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Like George Orwell, Franz Kafka has given his name to a world of nightmare, but in Kafka’s world, it is never completely clear just what the nightmare is. The Trial, where the rules are hidden from even the highest officials, and if there is any help to be had, it will come from unexpected sources, is a chilling, blackly amusing tale that maintains, to the very end, a relentless atmosphere of disorientation. Superficially about bureaucracy, it is in the last resort a description of the absurdity of 'normal' human nature.
Still more enigmatic is The Castle. Is it an allegory of a quasi-feudal system giving way to a new freedom for the subject? The search by a central European Jew for acceptance into a dominant culture? A spiritual quest for grace or salvation? An individual's struggle between his sense of independence and his need for approval? Is it all of these things? And K? Is he opportunist, victim, or an outsider battling against elusive authority?
Finally, in his fables, Kafka deals in dark and quirkily humorous terms with the insoluble dilemmas of a world which offers no reassurance, and no reliable guidance to resolving our existential and emotional uncertainties and anxieties.
We based our evaluation of book condition on the following criteria:
* New: Just like it sounds. A brand-new, unused, unread copy in perfect condition.
* Like New: An apparently unread copy in perfect condition. Dust cover is intact; pages are clean and are not marred by notes or folds of any kind.
* Very Good: A copy that has been read, but remains in excellent condition. Pages are intact and are not marred by notes or highlighting, but may contain a neat previous owner name. The spine remains undamaged.
* Good: A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. The spine may show signs of wear. Pages can include limited notes and highlighting, and the copy can include "From the library of" labels or previous owner inscriptions.
* Acceptable: A readable copy. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact (the dust cover may be missing). Pages can include considerable notes--in pen or highlighter--but the notes cannot obscure the text.