The Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis-franz-kafkaThe Metamorphosis (German: Die Verwandlung, also sometimes translated as The Transformation) is a novella, by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915. It has been cited as one of the seminal works of fiction of the 20th century and is studied in colleges and universities across the Western world.

The story begins with a traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, waking to find himself transformed (metamorphosed) into a large, monstrous insect-like creature. The cause of Gregor's transformation is never revealed, and Kafka himself never gave an explanation.

The rest of Kafka's novella deals with Gregor's attempts to adjust to his new condition as he deals with being burdensome to his parents and sister, who are repelled by the horrible, verminous creature Gregor has become.

It's true and brutal like a good classic...and more than a bit mysterious and no doubt full of symbolism. Don't wrack your brain; just smoke it like the very strange joint it is and let it mean whatever it means to you. In my worst moments as a working man I used to think "Is employment itself not the worst of addictions? And at the end of the road they give you a little round of applause and a pen set or something and put you out to pasture?" Here's one for the cynic in us all, for those of us who've ever tapped into our inner Peggy Lees and thought "Is that all there is?"

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