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Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka

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Great story (you can't really call it a novel) and very reminiscent of The Trial. Kafka has a way of horrifying me despite (or maybe because of) his eerie scarcity of words and images. This is a work to be studied and I'd like to read at least one or two analyses to feel I've really reaped all the delicious nuggets to be found in this book.

 

If you're not familier Metamorphosis it's the story of a man that wakes one morning to find he has become a giant insect. Locked in his bedroom within the family's small apartment we watch as he is pitied, tolerated, and eventually rejected as a member of the family. With a scarce, dry dessert of words (virtually none) describing the emotions of the small handful of characters, somehow we are able to intimately feel the gordian knot of horror, disgust, and sorrow that plagues them all.

 

Is it possible to feel pity for a cockroach... well yes it really is and Kafka proves it.

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I embarrassed to say I have never heard of this book but after reading your review Dogmatix, I think I am going to invest in it.

 

Cockroaches have feelings too...

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I read this with a load of Kafka short stories; the story itself is a long short story if I remember right. It's the weirdest of stories, too, like reading really well written horror.

 

It goes back to Kafka's usual themes of helplessness and alienation.

 

A long time since I read Kafka, though. I want to go back some time, after reading the suggestion (I think by Murukami) that Kafka is, in fact, just comedy. That it's not half as dark as it's portrayed and is effectively like reading PG Wodehouse, but without a Jeeves to get Wooster out of trouble. And perhaps my reading of Kafka is like when I used to listen to The Smiths as a 15 year old and think they were humourless miserable gits, where now I see all the humour.

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Gosh, I don't know about that Andy. I think about K stabbing himself to death and our cockroach buddy dying from an infected apple wound. I'll have to ruminate on that idea for a bit. You may have something but I've never thought of Kafka that way.

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To me, Gregor's metamorphosis is a metaphor for mans existential suffering in a world that doesn't understand itself or others, that's to say, a rejection of mans ambigious nature which he himself hardly controls as an irrational, superflous being.

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I read this with a load of Kafka short stories; the story itself is a long short story if I remember right. It's the weirdest of stories, too, like reading really well written horror.

 

It goes back to Kafka's usual themes of helplessness and alienation.

 

A long time since I read Kafka, though. I want to go back some time, after reading the suggestion (I think by Murukami) that Kafka is, in fact, just comedy. That it's not half as dark as it's portrayed and is effectively like reading PG Wodehouse, but without a Jeeves to get Wooster out of trouble. And perhaps my reading of Kafka is like when I used to listen to The Smiths as a 15 year old and think they were humourless miserable gits, where now I see all the humour.

 

There is a lot of humour in Kafka, The Trial for instance is a riot, if you pick up on the dark humour.

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I remember when we discussed Metamorphosis in school, our teacher always used to ask why Kafka didn't say Gregor passed away, rather that he died. It's hard to translate it but we have a few words for ''die'',''pass on'' and the one used for Gregor was more cold, lacking warmth and compassion (maybe even respect), one you would use for an insect to describe the lack of humanity (not really a nice word). But despite it not being nice, obviously it was a good and intentional choice.

 

I felt compassion for Gregor because he's like everyone else (well, if you ignore him being an insect and all...), rejected from his family, all alone, and in the end disgusted even by himself. I rarely feel compassion for characters (I mean really, physically if you will, feel compassion and sadness, not just know I should feel it, still being aware that it's just a book) and in this case I did.

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The Trial has a really great story, with all those absurd things happening (him not knowing wth he was acused for and then - again - dying for a reason which is not defined -oops, should I hide the spoilers or?), but somehow I didn't like it as much. The story is great imo, but a bit boring to read. That's just my opinion.

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It also depends which edition you read as well, the Brod or the critical edition. the ctitical edition is based on Kafkas's manuscript, whereas Brod is his editor's version with emendments. I prefer the critical editions.

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^^Yes, some things seemed to be overly described. As for the edition, since I haven't read the original, there was much lost in the translation to begin with.

 

That's why I would like to be able to read the originals. I'm affraid my German's not that good to be able to read Kafka :lol:

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Love it. It's Kafka-absurd, which I love. And how can you not feel sorry for the poor guy/bug? He's been working hard his whole life, supporting his family, and then he becomes a total stranger to them, someone they are disgusted with. Everyone needs love and to be social with others. He is isolated and becomed depressed, poor thing. All because of the way he looks.

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It is an amazing story! I've read some years ago and I strongly recommend it! :D

It is the kind of story that disturbs you, it plays with reader's feelings. Everyone should read this book! :readingtwo:

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