Seth Rogoff

Seth Rogoff is the author of five books, most recently The Kirschbaum Lectures.

The Castle

An intertextual hall of mirrors, a palimpsestic fever dream, an exegetical garden of forking paths

Ross Benjamin, translator of The Diaries of Franz Kafka

The Castle

Seth Rogoff

Beautiful Soon Enough, by Margo Berdeshevsky (FC2, 2009)

2024

Quality Paper
ISBN 978-1-57366-207-9

A fictional return to the unsettling world of Franz Kafka’s iconic unfinished novel, The Castle

Seth Rogoff’s masterful and mesmerizing novel The Castle draws inspiration from the enigmatic and incomplete final sentence of Franz Kafka’s influential work of the same title. Follow renowned translator Sy Kirschbaum as he finds his way into the deserted landscape of Kafka’s world where the village of Z. lies eerily silent, the inhabitants vanished like phantoms, leaving only remnants of their lives behind.

From these fragments, Kirschbaum pieces together a vision of a world in crisis triggered by the arrival of a stranger named K. To unravel this mystery, not just for the sake of the vanished village of Z. but for the world beyond, Kirschbaum is compelled to venture where K. could not — the deepest core of the castle.

The Castle is built upon lost documents, forgotten stories, and imagined histories. Unbound by the constraints of an authoritarian and doomed reality, Kirschbaum embarks on an extraordinary journey, seeking meaning through the fertile ground of imagination and embracing the inherent paradox of existence.

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The Castle is an exploration of textual memory, an attempt to reconstruct not only what has been lost but also what may never have been, a quest for the ineffable, and a dazzling mystery. An homage to Kafka, but so much more than that, it bends and folds into non-Euclidean angles, a tour of the spectres of the twentieth century.

C.D. Rose, author of Walter Benjamin Stares at the Sea

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An intertextual hall of mirrors, a palimpsestic fever dream, an exegetical garden of forking paths, Seth Rogoff’s The Castle doesn’t so much pick up where Kafka’s unfinished manuscript left off as spiral kaleidoscopically in the delirium of what Kafka’s work has unleashed. The overlapping geographies — fictional, historical, psychic, biblical — are constantly scrambled and reshuffled as if to reveal a secret alliance between cosmic disorientation and playful exuberance.

Ross Benjamin, translator of The Diaries of Franz Kafka