Metamorphosis and Other Stories

ISBN-10: 0199238553
ISBN-13: 9780199238552
Edition: 2009
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Description: 'When Gregor Samsa woke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed into some kind of monstrous vermin.'With a bewildering blend of the everyday and the fantastical, Kafka thus begins his most famous short story, The Metamorphosis.  More...

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Book details

List price: $13.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 8/9/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 208
Size: 5.00" wide x 7.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.330
Language: English

'When Gregor Samsa woke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed into some kind of monstrous vermin.'With a bewildering blend of the everyday and the fantastical, Kafka thus begins his most famous short story, The Metamorphosis. A commercial traveller is unexpectedly freed from his dreary job by his inexplicable transformation into an insect, which drastically alters his relationship with hisfamily. Kafka considered publishing it with two of the stories included here in a volume to be called Punishments. The Judgement also concerns family tensions, when a power struggle between father and son ends with the father passing an enigmatic judgement on the helpless son. The third story, Inthe Penal Colony, explores questions of power, justice, punishment, and the meaning of pain in a colonial setting. These three stories are flanked by two very different works. Meditation, the first book Kafka published, consists of light, whimsical, often poignant mood-pictures, while in the autobiographical Letter to his Father, Kafka analyses his difficult relationship in forensic and devastatingdetail.

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.

Meditation
The Judgement
The Metamorphosis
In the Penal Colony
Letter to his Father

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