El Castillo, also called The Impact of the Book, is a work by Mexican artist Jorge Méndez Blake. It was first exhibited in the José Cornejo Franco Library in Guadalajara and later also in Venice, Paris and Istanbul.
The installation consists of a wall, at the base of which is placed a book that produces a ripple along the wall itself, undermining the stability of the brick structure. The book in question is the unfinished novel by Franz Kafka, the famous German-speaking Bohemian author, entitled The Castle. This complex and literary work, subject to multiple interpretations, tells the story of K., who is unable to exercise his profession of land surveyor in a town overlooked by a looming and mysterious castle, from which alienating and destructive laws are issued.
The wall, made of exposed bricks, due to its consistency and impenetrability is no longer a protective structure, like that of a house, but it becomes a symbol – as in Kafka’s work – of separation, alienation and deadly threat, evoking the many walls that have arisen in recent times, from the one on the border between the United States and Mexico to the one between Ceuta and Melilla, or the one separating parts of Israel from Palestinians.