The Architecture of The Trial

The Trial by Franz Kafka is often commented upon for its commentary on bureaucracy and its insidious effects on society and man. My reading on the other hand, while not in disagreement with this view, looks at the manner in which Kafka uses space to display the relationship between the state apparatus and modern man. This relationship is intricate and displays both, the entrapment of the bureaucrat and of the modern man within the system where, as in many power relationships, it ceases to be clear who  has a greater leverage.

The penultimate chapter in which Kafka describes the different barriers constructed in the system in its matrioshka like structure is clearly visible in the architecture of the spaces, as seen in a series, which is essentially fractal like in its self similarity displaying the impossibility of grasping or controlling the system.

Some of the more important architectural invocations are the enfilade vis-à-vis the corridor and their significance, windows, doors and skylights. Each of the elements are charged and suggest being stifled, trapped, connections or freedom. Architecture becomes a tool to dominate.

Architecture and its role in Kafka1Architecture and its role in Kafka 2Architecture and its role in Kafka 3Architecture and its role in Kafka 4

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