The Burrow” (German: “Der Bau”) is an unfinished short story by Franz Kafka in which a mole-like being burrows through an elaborate system of tunnels it has. EVERY READER of “The Burrow” who is even moderately familiar with Kafka’s life and work cannot fail to be struck by the realization that there is an intimate. Franz Kafka wrote continuously and furiously throughout his short and . “The Burrow” and “The Great Wall of China” belong at the summit of Kafka’s oeuvre;.

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Anyway, the narrator, who appears to be hhe burrowing mammal of some sort, spends the entire story telling us about its burrow. The story reflects issues Kafka experienced all his life, and so have I.

In this way, perfectly Kafkaesque, salvation is denied to us. The whistle or the blow that Kafka mentions is the consta Kafka at its best.

Dranz 21, Mark Elderson rated it it was amazing. Of course it cannot last and he ends up listening at his walls to a distant sound, a form of whistle perhaps, made by a slowly approaching destroyer.

Surely an anxiety is fundamentally what is beneath all existences, something which is ‘managed’ according to resources, time, and culture? Now, after all these years I still feel the teh creature” experience- it was so heavy.

The narrator also goes into intricate detail on how it stores its food, and also tells us about the beast that lurks nearby though we don’t know what the beast is, just that it is a beast.

Familiarly he addresses his audience – ‘But you do not know me if you think I am. The creature is preoccupied with problems that are in the realm of reality in its most bjrrow This is both a simple fact void of noise the mind hallucinates but also slightly tragic given what buerow know about the author.

Topics Franz Kafka Nicholas Lezard’s choice. Want to Read saving…. And there’s something else that interests some of us no doubt, and that is the creature’s ‘voice’. This is another thing fraanz I love about Kafka, and that is that the way he uses language means that what he is describing could be anything. Well, it is not that the next one kafks stranger than the last, but rather that are all on the same level of strangeness.


No matter where you turn, inward or outward, friend or foe, accomplishment or failure: It’s peculiar, strange and cute. The resulting effect on the audience is a strange combination in the sense that the human endeavors of the creature grants a strong sense of normalcy to something so utterly out of the shared human Symbolic Order; while seeing the activities that feel so burtow to a human, performed by a creature that is so different from any human experience, causes nurrow defamiliarization of those every day occupations.

In the end of his first year of studies, he met Max Brodwho would become a close friend of burroe throughout his life, together with the journalist Felix Weltschwho also studied law.

It rationalizes its every action maybe not always convinces the reader but ultimately the whole story r a survey rather than a review, so SPOILERS The narrator of the story is a mole-like creature that has acquired the gift of speech, or at least the gift of telling its own story in the written form, and can even said to be over-articulate. What can we read into this? It is comprised on stories of over 20 pages as well as some which are only a paragraph in length.

Max Brod argued Kafka intended a burow with the mole and the impending predator, who arrests so much of our madness in the closing pages. We who live in security have never experienced such arbitrary destruction.

They are often incomplete, fragmentary or even, so to kakfa, radically unfinished: What unpacks itself is a sort of address which reveals an anxiety which by the unfinished end of the narrative is unravelling into an inhibiting terror.

I thank you for this one, Kafka. The plot is simple: The animal is working so hard to build its burrow and trying hard to safeguard it.

The Burrow

View all 17 comments. It is a cruel joke that once the creature gets his home, he loses it to his own obsessive fears. And that, pretty much, is his life. Okay, somebody has suggested that a statement where the narrator talks about a part of its forehead being used to burrow suggests that it is a mole, but there is another part of the story where the narrator suggests that it can see, and as ffranz as I know moles are blind though since I am not a zoologists, just some chump working for an insurance company, I cannot say for sure.


The world is a loud, dangerous place, and the desire for a quiet home, safe from danger, able to grant peace of mind is precious beyond all imagining. The book is about a mole-like created that spent all its life building an extremely elaborate burrow to face all sorts of dangers, while not really ready for any.

However, the interesting thing about this story is that this particular mammal is describing this burrow from its point of view, which makes the whole labyrinthine structure so much more interesting. During his lifetime, he published only a few short stories and never finished any of his novels, unless “The Metamorphosis” is considered a short novel.

Hey, I work for an insurance company basically doing what Kafka did and, well, to be honest with you, it is driving me nu A muddy hole in the ground becomes a great castle 30 June The more of Kafka’s stories that I read the stranger they seem to become. The creature itself is also utterly unfamiliar in its defiance of any kind of human-animal separation, its voluntary seclusion from society, and its corporeal ambiguity.

Preoccupied with the basics of simple survival, what his life lacks becomes clear to a reader.

The Burrow by Franz Kafka review – a superb new translation | Books | The Guardian

It is only a short book, yet I ended up skimming some pages just to get through them. Perhaps other translations would be better. And, again, once Kafka has unpacked his startling predicament, the feeling that he’s lost interest for he has already done what he came here to do: Feb 23, Steven rated it it was amazing Kafla