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The Metamorphosis and Other Stories: (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) Paperback – Jan 1 2000
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“Kafka’s survey of the insectile situation of young Jews in inner Bohemia can hardly be improved upon: ‘With their posterior legs they were still glued to their father’s Jewishness and with their wavering anterior legs they found no new ground.’ There is a sense in which Kafka’s Jewish question (‘What have I in common with Jews?’) has become everybody’s question, Jewish alienation the template for all our doubts. What is Muslimness? What is femaleness? What is Polishness? These days we all find our anterior legs flailing before us. We’re all insects, all Ungeziefer, now.”
“Kafka engaged in no technical experiments whatsoever; without in any way changing the German language, he stripped it of its involved constructions until it became clear and simple, like everyday speech purified of slang and negligence. The common experience of Kafka’s readers is one of general and vague fascination, even in stories they fail to understand, a precise recollection of strange and seemingly absurd images and descriptions—until one day the hidden meaning reveals itself to them with the sudden evidence of a truth simple and incontestable.”
From the Inside Flap
With the opening sentence of The Metamorphosis Franz Kafka introduced modern man to his interior condition. After awaking to discover he has been transformed into an enormous insect, Gregor Samsa becomes an object of disgrace to his family and is left to hide away within the confines of his room. An imaginative parable about human alienation, The Metamorphosis is also an absurdly comic tale whose narrative effects remain revolutionary today.
Kafka's profound and humorous exploration of alienation and authority is found in the other fictional pieces he published during his lifetime, all collected in this edition. Included are Meditation, a group of Kafka's early studies; "The Judgement", his most powerful statement on the father-son conflict; "The Stoker", the first chapter of the unfinished novel Amerika; "In the Penal Colony", perhaps Kafka's most disturbing piece; A Country Doctor, tales written just before he contracted tuberculosis; the story "The Coal-Scuttle Rider"; and A Fasting-Artist, Kafka's final collection of stories, published just before his death. Together, these works reveal the breadth of Kafka's literary vision and the extraordinary imaginative depth of his thought.See all Product Description
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Kafka makes the human soul a startling juxtaposition of anxiety and beauty- in a destiny lost and unclear.