The Metamorphosis and Other Stories

Front Cover
Courier Corporation, Apr 12, 1996 - Fiction - 88 pages
84 Reviews
"When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin." With this startling, bizarre, yet surprisingly funny first sentence, Kafka begins his masterpiece, "The Metamorphosis." It is the story of a young man who, transformed overnight into a giant beetlelike insect, becomes an object of disgrace to his family, an outsider in his own home, a quintessentially alienated man. A harrowing -- though absurdly comic -- meditation on human feelings of inadequecy, guilt, and isolation, "The Metamorphosis" has taken its place as one of the mosst widely read and influential works of twentieth-century fiction. As W.H. Auden wrote, "Kafka is important to us because his predicament is the predicament of modern man."

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - featherbear - LibraryThing

The collection might be a good way to dip your toe into the dark, cold, bottomless Kafka oeuvre if the collected stories seem formidable. It contains 3 of his best known fictions: The Judgment, The ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - akblanchard - LibraryThing

In this edition, Kafka's classic novella about a man who wakes up one morning to find himself transformed into a giant bug is accompanied by several short stories that repeat the themes of alienation ... Read full review

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References to this book

Human Beings
David Cockburn
Limited preview - 1991
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About the author (1996)

Franz Kafka was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, of middle-class Jewish parents. He apparently suffered a great deal of psychological pain at a young age at the hands of his domineering father. He took a law degree at the German University of Prague, then obtained a position in the workman's compensation division of the Austrian government. Always neurotic, insecure, and filled with a sense of inadequacy, Kafka's writing is a search for personal fulfillment and understanding. He wrote very slowly and deliberately, publishing very little in his lifetime. At his death he asked a close friend to burn his remaining manuscripts , but the friend refused the request. Instead the friend arranged for publication Kafka's longer stories, which have since brought him worldwide fame and have influenced many contemporary writers. Kafka's stories are nightmarish tales in which a helpless central character's every move is controlled by heartless, impersonal forces. An example is his 1938 psychological thriller, "The Metamorphosis." The story centers around a salesman named Gregor, who wakes up one morning and finds he is no longer a man but a giant insect. In today's increasingly complex, technological, and bureaucratic societies, Kafka has found a growing audience of sympathetic readers who understand the feeling of powerlessness Kafka's heroes experienced.

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