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The Trial

The Trial


by Franz Kafka

The Trial Art and Culture Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph). We used Breon Mitchell's translation.

Quote #7

"The judge wanted it that way," said the painter, "it's intended for a lady" […] now [the figure of Justice] just looked like the goddess of the Hunt. The painter's work attracted K. more than he wished; at last, however, he reproached himself for having been there so long without having really undertaken anything for his own case. (8.23)

Again, the painting reveals a deeper truth about the judge beneath a surface resemblance. It associates the judge (and the rest of the judges) with sexually predatory behavior, suggesting something inherently corrupt in the court.

Quote #8

"The rules for painting the various levels of officials are so numerous, so varied, and above all so secret, that they simply aren't known beyond certain families […] Every judge wants to be painted like the great judges of old, and only I can do that." (8.26)

The rules for painting judges, as Titorelli describes them, sounds an awful lot like the way the court is run. Just like the court, painting judges has its own secret and intricate rules and its own ancient history.

Quote #9

The first thing K. saw, and in part surmised, was a tall knight in armor […] It was amazing he simply stood there without moving closer. Perhaps he was meant to stand guard […] [K.] discovered it was a conventional depiction of the entombment of Christ, and moreover a fairly recent one. (9.6)

Here we have yet another painting. Interestingly, K. isn't really concerned with the main event described in the story – the entombment of Christ. He's really fascinated by the guard. The painting looks ahead to the parable of the Law, which is all about a guy and his gatekeeper.

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