The Metamorphosis

Franz Kafka, Susan Bernofsky, Ian Johnston

My first work of Kafka's. I would fully admit I had some trouble digesting after finishing it, but reading a literary analysis by Vladimir Nabokov helped me form an understanding of the work afterwards. The emotional resonance is incredibly strong, yet I feel as if there was some important element that was lost. ... not in translation, but time.

Even though the Metamorphosis has aged very well, there is some dynamic between the characters that is either no longer possible, or simply no longer noticeable: something forever omnipresent, yet shoved underground as if it was taboo. As cerebral as it is, part of me simply wonders “why?” Not, “why” in terms of why Gregor Samsa awoke as a monstrous insect, but rather “why” this particular unusual and slipstream tale became canonical in the literary sense. What about the time in which it was written were the fears it articulated so well, and what is the status of it that still resonates? There is something to be found there, for certain, but I'm still unsure to the specifics.

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