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Die Verwandlung by Franz Kafka

Die Verwandlung (original 1915; edition 2005)

by Franz Kafka

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8,423128657 (3.9)240
The Metamorphosis is the story of a young traveling salesman who, transformed overnight into a giant, beetle-like insect, becomes an object of disgrace to his family, an outsider in his own home, a quintessentially alienated man. It is a harrowing--though absurdly comic--meditation on human feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and isolation.… (more)
Title:Die Verwandlung
Authors:Franz Kafka
Info:Anaconda (2005), Gebundene Ausgabe, 77 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:franz kafka, verwandlung, falscher körper, deutschsprachige literatur, deutsche literatur

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The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (1915)

1910s (17)

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» See also 240 mentions

English (93)  Spanish (16)  Dutch (6)  French (5)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (127)
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
You need to read this book twice. The first time it will read like a horror. The second time it will read like a comedy and as a poignant satire of the stupid world we live and decide to take part in. ( )
  Neal_Anderson | Jun 14, 2020 |
man wakes up as an insect, his family grows out of dependence on him, come alive as he dies
  ritaer | Jun 10, 2020 |
"Hasta el anochecer, no despertó Gregorio de aquel sueño tan pesado, semejante a un desvanecimiento... Lenta y todavía torpemente, tanteando con sus tentáculos, cuyo valor ya entonces comprendió, se deslizó hasta la puerta para ver lo que había ocurrido. Su lado izquierdo era una única, larga y repugnante llaga. Andaba cojeando, alternativa y simétricamente, sobre cada una de sus dos filas de patas. Por otra parte, una de estas últimas, herida en el accidente de por la mañana -¡milagro fue que las demás saliesen ilesas!-, se arrasraba sin vida".
La metamorfosis, Franz Kafka.
  LucreciaRomero | May 30, 2020 |
i've read a few books lately that have mental illness as a major theme, and i'm sure that colored the lens with which i read this. obviously this talks of alienation and society's pressure to perform, probably also of feeling different and inferior (whether as a jew in europe in 1912 or whether as a german speaker living in czechoslovakia), but to me this is about what happens when someone goes through some kind of major life shift that is unexpected or sudden. a psychotic break or a paralyzing accident. (possibly even aging and caring for an elderly or chronically ill family member.) how it affects their family, how it is seen in the larger societal context. how quickly someone's role in a family can move from breadwinner to burden.

i know it's only a novella and so not that many pages at all, but i'd like more detail about those larger points. he never reflects on the change that has made him into a giant bug (probably a beetle or cockroach), his parents never mourn their loss of the son they had. much more space is taken by the mundane aspects of his old job than by the whatever they all must be thinking and feeling. maybe mentioning the mundaneness is supposed to serve as a contrast to this new life gregor finds himself in. his parents are never named, his sister only sometimes. i wonder if the meaning of that is his alienation from them or his becoming less human.

it is true that while the obvious metamorphosis in the story is gregor's, all of the family members undergo one, and i'm certain that is part of his larger point. (grete's change is the last thing mentioned in the story, for example. so we start with gregor's and end with grete's.)

this is my first kafka and while i of course knew the beginning of the story, i wasn't sure what to expect from the rest. was it a dream? does he wake up the next day back in his body? etc. it was a bit surprising that it went the way it did, and i'm not sure it was entirely satisfying. (it's a bit weird to read a story about such a transformation and not have someone ask "why" or "how" even once. but then the entire thing is told very matter-of-factly, so maybe that's part of it.) but it's an easily read book with a lot to think about. i'm sure there are a ton of ways to interpret this story, but to me (in this time) it's clearly about what happens to someone who has a break with reality, or possibly a physically incapacitating accident. i'd be interested in rereading it some other time when mental illness isn't on my mind, and seeing what it feels like he's saying then.

for some reason i really liked this line toward the end:

"Was he a beast to be so moved by music? He felt as if he were being shown the path to the unknown food he was yearning for." ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Jan 10, 2020 |
This has to one of the most unique stories ever written and is testament to Kafka's genius in conjuring up such powerful nightmarish, weird, absurd and enigmatic, but ultimately deeply moving and human in few pages. ( )
  Indrit | Dec 15, 2019 |
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» Add other authors (139 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kafka, Franzprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Altena, Ernst vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Appelbaum, StanleyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baioni, GiulianoContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bernofsky, SusanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Corngold, StanleyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Corngold, StanleyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cronenberg, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cumberbatch, BenedictNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Graftdijk, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hauptmann, TatjanaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hofmann, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoover, Marjorie L.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnston, Ian C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keenan, JamieCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Llovet, JordiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muir, EdwinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muir, WillaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nervi, MauroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Neugroschel, JoachimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Neumann, GerhardAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rho, AnitaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rozendaal, W.J.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simonischek, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Toorn, Willem vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyllie, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug.
When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.
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Penguin Australia

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