Franz Kafka's final novel tells the haunting tale of a man known only as K. and of his relentless, unavailing struggle with an inscrutable authority in order to gain entrance to the Castle. Although Kafka seemed to consider The Castle a failure, critics, in wrestling with its enigmatic meaning, have recognized it as one of the great novels of our century.
Franz Kafka (1883–1924) was a culturally influential German-language novelist. Contemporary critics and academics regard Kafka as one of the best writers of the 20th century. The term "Kafkaesque" has become part of the English vernacular.
Kafka was born to middle class German-speaking Jewish parents in Prague, Bohemia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The house in which he was born, on the Old Town Square next to Prague's Church of St Nicholas, now contains a permanent exhibition devoted to the author.
Most of Kafka's writing, much of it unfinished at the time of his death, was published posthumously.