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The Metamorphosis and Other Stories [Dover]…
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The Metamorphosis and Other Stories [Dover] (1915)

by Franz Kafka

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 5 of 5
Kafka is weird. There, I said it. And I usually like weird, but I'm still not quite sure what to think of Kafka. In a discussion with a friend about themes, it became a bit easier to read. I didn't have problems with the bug, or the killing device as much as I did with the characters' reactions.

When I mentioned that the ending in "The Judgement" felt kinda clunky, my friend said, "That's the thing about Kafka. He gets a free pass because he's Kafka. The ending is clunky, but because he's Kafka, people wonder if they're missing something."

Note to self: Kafka is not god, his work is not perfect. (Weird, but not perfect.)

In "The Metamorphosis," one of the themes is being worthwhile. This poor man works hard to support his family, but in return, they and the bureaucrats he works for believe him to be nothing more than a "bug." And all anyone can do is be horrified that he can no longer work and treat him even more poorly.

"In The Penal Colony" was horrifying. Not because of the actual killing device, but is pretty horrific on its own, but for the attitude of The Officer toward crime and punishment. 30 years later, George Orwell published Nineteen Eighty-Four. The extreme belief that anyone showing any humanity towards others is weak, haunts us every day. On a light note, if there is one, I kept hearing Sylvester Stallone in "Judge Dredd" saying, "I AM the law" whenever The Officer spoke about how The Condemned had come to be condemned. It's a pretty damning statement against government (being published the year after WWI ended), dictatorships and those who stand by and do nothing.

As for "The Country Doctor" and "A Report to the Academy," well, those were more of the same weirdness.

In sum, I'm not sorry I read this. Not sorry, but not necessarily glad. I can now say I've read Kafka and understand what the meaning of the word "Kafkaesque" is. I don't need to read any more. ( )
  AuntieClio | Aug 5, 2013 |
In Kafka's "The Metamorphosis," Gregor Samsa awakes one morning to find himself transformed into a giant insect. The theme of personal transformation is clear and the items which are obvious metaphors (e.g. Samsa being an insect, the apple lodged in his back), will allow students to explore what their intended meaning could have been.

This book also includes "The Judgement," "In the Penal Colony," "A Country Doctor," and "A Report to an Academy." ( )
  bderby | Sep 29, 2010 |
The Metamorphosis was required reading for me in school, and I have since re-visited it a few times. Short, powerful, and well worth anyone's time. ( )
  tyroeternal | Sep 30, 2008 |
I love "The Metamorphosis" and have read it several times. I know some people probably think I'm crazy. (My friend, Natalie, said she could never get over the giant bug thing.) Personally, I love the weirdness of the Modernist period. ( )
  jolee | Mar 22, 2006 |
The Metamorphosis definately makes you see how insignificant your life really is to others. While you are useful you are loved and valued. When you are no longer useful you begin to be an annoyance and when you have descended to being uncomfortable and a burden to others they wish you to disappear altogether. Fantastic story of a man's life reduced to that of a bug.
The Penal Colony is a valuable statement of how too much power in one man's hands to exercise judgement is terrifying. Do not read this if your squeamish, it's pretty gruesome.

I loved all of the stories in this edition.
  BookAddict | Mar 20, 2006 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Franz Kafkaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Appelbaum, StanleyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It was on a Sunday morning in the loveliest part of the spring.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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There are multiple anthologies with the same title. This one contains:

"The Judgement";
"The Metamorphosis";
"In the Penal Colony"
"A Country Doctor"
"A Report to an Academy"

Please do not combine with works that contain a different selection of stories
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486290301, Paperback)

Superb collection by modern master explores the complexity, anxiety, and futility of modern life. Excellent new English translations of the title story — considered by many critics Kafka's most perfect work — plus "The Judgment," "In the Penal Colony," "A Country Doctor" and "A Report to an Academy." A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:16 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Works that explore the anxiety, futility and complexity of modern life.

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