100th Anniversary

Cover of a 1916 edition.  The book was first published in October 1915.

of the publication of The Metamorphosis!  (I would link to the article I saw about it, but won’t because spoilers (sigh)).

You know, it is on my list of top 10 favorites, but I’ve yet to read it on paper.  I first listened to the excellent LibriVox audiobook by David Barnes, then later I listened to a partly-abridged audiobook read by Cumberbatch.  I have it in my “Complete Short Stories” – I really should read it before the month’s up.

It’s stunning to realize that, after 100 years, Kafka’s insights are still very applicable.  Undoubtedly The Metamorphosis can mean different things to different people…  To me, at its most basic, it’s a concise analogy of the facade many people consider to be “love.”  In other words, when love is defined in materialistic, give-and-take terms, it means a “normal” family like the Samsas can turn into a dysfunctional one, when their “normal” life is interrupted by the unexpected.  The morphing is, perhaps, not the appearance of the “monstrous vermin,” but the actual reaction to the creature.

I think I’ll try to read it sometime this week and post my thoughts.  If you’ve read it recently or will be reading it soon, feel free to share a link to your review!

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  1. Ruth Avatar

    I just read this a few months ago for the first time, and I left off feeling entertained by the strangeness of it. Knowing Kafka, I imagine that there is some underlying political or social statement he is trying to make, but I didn't think of it at the time. However, it is interesting to consider with the possible ideas, as you have presented here. Now that I think about it, it has a quality of sadness about it. So anyway, here is my link (though it does have spoilers): http://greatbookstudy.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-metamorphosis-by-franz-kafka.html


  2. MH Avatar

    It is a bizarre story, for sure! And I know some analysts like to emphasize the humor in Kafka's writings, but to me his stories tend more towards the tragic, with perhaps a glimpse of humor here and there, yet only through absurdity. Kafka's writings are a puzzle, but this one maybe is the most understandable; there's something universal in the mixed feelings a person experiences when they change and encounter the reactions of the people around them.


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