October 27: Franz Kafka

October 27: Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis"
October 27: Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis”

Hello, Cobblers!

You’re officially on the mid-week stretch, so I congratulate you. Halloween is quickly approaching, and with it comes the end of our Gothic Literature Month. *Tears* But, we still have a few days left, and I hope to make the most of them. Our feature for today is Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis.” If you missed our previous post on Kafka, check it out here: “August 4: Franz Kafka.”

The Links You Need in Your Life

Need to Read It? If you haven’t read this work, The Kafka Project offers a HTML version: “Kafka Project: Metamorphosis.” If you prefer Kindle or PDF, Project Gutenberg offers it in multiple formats: “Gutenberg: Metamorphosis.”

Only got a few minutes? Mental Floss’ Jeff Wells put together a list of things you need to know about the work: “12 Unsettling Facts About ‘The Metamorphosis’.

Want to dig deeper? A new, highly praised translation from Susan Bernofsky has been published. The New Yorker adapted her afterword into an essay piece on their site: “On Translating Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’.”

What is it about Kafka? Slate’s Rebecca Schuman takes a closer look into Kafka, focusing on two Kafka-themed projects — including Bernofsky’s translation — and why we are still obsessed with him: “The Ghosts of Kafka Present: The two new books attempt to capture the gaunt specter of modernism – and make him talk.” Take a peek inside the article: “And yet both of these books want desperately to bring a dead man back to life, so that he can explain himself, so that he can (metaphorically) finish novels that break off midsentence, so that he can solve the mystery of his own existence. That they cannot succeed is not only no mark against these two fascinating books but works to underscore exactly what drove both authors to chase his ghost in the first place.”

Feeling Scholarly? The Kafka Project offers a transcript of a lecture by Vladimir Nabokov: “A Lecture on ‘The Metamorphosis’.” Here’s a beautifully worded excerpt: “Where there is beauty there is pity for the simple reason that beauty must die: beauty always dies, the manner dies with the matter, the world dies with the individual. If Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” strikes anyone as something more than an entomological fantasy, then I congratulate him on having joined the ranks of good and great readers.

That’s it for today, friends. Question: Are you planning to dress up as a literary figure for Halloween? Let us know in the comments below!

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