The Trial
Franz Kafka

by contributor

Karim Chandra

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Franz Kafka
Year Published
About the Title

The Trial refers to the main character’s trial, but when you read the novel, you may notice that there’s no actual trial in the book. Part of the trouble is that, since we’re reading the book in its English translation, the title doesn’t seem to fit. The original German title – Der Prozeß – does mean "trial," but it also refers to all the items surrounding the trial, including the inquiry in Chapter 2, criminal investigations, and all of the legal work that goes into a trial, such as Huld’s petition. Both the English and the German titles stress K.’s experience of his trial as one of seemingly interminable bureaucratic maneuvers.

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