Books That Inspire 2001

The Castle
Frantz Kafka

Through the struggles of the work’s main character K., The Castle brilliantly illustrates how far we are removed from the forces that influence the actions and choices we make in daily life. K. faces confusion and frustration as he struggles to make sense of the world around him as everyone he meets displays what to K. seems an agonizing and apathetic regard for influences that lay just beyond comprehension, always just out of reach. Kafka illustrates how unidentifiable organs of power really do ultimately control every aspect of our lives, down to the most intimate detail. The Castle led me to other authors such as Michel Foucault, Antonio Gramsci, and Bruno Latour, all of whom deal with issues of control, cultural hegemony, and knowledge production.
Richard Hamerla
Assistant Professor Honor’s College