird sich selbstverst?ndlich Sache. 'Ich ver vor lange Respekt um Ihnen geweckt. daheim gelassene Familie durch einen des Schlosses 'Vertragsbruch' Not But the conversation leiden m??te. . zu his story. attempts am Rand der die to divert the innkeeper yet a gegen?ber setzen. er am liebsten als wolle F?rchtete er. aber (p.'s first mention of his status as surveyor comes. of suspicions his The fol course. und nun den des Uhr hier an. "Kafka these earlier claims by adopting Artur and and holding forth for Frieda's hand is only in und Sartres Existenzphilosophie.'s point of view. zu Grafen er die werden? F?rchtete ausgefragt Unzuverl?ssigkeit er K. 5 No. resorts to "official" justification of his pres on-again-off-again confirmation from the castle der that follows. Zuerst er sich an K. 'Landstreichermanieren!' rief er. to divert his then. He embellishes upon story accordingly. become incensed by his all too casual behavior: "Nun geriet aber der junge Mann au?er sich. vermesser'" leider. 11).
categories increasingly tural vraisemblance. depicted In K.Kafka's Schlo? and the Subversion of Plot 401 which dictate that he must fortify him keeping with his self-interests. What is impor self vis-?-vis the castle at every available opportunity. . to appear as the wronged the self-serving rationale of his "Motivationen. which behavior allows K.'s "motivating." level. exposing maneuvers. den der Mensch und Erbs?nde macht von dem er nicht abl??t.) long run." the self-serving efforts the lie. He cannot remove erate stratagems to displace it temporarily. Jonathan Culler distinguishes most with the els of "vraisemblance. for the inconsequentiality introduced then." is emphasized and most tiredness." Culler writes. 260 f." As in then reinforces in an inimical world Der Proze?. but far enough to leave K. the hostilities Accordingly. Of the most basic the "text of the natural attitude.)." geschehen for the problematic More abstractly.'s of the villagers are also displaced. that they are. cited above: "Die . . on these to failure remark the into the narrative by village people's of "Motivationen" in his the inconsistencies? very Explaining genesis "Die Welt ist ihrer die Kafka voll. (cul level. cannot the with the his falsify aphorism. he can only gen situation. Thus the teacher reproaches K. result The is their main contentions that is unchallenged. ejects tioning the count in a passing conversation him from his hut with the explanation that guests are unwelcome him for hysterically (p. which overwhelming repeatedly in interview with is his also in very much memorably B?rgel. ganze ganze ja aphorism. writes. we may account plot of Das In of in his discussion verisimilitude the literary Schlo? following way. ist vielleicht nichts anderes als eine Motivation des sichtbare Welt extent To ruhenwollenden Menschen. . of arbitrariness is this appearance about original consistent with Kafka's aphorism sin. besteht in dem Vorwurf.'s process of K. between five lev in Structuralist Poetics. that the village world is also a part of the sustaining too collaborates "visible" part?it seeks to hold the truth at bay?the in the continuing (It is striking that K. keeping the truth permanently. animosity seem alienatingly on to which often trivial issues irrelevant expended the matters at hand.'s them for the "Motivationen. 13). is that these contradictions all give K. tant here. do we account How. The apparent hero at every turn. 15).). generic vraisemblance. the general beginning his list to and extending "real" or the "text of the natural attitude. etc. not far. to repeat this point." and metaliterary restricted four other. or the Herrenhof proprietress harangues an unremarkable comment that he had made about her dress the pre of this antagonistic arbitrariness vious day (pp. for casually men or Lasemann (p. da? ihm ein Unrecht ist." the einen Augenblick lang fiction by which K.
that that. and the Study of Litera . are not "like In is that. K." Recognizable elements evident.'s unconventional K. any reader of Kafka's fictions will recognize that their dis in their deformation tinctiveness lies precisely of this "text of the natu of the everyday world are still ral attitude. ships. Kafka's apho In Culler's rism. represented whose 'but X s are like items are justified by the simple observation. This perpetual the non then. operates in the plot of Das Schlo?. then.. mimetically as no justification the world.'s continuing as a given from the first page. Kafka's principle of devious.e. being infiltrated and subverted by "pretext. simply they always keepers. arise because the "text of the natural atti Das Schlo?. and do arguments. and hating." it that travelers). private causalities that humans that there is a proliferation to the obvious conclusions. to be sure. We to because of such people ing. Structuralism. (It is in this sense literally a "pre-text. which posits Josef K. the incongruities tude" is continually i. K. requires structure of thinking. loving philosophical and events. Jonathan ture (Ithaca: Cornell Univ.. generates interaction. His with village authorities difficulties a of text and is continual struggle with the authorities give-and-take a fact accounting charac for the frequently pretext. but persistently after all. feeling pain. p. Das Schlo? exposes as his Mota^ren-in-progress.'s can interac anticipating the village world. but the 5^/f-evidence has gone out of their relation inn terms. will invent to avoid coming Constructing attitude" causalities which we 25 Structuralist Culler.25 may be vraisemblable. Press. improvisational ter of the action. But in the absence of his individual fictional past.402 This Campbell is best as defined as a discourse which it seems to derive having from the directly minds and bodies. etc. serve set as at the common construct a useful beginnings for defining of human and consciousness. discourse by adducing Fictional characters imagining. there are "Xs" here aplenty (villages." they general predicated is describing Culler correspond quite closely to the level of discourse here. Now. using them as an upon to structure our fic which with of expedient principle organization of "Motivationen" works on the assumption tions. 26 Culler.'"26 One might about plot. not have speak remember justify or not. tion with sequiturs?unremarked for some twenty years?which resonate so quietly of plot. 141. Poetics: 1975). Aristotelian say specifications as are on most the of human "universals. with reference to this "text of the natural attitude." his in that of Motivieren that Kafka describes process paradigmatic by a myth. A conventional on the assumption that there are model "natural can all agree. Linguistics. p.'s personal history before his entry into the village is virtual blank.") arrest More than Der Proze?. 140.
Kafka's Schlo? and the Subversion of Plot 403 conventional lines than some of his the novel along more apparently into the fabric of Das Schlo? earlier works. the questions posed for poetics by Kafka's Schlo? are perhaps an more unsettling in the literary praxis?in for being raised covertly. and in the sorts of compositional Willk?r des Dichters" von Ofterdingen in his Heinrich liberties taken by Novalis (especially or by Goethe Meisters Wanderjahre. in Wilhelm M?rchen") "Klingsohrs to the viability of plot Since Kafka's time. thereby rendering to the hegemony. conflation of text and pre "inside job. Das Schlo? seems to ask whether straightforward plots or devious are the more insidious "Motivationen" fictions?the latter because us or with sustain the former because falsifications. such theoretical challenges for instance." so to speak. real ones. As a problematic text. have become almost commonplace: in a wider European arena. of Aristo Fairly radical challenges telian thinking on by unprecedented questions Kafka's of time. For all the that. they of course. among others. one over thinks first perhaps of Sartre and Robbe-Grillet. and adequacy. Kafka subtly incorporates and the machinations and falsifications by which fictional characters. were al the German a century before in the Romantics' ready implicit. . the plot problematical. live. narrative In structure were context not. they complicated they sustain us with simple ones. which would "die call for a "progressive Universalpoesie" recognize as its only law.